Deserving of all the hype and accolades
Author: Sally Green
Series: Half Life Trilogy
Publisher: Penguin, UK
My Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Released: 4th March, 2014
Half Bad is one of those books that you will either love or get bored by it. It has so many well thought reviews that explain this book so much better than I can. Still, I’ll try.
Half Bad is the story of Nathan, the son of the most feared Black witch. He is in fact one of a kind. He is half code: half white witch and half black witch who are supposed to be evil. This mother dies when he is young, there is no trace of his father and he lives with his Grand-mother and his half-brother and sisters.
This book broke my heart and built it up again. Nathan’s young life was tragic, filled with struggles and tests with everyone judging him for his heritage. His quest for love and acceptance moved me. Half Bad tells the story from Nathan’s point of view how detrimental judgement and fear can be on a young child. Everyone around him was waiting for him to explode into the big bad wolf but all that child wanted was normalcy.
He lived in the world of the White Witches who liked to call themselves ‘good’ but over the course of the book it was clear that they were anything but. This book explores so many themes that I don’t think I’ll be able to give each of them justice and will be able to give any subjective rationale in my humble opinion. While I found the second half not as good as the first, the plot moved at a decent place. There were bits of strange third person narrative between scenes which required a little getting used to but I understood their purpose.
Nathan was such a relatable characters that I could understand and support for from the start. It felt he had taken a root into and heat and refused to let go. I loved the relationship he had with his brother and sister, Gabriel and of course the enigmatic Cecile. I’m still over the fence about Annalise but hopefully the next book, Half Wild, will satisfy my curiosity and even a slight urge to end her life. (Yes, I can’t seem to like her. Nathan’s story has such endearing and tender scenes and yet he manages to still have this dry sense of humour that I felt instantly protective of him.
What I do want to say that this book is absolute must read not only for Young Adults but also for adults. Themes like nature vs nurture, fear of the unknown, a child’s desire to be loved, freedom, good vs evil, etc have so beautifully been twirled one single story that my eyes were practically glued to the pages. It was poignant, addictive, moving, heart breaking, compelling with characters which are multi-faceted and over the course of the book the lines between good and evil are blurred and somehow turned upside down.
ARC provided by Penguin UK via NetGalley