Published March 3rd 2014 by Penguin
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 Review: I bought this book because it has been super hyped on BookTube and also, I love the cover. Is it worth the hype, um? Tough one. It is a good book, I really did enjoy it, and I read it in just a couple of sittings and was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it. So maybe, read it and decide for yourself.
Half-Bad tells the story of Nathan, a half-code witch – his mother is a white witch and his father a black witch. This does not bode well for him, as the council of white witches pretty much hate anything to do with black witches. White witches are supposed to be the good guys and black witches are the bad guys, but it doesn’t take too long to find out that this distinction is not so black and white (like what I did there?).
My least favourite thing about the book is the ending; it is anti-climactic and doesn’t feel like the end at all. I know it is the first in a trilogy but there is just no closure, not even a cliff-hanger. I guess this lack of closure will ensure that I will pick up and devour the second book (Half-Wild) as soon as it is released. Something that other readers seem to have a problem with in this book, is the couple of places where it is written in 2nd person and how slow it is to get going but neither of these bother me. I found the 2nd person POV interesting and the slow and steady start allowed me to really get to know Nathan and his world.
I loved Nathan as a character, he isn’t some whiny little brat who just complains about what’s happening to him, well, he does a little bit but that is highly understandable. I really connected with him and I felt so bad for everything that was happening to him; I wanted to swoop in and rescue the poor fella. I think he reacted to his ill treatment in a more realistic manner than some protagonists in other books, where they just take everything in their stride.
A couple of thing that separate this book from a slew of other YA novels, aside from the male protagonist, is that there is no insta-love or a love triangle. The romance is slowly developed, naturally and they are friends for a long time before they become a couple. It makes a nice change to read about two people coming together in a realistic manner.