Book: Another Day

"Another Day"

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day–a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person…wasn’t Justin at all.

Work and, life in general, pulled me away from reading books and writing about them in this blog. And then one book comes along to bring me back. Because how can I not write about David Levithan’s Another Day?

Every Day was one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years, and when I found out that Levithan released a companion book that details the events through Rhiannon’s eyes instead of A’s? I was sold. I had to buy the book. I had to read it immediately after. And unlike some recent readings, Another Day compelled me to write about it as soon as I finished.

And not because I want to rave about it.

It’s not bad. Another Day is actually a very fast and very good read, and I feel like I can discuss the book’s themes of love, gender, identity, appearances, etc. for hours. The writing is solid. Scratch that. The writing is just as amazing as before. And Levithan really takes you back to the first time you’ve read Every Day. He brings you back that feeling of falling in love with a book for the first time–with a story that he’s already told.

But once the feeling passes, you realize… You’re reading a story that he’s already told. And some parts of that story, the ones that really make Every Day stand out before, is no longer present in Another Day. And then, you discover, you don’t actually want to read a recounting of a story you’ve already been told–regardless of the fact that it now centers on a different character, and offers a different perspective.

Reading Another Day makes me want to have a sequel for Every Day. Not just to find out what happens to A, the main protagonist of the book, but also to find out what happens to Rhiannon after the ending she was given.

And this brings me to questioning the need to publish Another Day. Every Day was perfect as it is. The ending might have been open, but it felt like the perfect ending befitting the story that was told. Releasing Another Day feels like riding the coattails of that success, and smells of the publishers pushing to milk a successful book.

How necessary was Another Day? If this becomes as successful as the book from which it was spun off, would this become a precedent for future releases? Will all successful books now be re-released from a different point of view?

It would be a problem if these future possibilities are treated with respect, and are given actual thought, like what happened with Another Day. But what if, instead, we are given something akin to Grey? Do we need more books like those? Do we want this second perspective books to become a fad?

I would rather have sequels or more original stand-alone’s.

5 thoughts on “Book: Another Day

  1. This is the problem I have with this type of book. Particularly Grey, I couldn’t even finish that one. Even when there’s room for a sequel, retelling the same story from another person’s point of view is rarely a good idea.

    • Seeing as I hadn’t picked up any of the Fifty Shades books, including Grey, I don’t think I have the right to comment on its writing and content. 🙂

      But, with regards to Another Day, I agree that it isn’t a good idea to just stick with the same timeline. Because while we are getting new insights, we already know where the story is going–and while readers can still like it (I did, I admit), it doesn’t change the fact that it didn’t really have anywhere new to go. 😦

  2. Gayle Forman had a really good strategy for this with “If I Stay” and “Where She Went”: “If I Stay” was from the girl’s POV, then she wrote a sequel, “Where She Went”, from the guy’s POV. So it’s not a retelling of the first story from the guy POV, but what happened after the events of the first book is now from the guy’s POV instead of the girl’s. It was interesting because there’s a new story, but you also get important insights into the guy’s thoughts during the events of the first book. I thought that was a pretty clever way to do the changing POV thing. 🙂

    • you’re right. that is a better way of doing this change of POV thing.
      but, I think what bothers me the most about this is the fact that, in the end, Levithan makes it pretty clear that there will be an actual sequel. so this whole Another Day thing, while still touching and heartfelt, was still pointless. 😦

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