Thursday, 21 April 2016

HALF BAD Trilogy by Sally Green @Sa11eGreen

My daughter, aged 12, bought these books via Waterstones recently with vouchers from her Birthday. She is a voracious reader and I struggle to keep up with her since I do try to write myself - try being the operative word at the moment (sighs).

She took the last book, Half Lost, with her on holiday and was reading away in the car. I turned to look in her direction and noticed her face had dropped, as tears started to stream down her face. I hugged her to console her, but knew whatever it was it had really got to her.

Obviously, I was worried... and then she told me it was the book. Someone had died!

I had not read any of them so I tried to understand - but, as any reader knows you can't until you read the book.

So, I decided to read this trilogy and find out what had got her into such a muddle. I did try to read the last book first, but it does not make sense this way and I got annoyed - Nathan complains a lot at first in the last book.

So, definitely has to be read in order.

Here is the link to the website, HALF BAD, where you can find out more about the books before you read my reviews. There is a lot of information on here about the characters - black & white witches, half-bloods, etc. 

If you don't need any of this, read on...

I started Half Bad and I found it hard to get into. The writing style is different to others, and like Divergent, Hunger Games, etc it was brutal! I thought a lot of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo at one point.

My 3 star review on Goodreads

Let's start with the good... Obviously, I enjoyed this book since I read it in a day. The style is quite unique and I am amazed this was written by a female writer. Even though many times I could easily have placed the main character, Nathan, as a girl!

But, I do have issues. It just goes on and on... Torture, more torture, and yet more torture! How much can a kid take, even if he can heal himself?
It seriously made me think of some existing best sellers.
  • He is an orphan & a witch - rings of Harry Potter
  • He in obsessed with a white witch (who he barely knows) and has to drink blood to change - Twilight themed.
  • There is a LOT of brutality, even though he is a child, by those in control (white witches) who are obviously not so pure - Hunger Games anyone?
So, yeah, I will read on. My daughter bought the set on paperback and is raving about it. 
I really can't stand too much violence........

From this you can gather than I was interested, but not impressed by some of it. My brain had not engaged yet and started to think... I love books that get me wondering. The Lord of the Flies, Maze Runner, and other books like it are also pretty brutal. My son (aged 13) is a fan of the Gone series and I could not read past the first few chapters of the second book, after a horrific scene where a boy gets eaten by worms! Authors have wild imaginations.

Anyway, the second book, Half Wild, was something else. Now, we get into alliances, etc. I start to think of the Second World War, Star Wars, X-Men. Also, how society has changed and evolved over time and people don't always agree on this. How some have and others don't... the obsession of certain individuals on purity - illustrated in Divergent by the Erudite hunger for control and knowledge. But, I have to admit that I thought of Jacob in the Twilight Saga - especially how he went off on his own and lived as a wolf when Bella decided to marry Edward. Sometimes, reading other books taints how you view another.

My 5 star review...

OMG. I was not convinced by the first book, but this is something else!

So much going on. I can't help thinking about WW2 and the effect it had as I read this. But, there are so many threads alongside the theme. On to the next one... :)

Anyway, I was hooked on the story, so off I zoomed to read the last book, Half Lost.

I read until midnight last night & finished it in floods of tears....

My 5 star review this morning.

Wow... I do not want to give too many spoilers, but the ending to this book took my breath away.

I have read some of the reviews on Goodreads which hated it and I can see what they mean, BUT we will all die eventually unless you are a ... Read the book!
Nathan and Gabriel will be together for eternity, and if you believe in the soul this is the perfect ending.

I also suspected about Annalise all along and am happy it ended this way too. She was never a bad person, just confused and she made a bad call. Or did she? When in a war, both sides argue their case, or do they not?

There were so many threads in this trilogy. life & death, sacrifice, torture, true love, diversity, the role of men & women, the need to experiment, etc.

If you read Hunger Games or Divergent and want something different read this, but I warn you it is not what you expect. I have to admit the first book took a while to get used to, but the writing is addictive.

Like I said on my first review, I have to be honest, Nathan felt like a girl to me. But then, isn't that the point? We all have masculine & feminine qualities. Is it fair to say that we should not judge? For example, I have been told myself that I write like a male writer... What does that mean?

If a books makes me think as much as this one did it has to be a winner! Highly recommend.

So there you have it. Something unique and different
Vanessa :)


  1. And the moral of the story is not to discard something quickly. Never know what you will miss.

  2. You make it sound very intriguing, especially what you write about Nathan.

    1. Nathan was a very interesting character... but, the ending was extremely sad :(

  3. It's always good to share your feelings, whatever they are. Great advice, although I never do it myself. Kudos to you.

    1. Not sure I understand what you mean... do you not read & review books?

  4. Great review. I have a series that I was only left feeling so and so after the first book. I haven't had time to get back to the series but do have the second and third book and hope that it wins me over. Girl Who Reads