In his shoes-A A +A
Thursday, October 11, 2012
WHEN I first learned about “A”, I got excited and I wanted to meet him/ her (I was not sure at the time) right away. When I first met “A”, I was in awe, and my world – in a way – turned upside down.
“A” is a 16-year-old who “inhabits” different bodies of teenagers every day since he was a child, the protagonist in the new novel penned by David Levithan published just last August. Every single day he wakes up in the body of a person close to his age, some days as male, other days as female. He was used to this life, until he woke up in the body of one teenage guy whose (neglected) girlfriend he fell in love with. Since that very special day, he started to question his existence, and realized that all this time he had been missing out on a lot, owing to the way he is.
I found the book really, really sad.
Has there ever been a point in your life when you felt like you were drowning in problems? Do you ever get tired of your life, sometimes wishing you were in someone else’s body, living somebody else’s life?
“A” lived like that, every single day of his life. And it was a damned existence. There were no relationships to speak of. No parents to remember ever growing up with, no childhood friends to have fun with, no special memories to cherish, no mistakes to look back to and learn from – every situation differs each day. A few chapters into the book I was melancholic, but at the same time got an A-ha moment for myself.
We all tend to be bored by our everyday constants, by the consistency of things. Many of us look for new things and new experiences to try because oftentimes we are on the verge of a breakdown doing the same (or similar) things every day of our lives. We long for something new – a clean break, if you may – and sometimes pretend that if we do get the chance to try it out some of our problems will simply go away. Reading this book, however, makes me realize how dreadful the alternative of ‘normal’ would be; how terrible it would actually feel, and be, if you were to live other people’s lives.
Being a book lover who simply gets lost in anything I am reading I will not divulge the ending; if you find the premise interesting enough then there is no reason to deprive you of that wonderful journey. It actually felt like walking with no direction, yet not wanting to turn back. When I finished reading, it took quite some time before my world started turning again. Few days later, remembering it still takes my breath away.
David Levithan makes my heart soar, and ache, in wonderful ways.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 11, 2012.