BOOK REVIEW – Half Bad (Half Life #1) by Sally GreenHalf Bad (Half Life #1)
by Sally Green
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I cry sometimes. I don’t know why, but it keeps happening. I’m just looking at the stream, say, which runs through the dark brown mud and yet is clear and bright and soundless, when I realize that I can taste tears. There are so many they run into my mouth.

Okay, I think this is going to be more of a mini-review-which, in all reality isn’t fair to this book at all. It’s more the circumstances of: A) A new computer system and keyboard here at work and B) Just not enough time to intricately dive into why the story ticks as it does, so it’s almost just better to scrape the surface.

“…No one buys this baby toys or presents, because everyone knows it isn’t wanted. No one gives Mother presents or flowers or chocolates, because they all know she didn’t want this baby. Nobody wants a baby like this. Mother only gets one card but it doesn’t say ‘Congratulations.'”
Silence.
“Do you want to know what it says?”
I shake my head.
“It says, ‘Kill it.'”

This story was pretty badass, if I’m being honest. I do believe what the reviews say is true, though: While the second half was very good as well, the beginning just had something far more sinister going on and I couldn’t help but to really love all the trials that our main character went through. I think this is the part where I claim to be a masochistic monster who only enjoyed the moments where Nathan is ridiculed and almost, to a point, tortured by his other classmates. I will admit there is a tiny monster in me who, while cringing and tearing up, finds extreme satisfaction in seeing how a person responds to the struggles in their life and what emerges from these horror stories-I’ve always found these generally make the best stories, don’t you think? I mean, how else would Nathan overcome the urge to either be a white or black witch? I want him to consider being that bad, bad black witch that everyone so fears-it’s kinda cool to think that he might become a monster (hey, like me!) and then ultimately have to fight that reality to overcome the evil lurking inside him. But I just don’t see that happening…for more reasons than one.

I just say, “Can I have permission to go to the bathroom, please?”
He doesn’t say anything, so I throw my jeans on the floor, get on my knees and say, “Can I have permission to go to the bathroom? Please?”
He doesn’t say anything but drops to his knees with me and hugs me. We stay like that. Him hugging me and me stiff with anger at him, wanting to hurt him too.
After a long time I hug him back, just a little.

Nathan is inherently good. He is half white and half black, so therefore he is the center of attention and labeled ‘unfit to be a member of society’. One of the reasons he is so negatively frowned upon is that his father is a murderous, evil black witch who kills all in sight-Nathan’s mother is a white witch, so that makes him half white and half black. Only his family is nice to him and defends him. It was beautiful to see the support he received from his family, namely his older brother. I loved that he was always there for his little brother when he was being ridiculed by the other kids at school. It really warmed my heart to see that support. And then…there’s Annalise. She is the beautiful, perfect, and popular white witch-and she likes Nathan. In fact, she is Nathan’s only friend. It was sweet to see them connect and fall for one another…but utterly sad because there is no way for them to be together. Her brothers make it a point (this is where my monster emerged) to Nathan that he needs to stay away from their sister…and they didn’t use words. But isn’t the best kind of romance…the forbidden kind?

“Are you sorry you met my sister?”
And I know as soon as he says that, the way he says it, that he hasn’t finished. It isn’t over. He has no intention of stopping there. And nothing I can say will make any difference. All I can do is hate him.

I don’t know. I just didn’t really know what to expect from this novel and I went in almost completely blind and it took me forever to read because I bought the hardback-and I do think that always hurts my reading experience, but I also found that I immensely enjoyed most of it and can’t wait to see what happens to Nathan…his father is the most evil witch known to man and he has Nathan on his radar. And what about Annalise? Can she be trusted? Should he be fraternizing with his enemy by blood? I just don’t know. So, because I can’t stand to type another word on this keyboard, I will wrap this up. This was a fun look at a different type of paranormal-the kind very rarely explored with both good and evil witches (not the kind in capes, pointy hats, or riding brooms, mind you) and a darkness so all encompassing that I hardly saw any light within in the story-but it was there…albeit in small doses.

I do have a secret, though. A secret so dark, so hopeless, so absurd that I can never share it with anyone.

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