Book Review: Every You Every Me by David Levithan

EVERY YOU, EVERY ME by David Levithan
Publication Date: September 13th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Rating: |

Summary: 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.

Review Overview:

  • Writing style forced me slow down when reading
  • The photographic addition to the narrative is different, but I can’t say I was stunned by the photography
  • Not my favorite Levithan book but still worth picking up for the mystery

The style of EVERY YOU, EVERY ME is not one that I’ve encountered before. At his book signing, Levithan properly gave credit to the author that used it first, but of course, I can’t remember who that certain author is. Written from the perspective of Evan, the narrative style is very stream of consciousness. Evan says whatever he wants to, but he constantly strikes out words when he second guesses what he says. You’ll see a lot of excess adjectives crossed out; sometimes entire sentences. I found that the writing style forced me to slow down while I read. While it made me appreciate the style a bit more, I also found it a lot more challenging to read. The combination of constant striked out sentences and the stream of consciousness writing felt extremely choppy to me. The novel doesn’t flow as much as I preferred as a reader, and as a result, I read a lot slower than usual.

Of course, it’s difficult to talk about this book without touching on the photographs – because let’s be honest: that’s one of the other reasons that make this book unique. Levithan worked with his friend Farmer to create a novel that worked with photographs. Farmer took each photograph featured in the book and it was up to Levithan to find a way to incorporate every single one. Farmer had no idea what Levithan was writing, and Levithan had no idea what photograph would follow. It was great to take a break from the usual storytelling format, but I wouldn’t say that I was stunned by any of the pictures in the book. I love the idea that both of them were able to work so well together to create a story – even if they had no idea that it would work at the time.

Nonetheless, the mystery behind Ariel kept me hooked. I had some theories as to what had happened to her, but Levithan still managed to keep me on my toes the entire time. Just when I thought I was coming to a conclusion, the characters would just say something that made me second-guess myself.

The combination of photographs and choppy sentences also makes this book a really short read. The book isn’t long to begin with, and since many pages are not filled entirely with text, it is very easy to read this book in one sitting.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of David Levithan. This one isn’t my favorite work of Levithan, so I wouldn’t exactly recommend this book to someone who has never picked up one of his works. However, if you’re really in the mood for a book that will keep you guessing, pick this one up!

If I wasn’t such a huge Levithan fan, I would have been disappointed that I bought this book instead of just borrowing it from the library. This one is definitely a Borrow It for me if it was written by anyone else.

Why I’m Biased: David Levithan is one of my favorite authors. Ever. So I admit I have a tendency to hold high standards.

Other Reviews:
Gone with the Words
Good Books & Good Wine

About the Author

David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children’s book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

Find the Author

Website | Twitter | GoodReads


  1. Aw, this is so depressing. I always have very high hopes for Levithan’s books. Of course, I’ll still check it out, but I just won’t expect much.

    Thanks, Cialina. :)

  2. Aww, too bad the book didn’t hold up to your expectations. But I find it amazing that the photographer, Farmer and David Levithan managed to work together so well when they were practically blindfolded during the process. Wow!

  3. I’m sorry it wasn’t quite what you expected. It sounds very interesting, but I’m not sure I would be able to handle reading it. I’ll probably wait until I can pick it up from the library.

    Thanks for the honest review!

  4. Hi my names Lea and I was wondering if it would be a good book to get my boyfriend for Christmas he loves mystery book and hes 13 . He has read art thief and wonderstruck If you have any other books that mite be good then please post a comment . I need your help


    1. Has your boyfriend read THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET? It’s by the same author as Wonderstruck. I wouldn’t say that Every You Every Me is the best book to give someone who likes mysteries though. :/

      You should also check out: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Percy Jackson series, and The Maze Runner series by James Dashner.

      Good luck!

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