Friday, December 2, 2016

Book review: EVERY YOU, EVERY ME by David Levithan

Evan is haunted by the loss of his friend Ariel. Then he finds a picture in his path. Pictures of nothing. Then pictures of him. Is Ariel back? Who is this unseen photographer who is following them, leaving picture after picture that only confuse him?

The story progresses through the 'found pictures'. Evan talks about his friendship with Ariel, were they were *almost* in love. Everyone seems to be moving on except Evan. The only other significant person in his and Ariel's life is Jack, Ariel's pseudo-boyfriend who is doing a better job of moving on than Evan.

The central mystery of the story is finding who is taking and sending these pictures to Evan. Evan realizes that Ariel was not who he thought she was, and she was different with each person she knows (and aren't we all? I notice that each of us shows a different side to all the people we know). Evan stirs up trouble in school and with his friends in trying to figure out that pictures' mysterious source... he thinks its Ariel. Others tell him that he's feeding this unknown stalker with his attention, and that he should just ignore them. We are never told directly what happened to Ariel. Is she dead or just gone?

While the concept of a story with accompanying pictures is intriguing and the images were haunting and interesting, the story didn't hit off well with me. The characters felt flat. We don't know much about Ariel except through Evan's thoughts and recollections of the past, and her mental illness was not sufficiently explained and only told through vague narrations of events. The ending and the conclusion of the pictures' real source was not that satisfying to me. I think I will only read books by this author if a friend recommends it.

Quotes:
"We were never in love. But we loved each other."

"They wouldn't think there was anything out of the ordinary about me being out of the ordinary."

While stalking Ariel's Facebook friends, Evan thinks: "I should have felt like I was knowing you more by learning about all these people, but instead I felt I was knowing you less and less."

"I can touch the picture but it's not your face. I can touch the screen but it's not your face."

Areil to Evan: "You know one me. Just like I know one you. But you can't know every me, Evan. And I can't know every you."

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