“You don’t know me. You know one me, just like I know one you. And you can’t know every me, and I can’t know every you.”
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.
If I have to review every book of David Levithan, I think I might run out of positive words to use just to describe how great he is as a writer. In this book, Every You, Every Me he truly created another stirring and extraordinary novel, making him not only talented but also clever especially after knowing how the story was weaved using random photos or images.
“A photograph it a souvenir of a memory.
It is not a moment.
It is the looking at the photograph that becomes the moment. Your own moment.”
Every You, Every Me is a dark psychological thriller that is hunting, gripping, and utterly moving. David Levithan showcase his creativity once again in this book. I am always at awe how he can turn a simple storyline to something unique and refreshing.
Evan’s interior narrative were written in a way where readers can’t help but get intrigue and at the same time sympathize with him. The use of strike outs to emphasize his unsaid thoughts and memories really works. This isn’t the first novel I read that use this style but compare to the last one I read, the strikeout work in here better, it adds depth to Evan’s characters. Knowing his self-inflicting thoughts provide a better view of his personality and his life, and at the same time makes it easier to connect with him. I can easily feel his pain and confusion through his unsaid thought. It makes me question his sanity, his role to Ariel’s disappearance/death, and even the level of his feelings for Ariel.
The intrigue and tension surrounding Ariel disappearance is very palpable. It provides the whole dark tone of the novel and gives interesting arc for the plot. David Levithan surrounded Ariel’s character with pensive sadness, add the puzzling photographs from a mysterious sender, and Evan’s scattered thoughts and tortured soul readers will surely feel the heaviness of this novel.
And like with other David Levithan’s novels, Every You, Every Me is full of David’s thought provoking ideas and views of things and life. His philosophy is scattered in the story making Evan’s thoughts more profound than a usual teenager character. David’s words as always carry something bigger and deeper in them – they are not just strings of words put together to tell a story but words of wisdom from a genius person like David.
“I had gotten so used to being alone, but never entirely used to it. Never used to it enough to stop wanting the alternative.”
As for the ending, I have a different scenario running in my head because I thought I fairly knew how David Levithan’s novel work. But I’m wrong. I was too lost into David’s words to really analyze Evan and his thoughts. I’m so sure that it was all just in Evan’s mind, that he is actually the one need the saving and not Ariel who I thought was beyond saving anymore. Luckily for the characters, I don’t write their stories.
Overall, Every You, Every Me is a poignant story that tells story of loss, grief, and redemption. It tells how it’s like to lose someone and in return lose yourself in the process. It’s beautiful, dark and gripping. Another extraordinary work from David Levithan.