Half Bad by Sally Green Review

IMG_7604This is probably the most excited I’ve been about a YA book that I’ve picked up in a long time. The reason why? Well I simply picked it because I had no idea what it was about. I looked at it, and something in me compelled me to pick it up and take it home with me. There was no back cover blurb, no explanation. It was just simply an urge that I had to allow myself to listen to.

I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed by it. It’s been the first fantasy book after A Court of Thorns and Roses that I’ve really enjoyed this summer. To be fair I’ve recently been in a bit of a rut with fantasy/YA books because there haven’t been any stories or plot lines that have gripped me yet. I feel like I’m just simply reading them because other people online are interested and talking about them, or I started the first book and I want to finish the series just so I can say I have *cough* Matched Series *cough*.

I hope that after reading this, if you’ve decided you want to read it, then you will just order/buy it and read it blindly because I promise you I might start doing that more often now. But, if you want a bit more context as I know a lot of you do, I’ll give you a bit of a summary on the story so you understand the plot line and what this book will have in store for you. (A small part of me kind of hopes you’ve left and got the book and finished it and came back to see my opinion on it. Maybe you can agree with how much better it is having no context going into it.)

So this book is surrounded by the Supernatural context of Witches. There are two different types of Witches explored in this first book. The first type are the White Witches, which are considered the “good” witches that are accepted by society and are allowed to take part in a ceremony to gain their powers when they become of age. The second type are the Black Witches, which are, obviously, considered the “bad” witches that are hunted down as they tend to be known to do horrible acts and create mischief. It’s not approved of for a White Witch and a Black Witch to be together which, unfortunately, our main character Nathan, is a result of. He has been kept in a cage since the age of fourteen and you shall go on the adventure to find out why, how and what will happen next.

I hope this is enough to whet your appetite and you can now go out, get it, read it, and return and we can discuss this book ^^

Review:

I was fascinated constantly by this book and the way Sally Green created it. The first thing that drew me to it when I picked it up in the bookstore was the first few pages and how it was written in second person. I could feel myself drawn in and my curiosity get the best of me. The way in which she switches between the tenses as different parts of the story is introduced was extremely well done and something I appreciated as it felt quite refreshing to read.

Nathan was a main character that I enjoyed reading from the perspective of. There was something so innocent and naive about him at the beginning that slowly developed into this strong, angry character that was determined to fight for justice and his right to live.

His story-line was an interesting one, I’ve got to admit. At first, it is assumed he is the cause of a moment where his mother was taken advantage of by his father the great Black Witch. But then, when it’s revealed they were in fact in love I was quite taken with his overall character development. The realisation that these White Witches that everyone places on a pedestal and admire and respect are actually cruel people that have no regard for anyone except their own self preservation. The way in which Nathan is treated when he runs into Annalises’ brothers on that hill was horrible to read. You could actually feel the pain he was experiencing as they cut into his back and placed those scars on it. Then when he’s captured by the White Witches and they practically torture this boy and keep him in a cage, forcing him to heal himself for their own fascination, was something I couldn’t stand.

Then, when he escaped, things started speeding up and getting interesting. When he ran into Gabriel and created that bond with him things finally started to look up. This was my absolute favourite part of the story. The constant action, the danger and the different characters we met along the way. Rose, Bob, Jim, Trev, Nikita/Ellen, his father Marcus, the evil Mercury, Annalise herself were all such wonderful personalities that only added to his story. Sally Green really just made this whole first book such a joy to read and immerse myself in.

The cliffhanger at the end was quite interesting. Instead of going straight for his father, the first person he thought of was Gabriel. Then I realised there was a second book and I got excited. I’m going to have to wait a while before ordering it, of course, cause I mainly wait to buy them online but I found myself actually looking forward to this next book in the series.

I guess I should address the “ship” of the book. I guess a thing I appreciated in this book was even though they were the main romance of the story, we barely got to see them. This book was based solely on Nathan and his journey to Mercury to request his powers. I have to say, I liked Nathan and Annalise’s relationship but I also feel like we haven’t experience them yet. Maybe in the next book they will be developed a bit more and we’ll get a stronger feeling towards them.

I really liked his brother Arran and their relationship because he accepted him for what he was. His brother. The part where Nikita/Ellen went and showed him his photo and he got the video message back in return was the most genuine moment and I hope they get to reunite in the future books. The realisation of his mother’s death and later on his Gran’s death was quite shocking as I didn’t realise they had decisions like that that they could make.

I’m not sure what will happen in the future. Now that Mercury has Annalise, and Nathan’s future is to kill his own father, a lot of things could happen and yet again I really hope the second book doesn’t fall flat like a lot of the recent series I’ve been reading. We can only hope I guess.

A funny moment, for me at least, was the reference to the movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ slipped into the story. It’s my boyfriend’s favourite movie, so for them to reference that scene with the flame was quite amusing as I could connect them together.

Language/Style: 8 points
Overall Story: 7 points
Plot: 7 points
Characters: 8 points

Giving this book a total of 30 points out of 40 points.

Overall a great read, especially for the summer to relax before the Back to School period begins again.

Favourite Part: “The new trick is to stay in the present … Get lost in the detail of it … Enjoy it!”

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