It’s about time I took a look at a book I’ve already read. As I scanned through my recent books on Goodreads, Every Day by David Levithan caught my eye. For one, David Levithan’s books have been translated into many languages and for another, I liked Every Day a lot. The prose was wonderful and the concepts were extremely thought-provoking. (You can read my audiobook review of it here.)
Stylistically, the American and the German covers couldn’t be any more different. The American cover depicts photographic imagery while the German one portrays illustrations. If you take one glance at each cover, you wouldn’t immediately guess that these covers are of the same book. You most likely wouldn’t even expect the same story to be packaged into both of these books.
The American cover comes across as ethereal in light of these bodies floating outside of the window. At the same time, I find it peaceful and calming because nothing obstructs them as they move among the clouds. It kind of reminds me of my childhood when I thought clouds were soft and fluffy beyond this world. (I wasn’t the only one, was I? But I digress.)
In contrast, the German cover is crowded with faces. I don’t find peace in that. I am however, very intrigued by that cover. What is up with the rows and rows of faces? How are they significant? My first instinct it to look at this sea of faces and try to pick out a face that is different—one that might be the protagonist. Interestingly, there is no such face that stands out more than the others.
In terms of titles, we have Every Day versus Letztendlich sind wir dem Universum egal, which literally translated means Ultimately We Don’t Matter to the Universe. Once again, they each have a very differing focus.Every Day refers to A’s way of life. Every day A wakes up in a different body. The cover design supports that, as it portrays the drifting bodies. While A doesn’t physically drift, A’s mind and soul do and there is nothing A can do to prevent the switching of bodies.
Ultimately We Don’t Matter to the Universe takes a different approach to the story. It’s a slight bit more thought-provoking in conjunction with the cover. Seeing so many faces lined up, you’d think someone would matter. Yet each of these faces could’ve been the face of A. At the same time, they each represent different people.
On a side note, if nobody knows that A exists, then how can A matter in the universe? Within the book, A even laments that A will never have a funeral. When A dies, that is it. But how is it any different for people who do have funerals? Do they matter any more than A does when they’re dead?
The Actual Story
Interestingly, both covers captured parts of the actual story pretty well. Neither is misleading because both represent concepts that are integral to the book.
Although I think the faces on the German cover are slight bit more representative of the story itself because the different faces that A takes on are most prominent throughout. Being in different bodies determines A’s life from day to day and the interactions that A is able to have with different people.
When it comes to moving from body to body, A is usually asleep and not entirely conscious of the shifting process. In fact, staying awake makes it more painful for A, so it’s not exactly such a peaceful transition after all.
I like both! I was incredibly drawn to Every Day when I first saw it. I loved the dreamlike cover, which is what made me want to read the book in the first place. Then again, the German cover edges out the American cover a slight bit because it is that much more relevant to the story and packs a greater punch. Although, I often am taken in by photographs more than illustrations. Now I’m torn… Uhm, I pick… I pick… Still can’t make up my mind—it’s a tie for me.