Monday 16 February 2015

GoodRead - Half Bad

I can imagine you all recoiling from me now. I can hear you all shouting "You've only just read Half Bad in the past few days?! YOU CALL YOURSELF A YA BOOK BLOGGER!". And yes, I have only just read and yes, I know I am late to the party but I was scared. The hype/buzz monster scared me and everytime I picked it up to read it, I was always worried over if I would like it and what would happen if I didn't...

Nathan will be seventeen soon. He is living in a cage; beaten, shackled and trapped in a modern London where White Witches and Black Witches are at war with each other. Nathan is a Half Code: White Witch mother and Black Witch father. An abomination. The only way Nathan is going to survive is he has to escape the White Witches, find his father, receive his three gifts and come into his powers. But when he knows that he can't trust anyone, can he keep those he do trust - his family, his friends, the girl he cares deeply for - safe? And if he can't, what then?

Before I go any further, the cover. Doesn't it remind anyone else of Lord Voldermort from the Harry Potter series? Yes, let's get the Harry Potter stuff out of the way first as EVERYONE seems to be comparing the two. Both books have witches and both are set in a world very similar to our own. But that's it. I can't see any other similarities.

Ok, the book. I loved it - it was like read Harry Potter but on acid (ok, last Harry Potter reference. Honest). . I became obsessed with this book when I was reading it. There was a day or two when I had to stop because I was becoming that obsessed with it. I felt scared that Sally Green's twitter feed would be of me going "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!"

But yes, I fell for it. I found the writing so unique and unlike anything I have ever read before. She jumped from first person to second person narrative and back again with such ease and I never found it jarring. The only other book I feel that wrote second person narrative brilliantly was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (and I LOVED that book!). So it's rare, but Sally nailed it!

I felt the world was strong and how Nathan saw the world was interesting. He saw it as harsh (hence why he wrote the characters quite flat, unless he cared deeply for them, then he gave them depth) and his need to find his father - the powerful Black Witch who kills without a moment's thought - interesting. He knew he was a bad/evil man and yet, his need to find and please him made Nathan complex.

Also, is it bad I shipped two characters even though THEY HAVE NEVER MET?! I'm sorry but Gabriel and Arran need to meet, fall madly in love, get married and adopted little Witch children. I will ship this, even if this doesn't happen!!!

The only negatives I think most people will have is Sally's writing on characters. Some characters are quite flat - but I think this is because if Nathan doesn't care for them, he sees them as quite flat, not a person to take qreat detail of.

Another small thing is his and Annalise's relationship. At times, I just didn't see it. I didn't feel happy with it and I couldn't put my finger on why. I think it might have been rushed or maybe Sally wants to have Nathan question himself and his sexuality throughout the course of the series (I read Nathan as straight, but if this is the route Sally is going to go down with Half Wild and the third book in the trilogy, I will be intrigued to see how sensitively she tackles this subject matter)...

But despite its flaws, I loved this book. So much so, I jumped straight into the eNovella prequel, Half Lies, without a moment's thought (and I requested Half Wild on NetGalley so I will be reading this in the next few weeks!). I sense I will become obsessed with this series...

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