Thursday, September 22, 2011

Every Other Day

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
Author's Website:

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In their words:
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. 

As soon as I began the first words on the first page, I felt Kali's anger. Yes, she's hunting and is controlled by instincts of a hunter, but she's just so angry. And it's pretty clear very soon that her anger comes from a deep place of sadness, frustration, and loneliness. Which means that her journey throughout the book is about facing that loneliness, learning that she doesn't have to be alone and letting others in. And I empathized with Kali completely, so that I wanted her to find peace and was rooting for her all the way through.

The pace of the action is incredible. Every twist and turn, every uncovered detail and bit of action came like a punch, and I actually gasped more than a few times. (Yeah, what the people on the train must've thought as I stare at my iPod and look shocked... But it's New York, everyone expects a certain amount of crazy.) It's really amazing the way, time after time, surprises pop up in one line that flips the trajectory of the story in a whole new direction as Kali searches for answers.

I like that the focus of the book is not so much on Kali finding out what she is, which is a large part of it, but it's more about relationships. And that is so perfect, the build-up of Kali letting people in and dealing, again and again, with the consequences of that. The way she learns about herself - not what she is, but who she is - from her interactions with others, and the way she reacts to what she discovers - it feels so real, and is just as important as what she does to save the world...

What's really interesting is that all the action of the book takes place over the span of only a few days, but everything is shown in such detail that you sort of feel what Kali feels, the way she's always paying attention to time so that time seems stretched. That really immersed me in the story so that I felt like I was watching the action happening, not just reading about it!

And I really like the ending - there's time to catch your breath and settle into the changes that Kali has to face, and I'm pretty sure there will be a sequel to this, because from the last couple of lines, it seems Kali's story is only beginning in this book...

Thanks to NetGalley and Egmont for providing a free digital copy for review.

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