PJV Quickie: If you are looking for your next Young Adult read, look no further than Sally Green’s debut, HALF BAD. Pardon the pun, but the novel ain’t half bad…in fact it was pretty damn good.
Review: The first 5 star of the year for me, I was sucked in and spit out with no time in-between to take a breath. Green’s novel was fast-paced and dark, so very dark and different. Don’t let the dumb Harry Pottery marketing hype turn you off. This is no Harry Potter. The novel is about witches, good witches and bad witches but that is the only Harry Potter correlation that I could find. The novel is crafted with a male POV, a boy, who is born Half Bad. Half black witch, which makes him one of a kind and hated by all, even his own half-sibling. He is watched by the council of white witches, his every move dissected and reviewed, all wondering if he will one day become black.
Nathan, himself doesn’t even know who he will become, especially as he grows older and the pressure of the hatred toward him and the torture he is put through becomes worse and worse. It is quite an emotional roller-coaster. The novel makes you question right and wrong, good and bad and it is told in a very compelling voice that is both engaging and disconcerting. This is a young adult fantasy novel you do not want to miss.
Recommendations: The novel has very mature undertones, the boy Nathan, is tortured and there is a lot of violence. His capture and captivity has almost a slave/master feel to it, which was very hard to read at times. Adult readers of YA will love it, if you are giving it to a teen make sure they can handle violence and mild sexual discussions.