Every You, Every Me by David Levithan, Photographs by Jonathan Farmer
A guest review from Teen Room staff Marisa!
This book has an interesting format; photographs accompany the story. What's even cooler is that the photographer sent the pictures to the author one by one, without knowing the story being written, and the author wrote the story to include every photograph. The end result is fascinating; for once I loved the pictures just as much as the rest of the story. Some of them were beautiful, but mostly they felt eerie. They set the tone for the text and added to the overall weirdness of the reading experience.
The plot of the book centers around Evan, who misses his best friend Ariel, who never appears in the story except in memories. Photographs of himself and/or Ariel and other events from the past months begin appearing, but he has no idea who they are from. He shares the pictures with Ariel's boyfriend, Jack, who doesn't quite believe him. It isn't revealed what happened to Ariel until the end of the book, but Evan spends a lot of time remembering the events of the last few months and obsessing over his actions. As is common with Levithan, beware of extreme anxiety and whining. This book is equal parts mystery, psychology, and guilt.
I'm not normally a fan of David Levithan; I have a hard time finishing some of his books. However, I loved this book, despite the fact that it was creepy. If you have issues with strike-through text, (as in Wintergirls) then this book will likely annoy you as it is told through the thoughts of Evan, including those he represses. If you don't mind the style, it's worth reading just to see how the author and photographer collaborated.