Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: EVERY OTHER DAY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 by: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published: December 27, 2011 by Egmont USA
Source: Library copy
Genres: YA • Paranormal • Vampires • Zombies • Demons • Supernatural Abilities • Action • Suspense • Dragons • Sci-Fi • Mystery • Very Mild Romance

 TECHNICALLY 3.4 rounded to 3

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. 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.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Everything but the kitchen sink. The whole enchilada. This book had pretty much everything... and that may have been a little too much. Don't get me wrong... I still gave it a very good rating, but I did feel there were a few items thrown in the mix that made it a bit overwhelming and a tad unpolished.  

I found the premise of the story incredibly unique. A girl who for one day was this incredibly powerful being with all these wondrous physical aspects and the next, just a regular human. Then back again. A never ending cycle. Toss in mythological creatures, mysterious enemies along with life and death problems and you had a strong concept. 
Where the book fell a bit flat was with the writing of the parents and the traditional Bad Girl Stereotype. Kali's initial nemesis is the rich, blond, cheerleader captain, gossip/bully typical stereotype. Sigh. I wish that character type had been a little more inventive. 

However, Barnes brought us a dragon. COOL. I can't say any more because I don't want to give away spoilers but that thing was just plain awesome. The range of creatures and multiple mythologies that were brought together was impressive. 

How they merged into a single concept was relatively seamless. I felt the plot overall was well planned and thought through. She had mixed together so many concepts that my head was spinning... in a good way!

SKYLAR was my favorite character by far out of the batch. Random, spunky and oddly amusing, she lit up every scene she graced. Kali was a bit flat for me. It seemed like she was not so unusual but rather the typical kick-a heroine. Maybe I was searching for more creativity to her personality to match her physical uniqueness. Maybe it was her lengthy "woo-is-me" monologues that irritated me like beach sand stuck in my swimsuit. 

It kind of reminded me of Charlie Brown. How he goes around talking about how nobody loves him, or plays with him. We see the ball get snatched away before he can kick it. I have always felt so bad for him and wished things he could have justice. Sorry to say, but after a half hour of listening to him... I become annoyed nonetheless. My "Go Kali" finger waved wildly for her, but I also became fatigued by her... same as good old Charlie.

Elliot was kind of a one-note wonder. I kept thinking there would be some kind of surprise from him or a shocking revelation, but alas, none. In hind sight maybe it was a good thing those two characters were on the bland side, because the rest of the cast was anything but. Some of the characters were so twisted and enigmatic that I still don't know what to make of them. That told me this book has serious launch-into-orbit possibilities as a series. The character development was so creative because it wasn't just about the mental/emotional changes. That is ALL I can say on that.

We had some serious, hard-core fight scenes. My heart felt crumpled and tramped on like a hot dog wrapper at a Met's game during a particularly harsh section. The book was emotionally gritty and organically harsh. Barnes did not mince meat about the emotional toll that comes from parental neglect and bullying from peers. 

Unfortunately, there were certain phrases and descriptions that were used repeatedly. One of which was the laundry list rundown of Kali's abilities. It acted like a speed bump to slow the pace and generally distracted me from reading. There were several  mythology and general storyline inconsistencies as well. All these issues I felt could have been addressed with a good editor. 

One aspect I really enjoyed was all the twists and turns to the plot. I really was blindsided by much of what happened. I must say there was an overall flavor to the book that reminded me of the ENTICE and ANGELFIRE series. What made this a spicier novel was the turned-on-its-side plot and giant mish-mash collection of beings. 

My feeling is that this book has some traction and if it becomes a series... as long as they get a good editor to polish and catch the little things... you will have a classic in the making.

If you love creatures of all paranormal kinds, mystery, action and suspense.. you will not want to wait another day to get a copy for yourself!