Number of Pages: 380
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: March 4, 2014
“Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.
You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.
You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.
You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.
You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.
All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.
There’s been quite a lot of buzz on the internet about this book lately, and I just couldn’t help but want to know what all of the fuss was about. Needless to say, I was super excited when I found out that my library had gotten a copy of it! I immediately checked it out and within a few days of opening the front cover I completely devoured it. I found myself reading later into the night, cracking it open on the school bus in the morning, and even pouring over a few pages in between my classes. You know a book is good when you’re sad that it ends- and that’s exactly how I felt when I flipped the very last page. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did!
A major aspect that I loved about this book is that it was action-packed and fast-paced the entire way through. I seriously don’t think I can remember one part I thought was slow or dull, which is really unusual. Usually there are at least a few parts in books that seem to drag on a bit, but there weren’t any in this novel. I also really liked Green’s writing style and how it visibly changed to match the mood of the story. Her sentences became shorter and more direct during climactic moments, and relaxed into longer ones when the tone was more thoughtful. It helped the story flow together nicely and kept me engaged for all 380 pages of it. I was shocked when I discovered that this is Green’s debut novel! Her writing is phenomenal and she develops the plot and the characters so well. She sucks you into her world with her words, which is a skill I really admire in writers. Writing words is one thing, but the ability to effectively tell a story is something completely different.
Some reviews of this book that I have read complain that it’s too similar to Harry Potter with the good v. bad witch idea. However, I did not get that feeling at all while I was reading it. In fact, if I had not read those reviews then I highly doubt that comparison would have ever popped into my mind. Yes, there are a few similarities, but it’s a completely different vibe. Half Bad is much darker and edgier, and at times is quite violent and sad. My heart ached for Nathan, the main character, after all of the pain he suffered in this novel. There is not a huge emphasis on the outside world in this novel as there is in Harry Potter, which helped make the witches the absolute focal point of the story. Romance was a part of this book, but it was not overwhelming as it is in some young adult novels. The romance had significant meaning and acted as a driving force for Nathan, so it was not just thrown in the plot as filler. I really appreciated that fact because I feel like a lot of relationships in the YA genre don’t pertain to the actual plot very much.
Overall, Half Bad is a fantastic novel. I loved everything about it, and I can tell that it’s the start of an awesome series. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy or not, I definitely recommend that you at least give this book a try- once you start, you’ll be hooked!
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0) 5 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! Even though this is a fantasy novel, there is so much more to it than that- it’s got action, romance, suspense, mystery, everything! If you’re not generally a fantasy person, don’t let that keep you from giving this book a go!
Have you ever read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!