Friday, March 21, 2014

REVIEW: Half Bad (Half Life #1) by Sally Green

Half Bad (Half Life #1) by Sally Green
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*This book was received from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way *

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.


My feelings about this book go from high to low throughout reading. I have to admit that initially I was not at all impressed with the story, but after a few chapters in, it started to become clear to me that this book would not be what I thought it would.

There were so many things that I actually loved about this book and then there a few that I didn’t. For instance, I loved that we got to see the type of person that Nathan is despite what is done to him and what people believe about him. I did not love the fact that he’s so horribly mistreated just because he is labeled something that has nothing to do with the type of person he is. Nathan, is a Half Code. Half White Witch from his mother and half Black Witch from his father. His father happens to be the most wanted Black Witch in the country. So for that, Nathan is treated terribly. That’s one thing that I just could not get over about this book, but it’s also something that I loved. It’s so sad to see someone mistreated for something that shouldn’t matter but I think it’s such an important message to read about. Nathan is hated and despised because he is half Black Witch, though he is actually a kind and gentle person. People assume that because he is mixed that he will be just like his father, but there is no real way of knowing this, and the things they do to Nathan throughout the story are only things that can, in the end, provoke him into becoming what they always assumed he would be: a Black Witch! I hate that Nathan was never given a chance to be anything other than what they thought he was. Even his own sister treated him horribly. She lied to him and tricked him and hated him. He was, however, fortunate enough to be loved by his other sister, brother, Grandmother, and a few friends he met along the way.

I did not like that his friends were “hurt.” I feel like the poor kid didn’t have anyone else and then to take away his friends was just too brutal for me. But again, these are all things that make for a good story. I wasn’t expecting a fluffy read when I picked up this book, but I also wasn’t expecting a harsh one either. All these events lead to a more emotional connection to Nathan, because after some of the “incidents” you really start to feel bad for him.

My only real peeve about this book is that there was pretty much no magic! I mean honestly, when you grab a book about witches and magic you expect there to be magic!

So overall, I wish that the author could’ve given Nathan a small break, just something to get him through, but I get why she had to do what she did. I also really, really, really wish that there was more magic in this book, so I’m hoping for the second installment the author decides to conjure up so serious magical mojo on her characters. 


  1. Despite the great review, I'm shocked that you only gave it 3.5! I read it a few weeks ago and loved it so, SO much!! I would give it a full rating!

    Great post even so!

    1. Hi Amy! I was torn about my rating, I actually really enjoyed the book but for some reason it was so hard for me to review it. Anywho, I'm really looking forward to the sequel to see where the author takes Nathan. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Oh, also I would love a sequel so much! i agree that it would be nice to see more magic in it.

  3. Uh oh. Is this a book that would make me rage for how a character is treated? Because I don't need to rage for another book. But I love your review. I think I'll wait to see what you think of the the series as a whole when it's done and let you tell me if I should read it.

    1. YES Jenn!!!! You would rage over how Nathan is treated. It's actually really sad to see!! But kind of necessary for his growth. I'll let you know what I really think when I read the sequel. ;)

  4. Agreed! It almost felt like "Here's an all-powerful witch in the waiting! Let's ruin his life and pit him against us!".

    Despite that I kinda enjoyed it. You're right, I was expecting more magic.


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