Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other Day
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
336 Pages
Published by Egmont USA

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.

When I first read the synopsis I thought, “Oh, like if Buffy was only Buffy on alternating days.” And there were some similarities to Buffy, but it’s not derivative at all. Every Other Day stands on its own quite well. Comparing the two is fair due solely to subject matter, but outside of the idea of a girl demon fighter they don’t really have much in common. And frankly, I found Kali to be a bit more badass than Buffy.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. A young girl fights beasties for 24 hours and then reverts to her normal, human self for 24 hours. So what, exactly, is Kali and what causes these changes in her? Even she’s not really sure. She’s never met anyone else like her. And while as the book goes on these questions get answered, I thought it was a nice touch that Kali struggled with her identity. It added dimension to the story. It also added dimension that people were actually aware of the existence of these monsters. And not only did they know about them, they protected them as endangered species. So while Kali was out saving people from supernatural creatures, she was actually breaking the law and had to be careful to hide what she was doing. I loved this.

I also liked Barnes’ writing. She keeps it simple but still has really good world building and believable dialogue. And there’s some science! Kali herself is likeable enough, but her new friend Skylar is awesome. One of the coolest characters I’ve seen in a book in a while. Zev I was less sure about, but for the amount of time he actually got he was an ok enough character. There were some interesting little twists and turns near the end of the book that I didn’t see coming.

In short, Every Other day has a little of everything – paranormal, science, romance, villains, monsters, and drama. Is this a series? I think it’s a standalone and as frustrating as I find it that every book seems to be part of a series these days, this one legit could be and I’m pretty sure it’s not.

4/5 stars (maybe a little higher than 4 – 4.25?)

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