Title: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Tags: young adult, paranormal, action, preternatural, psychic, telepathy, chupacabra, zombie, hellhound, vampire, dragon, basilisk, biomedical research, Darwin, hydra, alternate history, science fiction, suspense, family, friendship
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Egmont USA
Read an excerpt: Chapter 1
This book would probably be PG-13. There are no language or sex issues. The violence raises this to PG-13, but no higher.
Kali D'Angelo is just your average teenage girl...except when she's not. Every other day, Kali is something else, something stronger. A nearly indestructible hunter who is driven to slay monsters, despite all the governmental regulations protecting preternatural creatures. Then she meets Bethany Davis: daughter of her father's boss, cheerleader, high school queen bee, soon to be victim of the chupacabra which has marked her for death. Kali has less than a day to save this girl. Unfortunately it's the wrong day.
I thought the concept for Every Other Day was clever. I've seen plenty of inhumanly strong heroines, but I've never met a character who alternated between human and superhuman. And Jennifer Lynn Barnes executes the concept very well. It's got a good mix of action, character development, and world building. I'm not a huge fan of the alternate history element in this story, but that wasn't a major sticking point for me.
The book is written in the first person from Kali's perspective, which I've found in other books has led to whiny, snarky, or otherwise unlikable protagonists. Barnes doesn't fall into that trap with Kali. In fact, I found all three primary female characters to be very likable and believable. "A little bit psychic" Skylar was particularly endearing. For me, one mark of a solid character is when I start picturing an actor to portray him or her in a movie version of the story. From the beginning I had no trouble casting Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen from Twilight) in the role of Skylar. Bethany's character was deeper and more interesting than I expected at first. Not your stereotypical cheerleader after all.
I wasn't quite as happy with the male characters in the story. Zev, Elliot, and Kali's father all seemed a little flat to me. But once again, it didn't detract too much since the ladies were asked to carry the load and they were more than capable of stepping up to the challenge.
Overall, Every Other Day is a very entertaining novel. If you're hunting for a story with intense action and strong lead characters, then your literary bloodlust should be satiated by this story which is part Buffy and part Blade.