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Review: Every You, Every Me

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Every You, Every Me
Release Date: September 13. 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 245
Buy The Book: Amazon

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.

I have always heard such raving reviews for any of David Levithan's work. So on my first trip to the Austin Teen Book fest I was ecstatic to purchase this book and have it signed. I added it to the bookshelf with all my other pretties and never gave it another thought. After reading The Lover's Dictionary I was in awe of his work, and this year, I finally decided to dust this off and give it some much needed attention!

I hate to say it, but I was really disappointed in Every You, Every Me. I love the idea of a story unfolding not just on pages full of written word, but also through the use of photography. Some time back I read Chopsticks, and also Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and was swept away by the unique use of storytelling.

I'll start first with the photography. Photography is what should really set this book apart and make it unique. The pictures should be rich, whether they are in color or in black and white, after all, they are telling a story. Unfortunately, the pictures looked old and cheap. I know when you fill a book with photo's, it can get costly to transfer it to print, but this looked so cheaply done that it didn't stand out at all. It came across like a low budget film and it really detracted from the book.

The book itself, did not fare much better. I love intriguing tales, especially ones that have a physological twist. Call me a weirdo but those really excite me! Even though the book itself was on the short side, I found Every You, Every Me, to move very slowly. It didn't capture my attention and suck me in, the way I expected it to.

Then there was the use of strike-out in the writting. You know, like this.   I was never sure if I was supposed to omit those parts, or strain my eyes to read through all the black lines. WHAT DO I DO??? I felt like writing David Levithan to ask for a users manual on this. I finally realized there was so much of THIS  in the book that it must be intended to be read. After a while, it really, REALLY, got on my nerves. Can you imagine an entire book like this? I could go on about how annoying this was, but I'll stop myself there. 

All in all, for me both the photography and the writing were not up to snuff this time around. The books description made this seem much more interesting and exciting than the book itself actually was.

If your looking to try a story told through written word AND the use of photography, check out Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony, or Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. They will both blow your mind! While I really did not enjoy Every You, Every Me, I am not counting David Levithan out just yet!


  1. I think this is the only David Levithan book I have not read! And yeah, I remember you not being a fan of strike out writing in Shatter Me either.

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

  2. I actually have not a single Levithan book and I'm intending on keeping it that way. the cross outs worked so well in shatter me but it does get annoying if WHOLE sentences are crossed out like that! and i completely get what you mean about the cheap looking photographs.. either they do it well or just omit it entirely. Great review!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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