This is another book that I have always wanted to read and didn’t get around to.
And may I just say -wow! I am blown away by this. Everyday “A” wakes up in a different body and is immersed into a different life. There’s no explanation of why this happens, but to me, it didn’t seem to matter. It is the ideas that this brings about that are so intriguing. As the reader, we get to meet all these characters, we get to delve a little into their personal stories. The book starts at day 5994 and the first person we meet is Justin. A sizes him up and we get to experience the phenomenon of what’s it like to “learn” who you are. But the real story starts when A falls in love with her body’s girlfriend Rhiannon.
The story is a quick read and the chapters, titled by day numbers, flow very easily into one another. I was so wrapped up, that I was surprised when I took note of the day at 6019. All those different teens, each with their own story. It brings attention to the philosophy of body vs. soul. A is a genderless, raceless (sometimes other languages), shapeless form; the ideas of love, goodness, reason, jealousy, sadness and many other emotions are portrayed through the individual personality of the soul, but lived through the body that has been inhibited. In the many individual bodies that are affected, we see a very diverse group of teens, yet they are all the same age and in a pretty close parameter distance. In each situation, A is present but tries to keep the personality authentic to the individual. There have never been visits to previous scenarios until Rhiannon.
While this is a love story, filled with longing, and that is the main plot; we get another plot when A, as another character, crosses town to visit Rhiannon, and the idea of demonic possession is introduced.
I enjoyed this book so much! It’s been awhile since a story has kept me guessing. Still, the real draw is the issues addressed. Some situations were emotional abuse, suicide, sex, cliques, bullies, homeschoolers, exploited immigrants, and drunk driving (one of the saddest things to me was the girl who inadvertently causes her brother’s death). We saw teen emotions in various forms. Some were happy, satisfied, ambivalent, suicidal, healthy, overweight, drug users, scholastic, reckless, blind, afraid, considerate, compassionate, and mean. We, along with A, got to experience their feelings and situations. Relationship dynamics are explored (parents, siblings, other teens). And of course, we get to feel first love, with all it’s joy and heartache.
The reader is witness to the securities and insecurities of just being alive.
As the story evolves, we have no choice but to consider underlying philosophy about good vs. evil, and light vs. dark, and even the examination of separation in technological interactions, in person experiences vs. technological experiences, and to try to just understand the simple idea of being. It made me want to be more aware of time and its passing, noticing the individual moments and their importance.
All and all, a great read! Five stars from me! Oh, and they mentioned my very favorite childhood book, Harold and the Purple Crayon.