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I Belong


Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Every Other Day

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: N/A

Publication Date: December 27, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 329 Pages

ISBN-10: 1606841696 (EgmontUSA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606841693 (EgmontUSA)

Reviewed by: Emmy

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: This sci-fi is an easy read with engaging characters and a fast-moving, if predictable, plot! Love the alternate history bringing demons and vampires into modern culture.

Opening Sentence: The decision to make hellhounds an endangered species was beyond asinine, but I expected nothing less from a government that had bankrolled not one, but two, endowed chairs in preternatural biology (one of them my father’s) at the University That Shall Not Be Named.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Kali is half human. Or human half the time, to be more specific. On her off days she’s something else. Something more than human. Her endurance never lags, she doesn’t feel pain, and she can find preternatural creatures as easily as she can locate weapons. And after she kills the hellhounds or basilisk or whatever she happens to be hunting, her body heals itself. That is, as long as she has enough time before the sun comes up to heal. The clock in her head is always counting, though it’s hard to know if she can’t wait to be the hunter or the human.

When her father, a professor who specializes in the preternatural, transfers her to public school Kali meets Skylar. Skylar is the School Slut, a title she wears proudly, and a social pariah. Kali could stick to her social anonymity, but she’s never been one for popularity anyway. And there’s something about the very perky Skylar that tells Kali she might need another friend. Because Skylar isn’t just a social outcast because the cheerleaders hate her, she’s also a little bit psychic. The thing is, psychics don’t exist and while Kali doesn’t believe her, she’s not supposed to exist either so she’s not about to call her new friend on it.

Because she’s sitting with the social outcasts at lunch, Kali catches sight of Bethany’s neck. Or more specifically, the ouroboros on her neck.  The ouroboros is a sign of the chupacabra infestation — a preternatural parasite humans can’t survive.

Kali isn’t human. Or, she won’t be at sunrise tomorrow. So after she plays the hero and saves the snob Bethany, she just has to stay alive long enough to save herself. But after she’s infected, Kali realizes there’s a lot more to the situation than meets the eye. For one thing, how did Bethany get infected in the first place? Who are the suits Kali barely manages to avoid in the nurses office? And how is the chupacabra talking to her? There’s a lot more to this parasite than meets the eye — and maybe more to Kali too.

When I think of the character’s in this story, Kali is definitely not my favorite. Skylar, who’s quirky and determinedly upbeat attitude, probably takes that slot. For one thing, it’s easy to guess what Kali’s going to do next because we’re in her head. Skylar’s a bit of a loose canon, who’s “little bit psychic” powers lead her into some pretty dire situations. Bethany too, is a great supporting character. Our popular princess is stronger than you’re first lead to think and Beth’s not about to abandon Kali after she saves her life.

I enjoy the premise of the story, which is why it was so easy to fall into it, but the plot is a little forced at points and a bit too convenient at others. On the whole, the narrative voice made it easy to overlook the plot holes and was a lot of fun to read. Kali’s funny and sarcastic, pulling the reader into the dark underside of the preternatural while keeping it from getting too serious. The novel’s a standalone, so you’re guaranteed a full (though somewhat predictable) plot arc. While I can appreciate the fact it’s not a series (I don’t think I’d like it nearly as much if it was) and the ending is satisfying, it does leave me wondering just what Kali will be doing next!

Notable Scene:

“Oh. My. God. What are you doing?”

“Keep your eyes closed.” I barely recognized my own voice. I’d cut my arm deeper than I’d meant to, and the blood just kept coming and coming. I thrust my arm closer to the ouroboros symbol.

“Here, kitty-kitty,” I said, unwilling to let the enormity of the moment sink in. “Auntie Kali has num-nums for you.” Nothing happened, and I lowered my voice in both volume and tone. The words came fast and then slow, and every single one of them sounded like it was being spoken

through me more than by me. “You want memories? I’ve got memories. You want

blood? I’ve got blood. You don’t want her. You want me.” Bethany stiffened. “Kali, what are you—” “Bethany. Shut. Up.”

FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Every Other Day.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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