Every You, Every Me is David Levithan’s latest book, based on an interesting concept where photographer Jonathan Farmer would send Levithan photos which were a mystery and Levithan would then write the story in between receiving photos. What results is a dark picture of adolescence.
Evan’s best friend Ariel is gone. As readers we don’t know where she went and are kept in the dark as to whether she is alive or not until the very end. Evan begins to receive mysterious photographs and notes relating to Ariel’s disappearance. The photographs and notes are not cheerful and are rather unnerving. Evan then begins to question himself and his decisions. He becomes obsessed with the photographs and discovering the identity of the person who is sending them. He is not the only one receiving photos, also receiving is Ariel’s old boyfriend Jack. And we get this contrast between Jack who is attempting to move on in his life without Ariel and Evan who can’t seem to let go or adjust.
The writing style is what I would call typical David Levithan. There is sparse prose with what seems to be painstakingly chosen phrases with no words wasted. Every You, Every Me contains lots of strike-throughs, which is confusing. As a reader, I wasn’t sure how to read them. Was I supposed to skip the strike-throughs and read as though they weren’t there and then go back to read the strikes to see how they would change the meanings of the phrases? I suppose a more literary reader could appreciate the form, but it wound up frustrating me. But, it’s a small bit to put up with while reading.
In all, I thought Every You, Every Me would make a fantastic quick read for reluctant readers, especially the cynical type who know that being a teenager isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and crushes.
Disclosure: Received For Review From Amazon Vine.