Every You, Every Me by David Leviathan

every you every me

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. (Goodreads)

David Levithan is for me an author who is always worth a read. It seems like anything he turns his hand to comes out pretty good, mostly excellent, going by a lot of the reviews that I have read on blogs and Goodreads. My first experience of Levithan was last year, in Italy while I was cooking my skin golden brown in a bikini next to the pool. Since then I have wanted to read more of his work, but trying to find any decent book written in English where I live is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So, when I got the opportunity to read this, I jumped – figuratively speaking. I read a few reviews on Goodreads before starting and it seems to me that this book is a bit like marmite; people either loved it or they hated it, there was no in between. Personally, I am a marmite lover and I was also a fan of this book. Again, try and find marmite in Germany… you can’t (but I do have a pot in the cupboard!).

I started this book last night, was forced to put it down because my body was moaning at me to go to sleep like a normal pregnant woman in the middle of the night (it was also trying to get me to get up and get a snack!), and I carried on this morning after chucking the hubby out of bed so that he would make it work on time. I had it finished before my daily morning call with my dad – usually at about 7:40 (he assumes I am awake this early in the morning!). Safe to say that this book had me hooked. Even now I am sat thinking about it (which is good since I am reviewing it!). The weird thing is though, I don’t know how to explain how I felt about this book in a way that absolutely anyone who lives outside of my head would understand. I guess I should start with the basic fact that I enjoyed it.

I was worried when I first actually opened the book that I was going to be forced to put it straight back down again. Half of the text was crossed out, which would normally bug the hell out of me. However, I was intrigued at the same time because of the authors use of language – the constant use of the word you, like I was somehow part of the story and part of the reason for the main characters suffering. I almost asked myself what I had done and then remembered that I am just a reader. I felt drawn in because of the constant use of personal references.

As I carried on reading I found that the crossed out writing wasn’t actually as annoying as it first seemed and actually added character to the book. The crossed out writing was almost like the personal thoughts of Evan, our main character. His personal thoughts (the crossed out writing) often conflicted against that which he decided to show the rest of the world – our public image. I think that no matter how honest a person is, there will always be the personal thoughts and feelings that will never get said because of either the reaction of the public or simply because it is too personal to share. Everyone upholds a public image of some form or another, and this was shown through Levithan’s writing in his own creative way.

I think the pictures also added a little bit of depth to the story because we were presented with the images that were disturbing the main character so badly, rather than having to leave it to the imagination – as is the way with most stories.  I was more worried about this aspect of the book because I was unsure if it was going to work or not. After reading Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children a while back, and finding that the photo’S did nothing to help the storyline whatsoever, I was wary about actually going into another book that had used this style of writing. It worked though *wipes forehead*.

Throughout the book, I was constant left wondering if this, the way in which the character was acting, thinking and feeling, was how people who are mentally disturbed think. If they always felt so disjointed and unravelled in the way that our main character felt. I am no expert whatsoever when it comes to mental illness and it is probably something that should rectify and study more – but I wondered how anyone could cope in any respect when they constantly feel like the characters that were presented within the book.

This book isn’t for everyone – it is one of those that you are going to have to read and experience for yourself to find out if you are a lover or a hater, but I personally enjoyed it! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

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