Half Bad by Sally Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was super excited for this book… there was a lot of hype for it and so I think I went in with some really high expectations. I guess I shouldn’t have done that because I was a bit disappointed in this.
First the things I wasn’t fond of … biggest and most distracting for me was that I struggled with the writing style. I absolutely like styles that are a bit quirky and don’t really follow any set kind of style and this totally is that, but it was almost too much for me. I just found myself distracted at times and unable to follow conversations when they were happening.
Second, I didn’t really love, love the story. I feel like there was a lot of opportunity to expand on this story and the author just didn’t take it. I felt like some key things were glossed over and I struggled to get pulled in.
What did I like. I really loved Nathan. He’s so determined in everything he does (except reading) that you can’t help but cheer for him. I really loved his relationship with Arran. Their brotherhood was refreshing and I truly enjoyed reading their interactions. But holy crap can’t Nathan catch a break? I felt for him from the very beginning. His father is a notorious black witch and he finds himself discriminated against in ways you can’t even imagine. It was wonderful to see a male pov that sounded genuine and authentic and I really enjoyed his character as a whole.
The imagery that Green creates is both horrifying and unsettling and I really enjoyed it. She definitely doesn’t hold back on the scenes that include torture and suffering… though they weren’t overdone or too graphic if you’re one of those squeamish readers.
I think ultimately I struggled with the plot of this part of the story. There was very little progression even though this book spans years. It sets the background in place and while the world building and history of the witches was here, I really felt that Nathan’s story wasn’t really going anywhere.
I’m definitely curious to see where Green takes this series and I will definitely be checking out book 2 and I definitely recommend giving this a read, if only to experience the unique writing style and Nathan’s story.
Thank you to Viking for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.