cover image Every You, Every Me

Every You, Every Me

David Levithan, photos by Jonathan Farmer. Knopf, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-375-86098-0

Levithan (Love Is the Higher Law) is back with an unusual book that has an equally unusual path to creation; in his afterword, Levithan explains that the novel was inspired by the cover photograph, and that the book’s mystery was shaped by photographs Farmer supplied him along the way. High school students Evan, who narrates, and Jack, both loved troubled Ariel and feel guilty for the role they played in her being “gone.” When Evan finds a photograph in an envelope, it leads him to other images and to the conclusion that someone is stalking them, someone who blames them for what happened to Ariel. Through the haunting photographs, redacted text (much of the text has been struck through, as Evan edits, revises, and negates his thoughts and feelings), readers learn more about Ariel’s mental problems and the psychological damage Evan feels in her absence. There is a lot of emotional buildup, and readers may feel let down by the unraveling of the mystery. Even so, this book will challenge readers to reconsider storytelling and what it means to know and truly care for someone. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)