Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Title: Every Other Day
Publisher: Egmont USA (2011)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“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.“ GoodReads’ blurb
There were several things which hooked me from the very beginning. World building, mostly – I mean, we’ve seen plenty of supernatural, but how often are they discovered by Darwin and considered endangered species?
The comments about hellhounds being government protected, about zombies being trained, about universities holding chairs in supernatural evolution... It was great!
The main character, Kali, was likeable and easy to sympathize with. I liked her voice, her tough moments and her weaknesses – she felt quite realistic, but first and foremost, she underwent a huge development.
At the beginning, she is completely alone. No friends, abandoned by her mother, living with a father who doesn’t even talk to her. And, to boot, she doesn’t know what she is. Death is a reality in her life.
But then, she is noticed at school. She makes her first friend. And things just spiral from there as Kali struggles to do the right thing, to keep her secrets, to care for other people, and to survive.
The fact that she’s got one hell of a hidden past and a closet full of skeletons she didn’t know a thing about was just the icing on the cake.
Action, of course, was constant and tight. I kept turning the pages, avid to know just what was going on and how Kali could ever fix it.
Heck, we even have vampires in here!
So, what felt somewhat weaker? I had two small issues towards the end. On the one hand, when we have the great confrontation and the origin of species, so to speak, is explained, I felt a bit dissatisfied. Might be because there was not enough detail, or because I’d grown so used to the idea of real supernatural creatures being just evolutionary different, that the truth revealed made me flounder a little.
It was an original truth, though.
The other issue revolves around romance. It’s not very prominent, and I think it’s expertly written in Kali’s side. I like how she dismisses him as a parasite at first, then opens up when the idea that she’s not alone in the world, that there’s at least one more like her starts to bloom. Even the... uh, I don’t want to spoil it too much, but even her anger and forgiveness at the end were justified, understandable.
In her situation, I’d have felt and acted the same way, I think.
What I don’t understand so much is his reaction. Granted, that might be because we’re seeing things through Kali’s eye, but I would have loved the author to give me more insight, to let me – no, to make me believe that he loves her. Without this added layer, the ... uh, the scene towards the end where she does something nice for him is less powerful, almost perfunctory on his part.
Avoiding spoilers in this title is hard. I must try, though, because those two things I mentioned where tiny compared to the whole thing.
If I had to sell this book to you, I’d say “Think Buffy”. Think Buffy, make the world a lot more coherent, sprinkle darker things to go bump in the night... Yes, that might come close.
Think you want to read it yet? You should!
Before I forget, though: I kind of hope this turns out to be a series. Because otherwise the ending... the ending can’t be healthy! Hope, yes, but.. so many questions!