Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 01/10/16
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
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.
There are so many versions of a person. We never completely understand a person, even if they’re our closest friend, because we will only see one side of them.
“You know one me. Just like I know one you. But you can’t know every me. And I can’t know every you.”
Evan is on his way home from school when he finds an envelope on the ground that has a photo inside. He starts to think that Ariel is back to torment him, because of what he did to her. As they unravel the mystery behind the photographs, he soon discovers how little he knows about Ariel and the truth.
This was a heartfelt story of love and loss, and dealing with the tragedy of losing a close friend. It had a very haunting aura throughout the book, so that I felt Ariel’s missing presence right along with the characters.
My favourite element in Every You, Every Me was the format. I picked this one up at the library knowing nothing about, and the crossed-out words and photographs piqued my interest.
While the story itself is slow and quiet, it works well for this book. Evan narrates the story, and readers will clearly see his slow descent into depression, which began with what happened with Ariel and has worsened by the time the book begins. The mystery of what happened to Ariel and who is stalking Evan keeps the story moving along, despite Evan’s profound sadness and confusion.
Once I opened the book, I could not put it down. It truly was an amazing reading experience that blended pictures, words, emotion, and mystery. Every You, Every Me was superbly written. You really do start to wonder about Evan’s state of mind and that just intensifies the disturbing factor. It just drives home the fact that we never truly know someone completely. Who they are when they’re with you can be completely different than who they are when they’re with someone else. It will make you wonder how well we know the people we love.
The literary device of crossing out words was perfect. It showed the way Evan edited his thoughts, was scared of the past and was trying not to think about it. What I love about David Levithan’s way of writing is his talent to create uniquely incredible concepts and interesting characters.
This is one of my favourites from this author, though I felt that maybe the story could have been a little longer or maybe a good twist can be added to it. And Sometimes I found the characters one dimensional, but I felt that, that added to the whole theme. This book is written unlike any other book I’ve read before. The chapters are numbered in an outline form (1, 1A, 1B, 2, etc.) which breaks down each chapter into smaller pieces and makes for a quick read.
Every You, Every Me was a fantastic novel. Every single aspect of it worked wonderfully. I was not expecting this book to be so dark. Levithan has a way with writing such realistic characters that are so fraught with emotions. Every You, Every Me is highly recommended.