Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (REVIEW)

EVERY OTHER DAY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published December 27, 2011 by Egmont
336 Pages // Netgalley eARC
Preorder from Amazon
Author's Website

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.
EVERY OTHER DAY is the type of book I love – well, at least love the synopsis and the general idea. Action-oriented, kickass protagonists, girl power. For the most part, Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ latest book did not disappoint. Although I have not read any of her previous books, I found myself enjoying this one with a few minor issues. This is, at the heart of the matter, a story about a girl trying to come to terms with herself with the aid of new friends, new powers, new inhabitants in her body, and lots of new, fun weapons.
Some days, the heroine of the story is human. Every other day, Kali becomes a hunter who instinctively has to hunt down paranormal critters. In her world, things like hellhounds and chupacabras and manticores are perfectly normal. You can see them in zoos. For years, she has lived with her distant science professor father hiding an ugly truth about herself. And then a classmate is infected with a chupacabra and she’s forced to intervene. The story is fun, unique, and intriguing, combining the paranormal with a world of science. As the story progresses, we learn more about Kali and her world. At times, it’s rather convoluted, strange, and confusing, giving the story one of its faults.

The other key fault I noted was choppy writing and several boring parts due to pacing issues. In such a fast-paced book, hitting slow parts immediately caused me to start skimming, which at the same  time lead me to miss key points. Barnes’ writing style is also strange, using short, choppy paragraphs way too often. In moderation, these create drama and intensity, but used several times a page was overkill.

The middle 50% of the book for me was somewhat of a letdown. If this had been the entire story, the novel would have gotten 3 hearts (or less). Luckily, a fantastic conclusion is what saves this. Although I am not quite fond of one of the twists the author took, I have to give it to Barnes – the book was for the most part awesomely fast-paced and highlighted just how badass girls can be. Girl power is one of the bases of Book Brats – strong, female role models, both teenage and adult – and I think Kali D’Angelo is a great heroine. She was strong, she was smart, and she tried to do what was best for those around her instead of what was best for her.  Along for the ride were a number of other fleshed out, rounded characters who had their own goals, own motivations, and personalities. It was a rag-tag gang, but one I quickly fell in love with.

If you are into slower books, EVERY OTHER DAY might not be for you. If you are like me and LOVE action, though, you MUST check out this book. Barnes’ writing might have flaws, along with the pacing and a few point where I scratched my head in confusion or bewilderment, but I really liked this book. Check it out!

VERDICT: Although it is not without its faults, EVERY OTHER DAY is fast-paced, exciting, and full of girl power. This book is kickass and full of bite that lovers of action-oriented reading will love.


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