Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Advance Review

Book Jacket:

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.

You can read an excerpt here.


With action, intrigue, and teen camaraderie galore, Every Other Day is one very fun read.

A tale of teen protags who fight the creatures that go bump in the night is hardly novel territory, but Barnes takes a slew of our favorite tropes, dusts off the angst and brooding, and takes us back to the pre-Twilight era of paranormal fun. This story is a throwback, in the best sense (think Buffy, or Dark Angel), so of course it has a girl with “powers”, a team of Scoobies, and a nefarious Big Bad to battle – but Every Other Day still manages to bring a fresh feel to the proceedings, with spunky and distinct female characters, interesting family and friend dynamics, and plenty of action (not to mention sly fun at academia’s expense). This book just made me smile.

First off, I really enjoyed the elegant simplicity of Barnes’ world-building – instead of a secret world hitherto undiscovered, here we have a world where the paranormal beasties have long since been let out of the bag (by none other than Darwin himself), allowing Barnes to play with the weird and strange while neatly dodging the “What IS that?!? That CAN’T be real!?!” moments. I was also highly amused by Barnes’ lovingly exasperated take on how academia would treat the beasties of myth and legend (of course someone would try and tame zombies, Pavlovian style…) It was effortless to slip into this world, no heavy info-dumping required.

I also very much enjoyed the premise behind Kali’s powers – the idea of an on again, off again Superwoman is just fun. As for the why of it all, yes, the end game isn’t what I’d call particularly novel, but the path to discovery was entertaining enough that I didn’t mind a whit. Kali is just fun to spend time with – of course her secret makes her a bit of an outsider, but she’s also snarky, all around intelligent, and a kick-ass friend. Kali’s crew is equally entertaining: from Skylar, the quirky, maybe-a-little-or-not-so-little psychic (who nearly steals every scene she’s in), to Skylar’s popular brother and his mean-girl cheerleader girlfriend (the Cordelia, if you’re a Buffy fan), not to mention Kali’s mysterious love interest, Barnes puts together a crack monster busting team.

Also, I have to say, it’s downright lovely to see a female lead whose life doesn’t revolve around one all consuming love interest. Aside from her boy, Kali also has to figure out not only how to deal with her new friends, but also how to connect with her distant father – and I particularly loved where Barnes went with Kali’s father. Their father/daughter relationship starts out in a rather stereotypical place, so I was surprised and delighted when Barnes peeled off the facade and turned in into something meaningful. All in all, I just really like how Barnes makes Kali a complete person.

As for the plotting itself – well, if you’re a fan of The X-Files or any such paranormal fare, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea where it’s all going (I did get a bit ahead of the story), but you’ll be having more than enough fun not to mind. And I really, truly loved how Barnes ended this story – both for the emotional punch it packs (and wow, does it hit) and for the way it’s entirely satisfying in and of itself yet still leaves plenty of hope for a sequel. (Barnes swears she has no plans for a sequel – but is also the first to admit she has yet to write a book where she didn’t end up penning a sequel, so there’s a strong chance there will be more of Kali to come.)

My one grumble with this book is the telepathic connection between Kali and her love interest – honestly, I thought it was just too similar to the love connection in Barnes’ Raised by Wolves series. The device is useful, plot-wise, and the intimacy of it creates chemistry, but I’ve just seen it before – and of all the things I’ve seen before in this book, this is the only one that really pinged my been there, done that radar.

Still, all in all, this book is just fun. Yes, it has a familiar air to it, but it manages to come across in a joyful, revivalist way instead of being just another tired paranormal YA retread. Every Other Day is a sheer celebration of old school paranormal fun, and believe me, this is one party you don’t want to miss.

Byrt Grade: A-

As Levar Burton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

The Novel Strumpet says:

Kick butt female character? Check. Urban Fantasy? Check. Interesting spin on the supernatural? Check. Wee bit (and I mean wee bit) of romance? Check? 

Nose in a Book says:

This book is great for anyone you likes supernatural YA – there’s beasties, a badass heroine and even a little love story but not one that makes you feel like you’re about to enter a sugar coma. All in all, this is a great read…

Publishers Weekly says:

The conspiracies and supernatural threats vie for time with lone-wolf Kali’s attempts to deal with two potential friendships; all of the conflicts come to a head in an extended but gripping climax. Fans of adult-oriented urban fantasy should enjoy this as much as teens looking for a contemporary Buffy.