Saturday, October 1, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 27, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1606841696
ISBN-13: 978-1606841693

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.

Review:

I had my expectations when I heard first read about Every Other Day in the back of the Trial by Fire ARC Egmont had sent me. In some ways I was disappointed, mostly because I've come to expect from Barnes's writing, but in others I was pleasantly surprised that she'd tackle this spectrum of the paranormal--preternatural--base. Kali was introduced as a different sort of being, not knowing any one else like her, she considered being alone and not caring was how she was going to spend the rest of her days. Except, after another day of hunting and going back to being "human", she gets approached in a pep rally at school by a psychic, and the rest is history.

Writing: I have an acquired taste for Barnes's brutal, no-nonsense style of writing. It entertains while it informs, and I don't have to worry about any bullshit being thrown at me. At times, the writing felt a bit amateur-ish, like perhaps this was a debut, but I understand the Barnes was dipping her toes into new territory, I just wish she had grown more as writer to max out this book's potential.

Plot: As expected, the plot was pretty fast-paced and didn't leave anything to be desired. It was satisfying, but some interactions with different characters and the preternatural beings themselves didn't have a sense of originality. The insta-romance between Kali and Zev was not overly done so I can't say anything bad about it, it just reminded of Bryn and Chace--from Raised by Wolves--a hell of a lot. Honestly, comparing the two novels, I have to say that Every Other Day was more intense and delved deeper into the goring aspects than Raised by Wolves, but it lacked personal connections that the latter had. Kali's regulated abilities were an interesting twist and added a much-needed originality to an otherwise unoriginal book. Even the scientist that are seriously corrupt helped the book move along, and kept me intrigued enough to finish it till the very last page.

Characters: This has to be what peeved me the most. When others read Every Other Day, they'll probably say that they had an affinity for Skylar's character the most because she was down-to-earth, helpful towards the main character, and obnoxiously cute. The only part of that sentence that I deem true, is the use of obnoxious. I know why she was such in an important--being Kali's one true friend--but I'd pick Bethany over her any day. The quality that made her the most important in the book was what ended up irritating me the most about her. Hell, I liked the brothers better and they were only semi-better characters. I just felt like the characters were very underwhelmed, not greatly developed and didn't support the plot as much as they could have. Zev, as a love interest, was so disappointing because he was just like a voice almost throughout the duration of the novel. You weren't able to see those facial expressions that tell more than words, no background on him whatsoever. Kali, however, was a well-rounded girl, being confused all the time and what not, and she was definitely more personable than any of the others.

Overall: Weighing the pros and cons, I have to say there were a lot of cons that were piling up in my head as I was reading this book, but I can't help myself from recommending it even if you're a virgin to the author's works. It will might not suck readers in immediately, but I would like to believe you'll warm up to it. I do hope this stays as a stand-alone, as I think there are way too many series out there already. However, I can see them turning into a series because of the semi-cliffhanger.

Grade: C+

Source: Netgalley

LiLi