I've often perused the YA shelves looking for a brand-spanking-new urban fantasy (my favorite genre) to sink my teeth into. Funny thing, I didn't find Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes at the store. It came to me by way of a Net Galley request--my first--and I'm so freaking happy I got to read it.
People, this was my kind of book J
Kali, a sometimes human sixteen-year-old, goes to a high school where the mascot is a Kraken. No, you did not misread; I said Kraken, as in "Release the Kraken!" that fantastic line about the mythological sea creature set on destruction. (*Sigh*…I can still hear Ralph Fiennes's earth-shattering delivery in my head…perfection).
Although the creature doesn't actually make an appearance, I'm sure Kali could've taken it out. No doubt in my mind. She would've had that Kraken on its knees (tentacles??) crying like a baby in no time. Why? Because, like I said, Kali is only sometimes human.
When she's not, that's when things get interesting. The shift happens around dawn. One moment Kali's a normal human girl; the next she's a hunter, out for demon blood. Fearlessly, she faces off with hellhounds, zombies, chimera, a dragon, anything to quench the bloodlust. But everything changes when she sees the mark, a serpent eating its tail, on Bethany Davis's back. Kali does something reckless to save the girl, putting her own life at stake in the process and opening up a great big can of worms--that may or may not include bloodsucking parasites, a shady research group, action galore, and one life-altering secret.
I loved the voice of the book. Kali was such a badass! I could feel the action in every page, enjoyed watching her go after the baddies knives blazing, claws out. And the author actually gave Kali physical traits that made all of it seem possible. Her hunter instincts, the "no fear" mentality, worked because of who and what Kali was.
Another thing I liked was the side characters. Skylar, self-professed "school slut" and kinda-sorta-a-little-bit psychic, reaches out to Kali from the beginning, and I couldn't help but love her. She's one of those characters who grab you by the heartstrings and don't let go. Also, I loved her band of merry geeks--Darryl, the giant genius, especially--and Skylar's friends said just as much about her character as anything else.
The action was tremendous. Loved all the blood and gore, but the heart of the book made it shine. Kali was a stand-out heroine in a YA field where most female MCs need a guy to support them (and usually rescue them at some point). Here was a teenage girl who could take care of herself, who stood up for everyone around her.
The book's not preachy, but the message came through loud and clear: Girls can kick ass just as hard as the boys (and in Kali's case, sometimes a little harder J).
Great book, definitely recommended.