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Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Every You, Every Me

by David Levithan

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200None58,339 (3.59)5
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First of all, I really like David Levithan’s writing. He has some very interesting ideas. IN this case, writing a novel around photographs. Photographs he never knew what of until he received them from a photographer who didn’t know what the book was about. It was interesting. At first I was sort of irritated because half the text is crossed out and trying to read it creates long run on sentences. But I quickly got used to it and soon it actually told much more about the story and the character. Levithan has such talent with words and expressions. I’m definitely glad I got to this one. Reading his books always give me something to think about it. There’s always something deeper to find in his books. ( )
  Kassilem | Mar 23, 2014 |
Twenty-five pages into this, and I am already putting it on hiatus. Maybe I will be in the right mood later.
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Emo, emo, emo. Full of young adult “emo-tism”, if that’s what they call it. I was disappointed because I liked David Levithan’s Everyday and this is just the total opposite for me. But I loved the photographs though. :D That’s what kept me interested. ;) ( )
  snapsandreads | Sep 8, 2013 |
Review from library copy

Very interesting concept. I liked that we didn't really know all of what was going on until the end. ( )
  kcarrigan | Aug 26, 2013 |
Two words: teen angst! And how does one evoke more teen angst? Strike through wording!

Evan has lost his best friend, Ariel, but how? Readers are not meant to discover a solid explanation until the end. In the mean time, Evan is haunted by her through memories and his own guilt for actions that resulted in her absence. Then, beginning on Ariel's birthday, someone starts leaving photos for Evan: a picture of trees, a picture of him, more trees, more Evan, and finally... pictures of Ariel. Evan, no thanks to his guilt and truck load of angst!angst!angst, interprets these as messages meant to punish him, and he's right.

So what happened to Ariel and who is stalking Evan? Why is someone stalking Evan? Several ideas popped in and out of my head, none of which were correct, and I am honestly sad that I didn't see it sooner. In retrospect, because Every You, Every Me is easy to zip through, I most likely overlooked tell-tale hints. No matter, because Levithan did not capture my intrigue. The concept of Every You, Every Me is interesting and true: there are several unalike fragments that make up the whole of an individual. We (speaking generally) often choose to reveal only one aspect of ourselves to certain people. This story, however, is a far cry from any kind of thrill.

If you can manage two or three uninterrupted hours, this is not difficult to read and finish in one sitting. Delighted to discover this wouldn't take long to finish--a quick, light book--I originally slapped Every You, Every Me a three-star rating. What it comes down to in the end, however, is quality, which I find sub-par. I dislike the angst and word-striking (among other things), but it isn't terrible, and I know terrible: those books that take days of resentful trudging, and the only reason I find myself continuing to read is the simple yet sad motivation to say, "I did it! I read the book!" Regardless:

Strike-through. I can't stand it. I don't find it clever; I find it annoying, especially when 65% or more of the text has a line running through it. I read

"What'd you do last night?"
I never do anything. "Not much, you?"

and I wonder why the narrator can't simply say that to his or her audience. It's not pleasing, aesthetically, but the bulk of Every You, Every Me's struck-through text could have avoided a strike had Levithan phrased it differently. At other times, it is doesn't look needed whatsoever:

I put the photograph back in the envelope. I didn't put the envelope back on the ground. I kept it.

Because Evan decides to keep the photograph, which he places inside the envelope, it indicates that the envelope is not returned to the ground.

Did I mention there are entire struck-through entries? Well, there are entries entirely struck through.

To add, Evan's angst is vastly explored but little else is. Because this seems more like a neat project Levithan opted to do, I feel doubtful that he intended for it to work in conjunction with the title. The photographs shown were taken by Jonathan Farmer, who'd send Levithan any random photo(s) from which Levithan would construct his plot around. It's similar to how [a:Ransom Riggs|3046613|Ransom Riggs|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1298018979p2/3046613.jpg] wrote [b:Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children|9460487|Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)|Ransom Riggs|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320564598s/9460487.jpg|14345371], yet I enjoyed Riggs' book. The plot is layered, as are the characters. In contrast, Every You, Every Me offers one-dimensional characters and a weak plot in which very little occurs.

Suspense that should surround the mysterious photographs--who is leaving them and why?--goes by uneventful until the near-end, to which I say: what the heck is that? The "climax" (it would be the climax if I had felt proper suspension) comes much too quickly, too predictably, and ends similarly. This is an issue I have with the book in general. If Levithan had put in more effort--allowed necessary timing for events to pop up and unfold, realistic teen dialogue, less broody angst, perhaps a twist or two--this story would simply be a better story.

Although I have read [b:Will Grayson, Will Grayson|6567017|Will Grayson, Will Grayson|John Green|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347192518s/6567017.jpg|6759965] and [b:Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist|25373|Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist|Rachel Cohn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320426861s/25373.jpg|929639], this is, technically, my second Levithan book. The problems I have with this are similar to the ones I have with [b:Boy Meets Boy|23228|Boy Meets Boy|David Levithan|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1356335082s/23228.jpg|1118789], yet I already expected the lackluster effect because I'd already read Boy Meets Boy. What I know of David Levithan's writing style is not much, but I understand that he is a popular author. I just haven't discovered why. ( )
  the_airtwit | May 19, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375860983, Hardcover)

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Evan is haunted by the loss of his best friend, but when mysterious photographs start appearing, he begins to fall apart as he starts to wonder if she has returned, seeking vengeance.

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