Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

‘Just An Ordinary Day’ Takes On A Whole New Meaning

Forever Young Adult presents a book review of Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

‘Just An Ordinary Day’ Takes On A Whole New Meaning

BOOK REPORT for Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Cover Story: At Least It's Not Hands Holding An Apple
BFF Charm: Make It Rain!
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Straight Up Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Bonus Factors: Darwin
Relationship Status: Crush

Cover Story: At Least It's Not Hands Holding An Apple

Okay, it's got the red and black thing going on, but over all I much prefer this kind of cover to anything with headless bodies or closeups of faces. Plus, it totally represents.

The Deal:

Every other day Kali D'Angelo is a normal high school student. She keeps her head down and avoids the popular mean girls. But it's the days in between that concern her, because every 24 hours, Kali wakes up as something other. On those days she's faster and stronger. And predatory. Those are the days she's really worried about getting in trouble, because those are the days that she hunts hellhounds and zombies and other creatures the government has recently put on the endangered species list. HOLD THE PHONE. Yes, you did just read that.

See, Kali lives in a world where Charles Darwin's work expanded far beyond the theory of evolution to the discovery of dragons and chupacabras and other creatures we all thought were mythological. And now they have all been classified, and yes, some of them are federally protected.

When Kali notices that one of her fellow students has been marked by a chupacabra, she acts on instinct, taking the parasite into her own body to save the other girl. After all, Kali only has to make it through the day and she'll be strong enough to fight the thing. And THAT'S when things get interesting.

BFF Charm: Make It Rain!

Girl, I feel you. It's hard to be different. Especially when you've been carrying around a secret as big as yours for five years. So while I got a little bit tired of your inner monologue explaining things to me again and again about how different you and I are, I was able to look past that to the kick ass heroine you are. You just need some folks to share your shit with.

Bethany and Skyler I L U both so much!!!!! Bethany is one of my favorite archetypes: the hard-ass popular girl with a heart of gold and a mouth of steel. She could have easily fallen prey to the evil cheerleader trap, but instead she proved just how much she deserves her favor. And Skyler is so unbelievably cute and determined and so confident in the fact that she's "a little bit" psychic, even when no one believes in her, I just wanted to keep her in my pocket so she'd always be close.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Imagine you're a supernatural being, and you're all alone in this world, with nobody to talk to, and no one to tell. And then imagine, while crazy shizz is going down around you, you start being able to telepathically communicate with someone who just might be like you. And that someone is an intense boy with dark hair and gray eyes. And he's being held captive! And very bad things are happening to him! That right there is a surefire swoon recipe for Jennys.

Talky Talk: Straight Up Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Jennifer Lynn Barnes brings excellent pacing with action that starts right out of the gate, really great world building and classic sci-fi and fantasy elements, while the voice of Kali felt legitimately that of a modern teen. Barnes also doesn't shy away from violence, and delivers a couple of legit gut punches. The premise is original in a time when almost every fantasy genre has been done to death.

Things do get a little bit convoluted during the climax, with both the romance and the lore, but with this being the first in a series, I think she'll be able to tie it all together in future installments. And even with the few issues I had, overall I felt thoroughly satisfied.

Bonus Factor: Darwin

Why don't more YA books feature Darwin and science? Even if it's an alternate version of him? I love the idea of Darwin as a rapscallion adventurer, traipsing around the world like a Robert Scott, discovering heretofore unbelieved-in species.

Casting Call:

Kat Dennings as Kali

Taissa Farmiga as Skyler

Henry Cavill as Zev

Bridgit Mendler as Bethany

Relationship Status: Crush

I met this book on the internet, which can be still dubious, even in this age of cyber dating -- this book could have turned out to be a 54-year old who still lived in its parent's basement for all I knew. But once we started chatting, I couldn't wait to find out more about it. It blew my mind with its theories and views on fantasy and sci-fi and life and love. Maybe it wasn't all lurve at first click, but we're building a solid like, so I can't wait for future installments so we can chat some more.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my review copy from Egmont via NetGalley. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Every Other Day is available now.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
K