Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

Half BadHello, everyone! I know it has been a long time since I have done a book review. However, I am student teaching right now, so please forgive me; I am a busy, busy lady. However, now that my three week takeover is over, I have MUCH more time to read. Since it’s October, I’ve been reading very witchy books. I’ve had a few decent ones, but this book was the book that brought me out of my blogging slump so I could tell you all how much I love this book and how much I hate myself for starting this series too soon. We have to wait until March for the next one…MARCH!! WHY?!!!! Anyway, on with the review!

1. The world. The world. The world.

I have a hard time believing in alternate universes a lot of the time. Either they’re too outlandish, or they’re not built very well. If you’re going to build an alternate universe of modern day, you need to make sure the things you populate your world with are believable within the realm of that world. Half Bad did this beautifully. We’re used to witches and wizards attempting to emulate the almighty Harry, but this world does not. At all. It blends elements from our reality (cell phones, computers, guns etc.) with those of the witchy world (potions, powers, alternate ways of transportation, etc.). It’s perfect and beautiful and believable and I lost myself in it.

2. The characters were multi-dimensional.

In a lot of books I’ve read lately have clear cut characters: they are bad, or they are good. This book flips that on its head. Every character is good and bad. Every character makes you think a certain way about them, then something happens where you think that there may be some good in them, then it switches AGAIN. Reading this book and getting to know its characters is just like real life, where you never really know if a person is altogether good or bad. It is interesting to see that in a book.

3. THE MAIN CHARACTER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

This whole book is about Black Witches and White Witches. Nathan is our main man, and he is half Black, half White, or a Half Code. This book is about what happens when you are born into a certain type of stereotype. Nathan is judged from the second he is born because of who his father is. He is beaten, bullied, and tortured, even by members of his own family. It is truly heartbreaking. My students just learned about literary anti-heroes, and Nathan is the perfect example. He’s Black, but he’s also White, but he also doesn’t know who he really is. I loved him. He is an incredible character and I am astounded by how much I just loved him.

4. The villains. They’re not the villains, but they are the villains. It’s all really confusing.

The villains are the White witches. Yes, you heard me, and I did not give you any spoilers. The White witches, who are supposed to be good and kind and just, are horrible people – for the most part. There are few who redeem themselves on behalf of their “race,” but the same goes for the Black witches. Basically all I’m telling you is that you don’t know who to trust in this book – ever – and it makes for a really fun time. This book is long, and I blew through it in two days.

OVERALL RATING: FIVE STARS!!! I would give it like 11 stars on a scale of one to five, but I’m not trying to be excessive. Who am I kidding? ELEVEN STARS!!! I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this surprised me. I am really, really happy I spent the time on this, because it was worth it. So, when you get it, clear your weekend and finish it. You’ll be happy until you reach the end and yell obscenities because you have to WAIT UNTIL MARCH FOR THE NEXT BOOK TO RELEASE. MARCH.

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