Thu, March 6, 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green Review

Half Bad book cover

Half Bad book cover

Half Bad
By Sally Green
Publication date: March 4, 2014
Viking Juvenile, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

— description

This book is not for the thin-skinned.

It’s been a few weeks since I read Half Bad and when I think back on it one word comes to mind: Torture.

It’s tough, you guys. Nathan is beaten, bloodied, mentally ripped apart and kicked while he’s down. And it’s not an easy thing to read.

But what I liked about Half Bad is all the moral issues that raises. What makes someone “good” or “bad”? Sally Green looks at all the shades of gray in between right and wrong, and I love that it got me feeling and got me thinking.

This book got a ton of hype in the book world — a huge bidding war, tons of foreign rights and the movie rights sold right away — and I see why. The writing is gorgeous and different. Plus, MAGIC. Who doesn’t love witch books? Well, I adore them, and this is no exception.

Is it an all-time favorite? Probably not, because the last bit of the book fell a little flat and the romance wasn’t built up as much as you know I always want. Still, I’m very impressed by Green’s debut and can’t wait to read more.

Recommended for fans of Samantha Shannon, Jessica Spotswood, Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: magic, sally green, violence


  1. Nadia @ Nadia Reads said:

    It’s true! The book is getting a lot of hype, but I really want to read it! Especially now that I found out it’s really unique and kind of scary!


    Posted on: Thu, March 6, 2014

  2. Missie said:

    I did kinda hear this book is either hit or miss, but I am still pretty excited to read it! Love witches!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings


    Posted on: Thu, March 6, 2014

  3. April Books & Wine said:

    Yeah, witch books are awesome. And I agree about needing thick skin for all the torture in Half Bad. For me, it was an alright book, but I think that other people will love it more than I did.


    Posted on: Thu, March 6, 2014

  4. Lisa is Busy Nerding said:

    This book has been on my radar since FOREVER. I adore reading that dwells in the moral gray. Bummer about a lackluster finish and muted kissy times though.


    Posted on: Thu, March 6, 2014

  5. We Heart YA said:

    We’ve been hearing so many mixed things… but we pre-ordered, so we’re glad to hear that you enjoyed it!


    Posted on: Thu, March 6, 2014

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