“Every other day” Jennifer Lynn Barnes

2012. Egmont. 329 pp.

EveryOtherDayKali has a very strange life. For 24 hours she is a normal high school girl, without any friends, with a father who barely acknowledges her existence, and with tiny memories of a mother who disappeared when she was 3 years old. That life disappears in the next 24 hours when she becomes an invincible hunter, killing zombies, hellhounds and other creatures of the night and instantly healing from any wound or broken body part.

This strange half life has been hers to bear alone since the age of twelve and, having never dared let anyone in on her secret double life, Kali has no idea why she is cursed with this kind of existence.

One day Kali meets Skylar, the school outcast, who draws her out of her morbid thoughts and makes her laugh. Kali thinks she could finally have a semblance of a normal life, but everything changes when she finds an ouroboros symbol on Bethany, the head cheerleader’s, back. Everyone knows an ouroboros symbol means a blood sucking chupacabra has resided in that person and they will soon die.

Kali is trained to protect humans from predators, so she does the first thing she can think of – she entices the chupacabra into her own body. Once it does it is only a matter of time before Kali, Skylar and Bethany find themselves in the midst of a  frantic race against the clock to rid Kali of the chupacabra before her 24 hours lapse and she becomes a helpless, and dead, human.

It was very, very difficult for me to suspend my disbelief to make it through “Every other day.” Barnes went overboard to include all types of paranormal, nightmarish and mythological creatures in it, and worked overtime to make her 12-16 year old readers believe these creatures are all normal and acceptable parts of Kali’s society. In addition to finding it too fantastical, I also didn’t like the way it ended. Even though it’s not supposed to be part of a series, I have a feeling Barnes is angling for it to become one.

Thus, I will leave it up to you to decide whether you want to Read It or Not.

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