Saturday, March 24, 2012

Every Other Day

Every Other Day
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
December 2011
Reading Level: YA

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've heard nothing but good things about Jennifer Lynn Barnes' books, and so when I picked up Every Other Day I was beyond excited to read it.

I was a little put off by the idea behind it, to tell you the truth. The book is targeted toward Buffy fans, and since I'm kind of indifferent to Buffy I wasn't sure what to expect. I also wasn't totally drawn in by the description on the back cover.

Nevertheless, I took the leap and gave it a try. Fortunately, I found the book to be very enjoyable. My only minor problem is that it seemed really, really far-fetched. I understand that that's the point with supernatural books like this, but with this book it just seemed a little bit contrived. This alternate world that Barnes was creating just didn't feel effortless to me.

Other than that, I was completely drawn into the story. I loved Kali's character. She's strong, independent, and yet she feels completely alone. Up until this point in her life, she's been happy with being alone, but now that she's been given a good dose of friendship she realizes just how lonely she really is. Her emotional and physical journeys throughout the book are both believable and give the reader a true sense of understanding and compassion for her.

I also loved the eccentricity of Skylar, one of Kali's new friends. Bethany showed some, but not a lot, of the same sort of depth of character that Kali showed, and I think without their depth the story would have lost a lot of its power and meaning. As it is, the characters and their struggles really brought the story together.

The conclusion of the story was satisfying and unsatisfying all at once. I can see where the story could end here, because Kali's life has sort of fallen into place, but I can also see where the story could easily be built upon into a series. That being said, Every Other Day is meant to be a standalone, and so readers may have to use their imagination for some aspects that may not have been tied up as neatly as they could have been.

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