Monday, 21 April 2014

Half Bad

Half Bad by Sally Green

Title: Half Bad  

Author: Sally Green

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Published: March 3rd 2014, Penguin

Pages: 400

Blurb: 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.


Half Bad is the story of Nathan who is a Half Code, a child of a white witch and black witch.  From a very young age Nathan knows he will never belong because he’s one of a kind, there’s no one else like him.

My Thoughts;

. Writing Style –

Half Bad starts off with a second person narrative in which Nathan is in a cage and it then goes on to show a day in his life. The second person narrative is written as if Nathan is speaking to himself and this shows us how he puts himself though training and chores. How he feels about Celia and his own inner battle for freedom. After the first section the story goes back in time to show how he was put into the cage and it turns to first person narrative.

. Family –

After Nathan’s mother commits suicide Nathan and his two sisters and his brother all live with his grandma. All of them except his oldest sister are protective/caring of him even though he’s a half code and rejected by the “leaders” of the white witches. Nathan and his brothers relationship was strong because he was the first person that Nathan trusted fully.

. White Witches and Black Witches –

Traditionally/stereotypically white=good and black=bad, right?
Is every single black witch bad? Is every single white witch good?
How can White Witches be good and yet hunt Black Witches ruthlessly and kill them disregarding if they’re innocent or not. How can they treat Nathan like a weapon just because he’s half black?

.Abuse and Scars –

Nathan goes through a lot; I mean a lot of physical abuse. This ranges from getting tattooed on his bones, getting acid on his hand, getting beaten up, and also having the words WB cut into his back. But through this all you realise that Nathan is a survivor/fighter and if someone hurts him he will hurt them back or try too. Nathan can hold his own.

. Is Nathan all good?

No he isn`t. Nathan has a “bad half” and this is shown through his anger issues and his self control - how he finds it hard to stop when he starts fighting.

. The Romance –

The love interest in Half Bad is Annalise; their love story was really short but cute. Throughout his time in the cage Nathan constantly remembers Annalise and their forbidden love. For he remembers his first love. After Nathan is taken away Annalise is branded as untrustworthy and is continuously questioned about Nathan by the White Witches leaving her desperate for freedom. And freedom she gets but at a price.

. The Training –

When Nathan is with Celia he exercises and trains everyday as well as learning how to fight, this is the White Witches way of training Nathan to be their puppet and kill a certain Black Witch. But if Nathan does get free he could use this training against them and The Hunters – which he does.

. The Journey –

I love when books include the main character going on a journey and meeting different people and each of them affecting/helping the MC in different ways. There were a lot of minor characters but each of them were introduced in a way that made them important even if they’re minor characters.

. The Bad –

The story had two thirds of it consisting of the abuse/violence that Nathan had to endure and only one third of it with action and something faster paced.  The ending section was really rushed with a jumble of deaths, injuries and meetings put together.

. The Cover –
I really love the double covers!      

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