Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Source: From publisher through NetGalley
I went into reading Every Other Day expecting one type of paranormal read, but got so much more. Every Other Day was action packed from the first page to the last, it kept me guessing and wanting to read to the end. And when the end came, I wanted there to be more words.
Every other day Kali isn't human: she's something else, something indestructible, something more. Because of this she tries to stay out of the spotlight. Kali's a master at blending in and being invisible on days that she is human. Kali is also has to deal with high school, she's content to sail through, but then she's approached by Skylar, who, while she may or may not be psychic, is definitely a target for the popular crowd. By lunchtime people are noticing Kali, the last thing she wants to happen. Then she notices a strange mark on one of the popular girls. A mark that means almost certain death, if Kali can't figure out a way to save her. Over the course of the next few days, Kali's life changes in more ways than even she thought possible.
Kali was a strong main character, she was pretty kickass, but she was so much more - snarky, lonely, guarded, reluctant hero are all words and phrases that could be used to describe her. Her development as a character was fully tied into the action and plot, so that as the story progressed the reader learned more about Kali. I've seen other reviews that compared her to Buffy (a completely understandable comparison, Kali does have some Buffyesque qualities), but I think Kali was her own type of heroine. Sure, on every other day Kali feels the need to hunt and kill supernatural creatures like chupacabras, zombies and hellhounds, but she has no idea why or what she is on those days. Her human days were spent being invisible and just trying to get through the day, until Skylar approached her.
My favorite character was Skylar, with her "I'm just a little psychic" routine and the way she kept her brothers in order by which one was her favorite. Skylar knew a lot more than she let on, especially about Kali and what she would eventually learn about herself. She was Kali's biggest believer and the most courageous character - what more could you ask for in a friend?
The last of the main characters was Bethany - the popular girl Kali noticed the strange mark on. Bethany proved to be much more than the pretty Queen Bee. Her back story was heartbreaking and added so much to her character. After meeting her parents, it was easy to see what she acted the way she did. In her own way, she kept people at a distance, only showing them what she wanted them to see. In this, Bethany and Kali were very much alike. It was a lot of fun watching Bethany and Kali's friendship evolve throughout the course of the novel.
The action starts from the first page, with Kali in full hunter mode, and lasts pretty much through to the end. There were a few spots were the breakneck pace did slow down, but these passages were welcome because it gave me the opportunity to process everything that had happened up until then. The mystery surrounding Kali's hunter days was brilliantly executed. A few times I thought I knew where this plot thread was going, only to be led in a completely different direction. Ms. Barnes leaves little hints and clues throughout the narrative, but they came together in a slightly unexpected way that made go back and reread whole passages so that I could see how they all came together.
There are so many other things I want to talk about in regards to Every Other Day, but I don't want to spoil any of the details. Definitely read Every Other Day if you want a different take on paranormal.