Friday, 4 July 2014

Review - Half Bad by Sally Green


Today, I have a review for you! (My first ever on this blog, yay!)

Publisher: Penguin
Date Published: 3/03/2014

Synopsis (Amazon) - He's half White Witch, half Black Witch. His mother was a healer, his father is a killer. He's been kept in a cage since he was fourteen. But if White Witches are good and Black Witches are evil, what happens if you are both?

This was, in no uncertain terms, wonderful. I would recommend anyone who has ever had the slightest inclination towards the supernatural genre to read this book! The story centres around Nathan, a young boy, his father is a dark witch, his mother a light one. This is practically unheard of and as a result, he is very much shunned by the light community.

What I found especially interesting about this book is that Nathan is not perfect, in fact at times I found him fairly unlikeable. Nonetheless he was relatable. Green does a very good job of portraying the struggles of growing up. She uses the concept of magic to show the changes that teenagers go through and they struggle with it. Nathan wrestled with himself, his ‘dark’ and ‘light’ sides. Granted, the majority of teenagers are not the son of a dark and a light witch, but nevertheless, many struggle with their identities. This really appealed to me, and I wished I could have read this as a teen. It shows young people that it’s alright to question yourself and that’s it okay to look for yourself, and that it can take some searching before you find yourself.

If I am completely honest, one of prominent aspects of the book is that the romantic subplot is not over the top or completely thrown at the reader randomly. It’s simply part of the story as opposed to be forced in their for the sake of it, something that I sometimes finds happens a little too much in YA literature. But the relationship between Nathan and Annalise was natural and gradual. The only aspect I did not like was the Romeo and Juliet-esque way it was presented, with her brother hating Nathan and his family not trusting hers, it adds to the story, and highlights the hatred between dark and light witches, but it irked me slightly.

To sum up, this book is one those rarities in that it understands how teenagers think and what they go through and the relationships they have with their family and peers.

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