Saturday, May 26, 2012

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 336
Series or Stand Alone: (as far as I know) Stand Alone
Summary: Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.
And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.
Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.
When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

I found Jennifer Lynn Barnes on twitter, thus creating another example of “If you’re interesting and funny on twitter, I’ll most likely read your book.” Her series is about werewolves, so I decided to check out her stand alone first. I’m still not totally sold on werewolves, and this book sounded kind of badass.
Every other day (title plug!) Kali is a not-quite-human demon hunter. With poisonous blood and an extraordinary healing ability, Kali’s every other days are filled with killing supernatural, evil beasts. On the off days, she’s a normal (read: vulnerable to danger) teenage girl waiting to go back out and fight evil. Unfortunately, she notices the mark of a chupacabra on the most popular girl in school on one of her off days. Will Kali be able to help this girl before it’s too late for either of them?
Every Other Day introduced a totally fresh paranormal concept into the world of young adult fiction: Kali is regular girl (albeit a rather unfriendly one) every other day, but when she isn’t she’s a fierce demon hunter with poisonous blood running through her veins. Everything about her is a weapon against dark creatures. Kali takes it upon herself to battle as much evil as she can in order to keep people safe. There’s a lot of science-y genetics talk in this one, what with talks of cross-breeding and whatnot, presumably because Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a science scholar. I thought it was really cool and different to apply a bunch of science-y things to a paranormal book rather than a sci-fi read. Plus, this was a paranormal book sans paranormal romance--something I find to be a rarity in the young adult world these days.
The only issue I had with this one is that I couldn’t really connect with Kali. I liked her attitude and the fact that she was completely and utterly unfriendly, but I found her to be shut off from almost everyone, including the reader (in this case, myself). I find a narrator so totally closed-off rather off-putting, especially since this was told in first person.
Other than my issues with Kali’s openness, Every Other Day was a great, totally different read. If you’re looking for a fresh take on the paranormal world sans romantic entanglements, check this one out. I’m looking forward to reading Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s other books--I grabbed both Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire on sale for Kindle last week!

Rating: 3.5-4 - fair/good.

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