This book blew my mind! The concept of a body being inhabited by a soul that is totally asexual, who then falls in love with a girl, who then meets the soul inhabiting other bodies, and is still in love with it! How crazy is that?!
‘A’ is a soul that inhabits a different 16 year old body every day. At the beginning of the book it goes into the body of Justin, a thuggish boy who treats him girlfriend badly. His girlfriend is called Rhiannon. ‘ A’ feels an immediate connection with Rhiannon and plans the perfect afternoon with her at the beach. It is obvious that she loves Justin and although she can tell that he is different she just enjoys the day. The next morning when ‘A’ wakes up it is in the body of Leslie Wong, a girl. Luckily most of the bodies that ‘A’ inhabits live within driving distance from Rhiannon so ‘he’ can still see her, the challenge is getting her to A. accept that its the same soul but in a different body and, B. the strength of feeling towards her.
It’s difficult even writing about ‘A’ because I want to say ‘he’ all the time, I suppose because stereotypically it is a man who loves a woman, but that’s what challenges us in this book. Love is not about male and female or male and male or female and female, it’s just love. Because ‘A’ does not have a gender it makes the love even more poignant. To persuade Rhiannon that she can love a soul, or personality if you like, and look beyond the body is what we, as the reader, are being asked to do too. For us, we meet someone, like the look of them and then the process of love begins, this book is taking away that beginning and just asking us to get to know the personality inside. Almost like internet dating!
I love this book; I love the fact that it is challenging stereotypes, I love the different teenagers that are inhabited every day and how, in the end they all get a bit confused at the things they are doing when ‘A’ is controlling them, but they are, in essence all still struggling with the same issues and think they are the only ones. The square kid who goes to a party so that ‘A’ can see Rhiannon, the twins who both look the same but have visits from ‘A’ on consecutive days, the goth girl, the jock – all parts of teenage life are there for us to experience through the consciousness of ‘A’. you know when you’re reading it that it can’t possibly have a happy ending but you want it to, so much!
The book stretches our concept of why we love; ‘A’ is in a female body and asks Rhiannon for a kiss – such a lovely description of a first kiss but with the challenge that Rhiannon is not gay and therefore feels a little weirded out by it.
This book is in my top ten books of all time, and I’ve read a lot of books! It will make you laugh and cry, and wish that someone will love you so completely that they are willing to give up eternity to spend a day with you. Go and read it: now!