every other day by jennifer lynn barnes

Every other day, Kali is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She’s human.

On the alternate days, though… she’s something else entirely. Though she still looks like herself, 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.

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.
(description from goodreads)

fast-paced, action-packed. i like this addition to the supernatural genre, which did not shy away from violence or gore (standing out in a sea of misty colored supernatural romances). i loved how effortless the plot felt, as each layer of the story changed things slightly. the world building was fascinating, and in the middle of the story, i found myself wanting to look up things that were specific to the mythology of this book. my only complaint is that the epilogue did not match the rest of the book. it wrapped up the story in a way that implied a lack of sequels. this wouldn’t normally be a complaint (soooooo many series out there right now. i like a self-contained narrative every now and again), but there were several threads that didn’t feel complete to me.

a drowned maidens hair by laura amy schlitz

Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. It seems the sisters need Maud to help stage elaborate séances for bereaved, wealthy patrons. As Maud is drawn deeper into the deception, playing her role as a “secret child,” she is torn between her need to please and her growing conscience.
description from goodreads

maud had me in her corner from the get-go. scrappy, resilient, self-aware. she has an ‘instinct for finery’, and a strong desire to be loved. the best character, though, isn’t even mentioned in the brief synopsis. muffet appears in the book quietly, and steals your heart without you ever realizing it’s happening. this was up for a caudill several years ago, and for good reason: it is fabulous mid-grade historical fiction.