Review of Half Bad

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Half Bad by Sally Green has had so much hype within the last few months I was begging to read it. Sadly, this one of the first books that was really hyped up that I did not enjoy immensely. It was ok. I definitely was in the minority on this book, so many other people enjoyed it. The average rating on Goodreads is 3.94 with 1091 ratings.

  • The concept behind the book was neat; White Whites, Black Whites and Half Witches. The main character, Nathan was born a half witch from a White Witch mother and a Black Witch father.
  • Nathan’s father was the worse Black Witch alive, he kills other witches and steals their power. I felt a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, like Nathan possibly has the ability to kill his father, who is remarkably like Voldemort.

  • This one is really my preference, but I do not seem to enjoy First Person POV nearly as much as Third Person. I sometimes feel like the train of thought that comes with First Person is so dramatic or overplayed rather than the way we really think or how we speak. I had a really hard time with the POV at the beginning of the book when Nathan was in the cage, explaining how his day went.
  • “After push-ups it’s just standing and waiting. Best look at the ground. You’re by the cage on the path. The path’s muddy, but you won’t be weeping it, not today, not with this plan. It’s rained a lot in the last few days. Autumn’s coming on fast. Still, today it’s not raining; already it’s going well.”
  • She uses this “you should do this, you should do that” a few parts of the book and it just felt detached.
  • There was quite a bit of the book I was bored. There wasn’t a whole lot of action and or climax. The climax really happened at the end of the book and then just ended suddenly. I did find out it was a series. This book definitely had first book syndrome.
  • I just couldn’t relate to Nathan, I didn’t feel bad for the life he was given or sympathetic for him. I just couldn’t get into his story.


  1. Awh shame you didn't like it as much, (I loved it) though I do get what you mean, it did get a little boring and lagged towards the middle, and though I did like the second person narrative, it did throw me off. But overall I really did love it, I just couldn't put it down, haha. I also liked the feel of it kind of being old school type witches, back to it's core rather than a lot of showy magic type thing. Glad you gave it a try though! :)

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

  2. Aww I'm sorry you didn't like it. I've read some very mixed reviews on Half Bad, so I won't be picking it up anytime soon. Nice review though!

  3. I feel pretty much the same as you, the ending just killed it for me and I just don't care enough about the characters to wait a year to find or what happens. Great review though, very balanced.

  4. That sucks! If it's any consolation, I think the next book is going to blow our minds and be quite a bit more fast paced. *finger crossed for yah* If you decide to continue on.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  5. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention--sounds like a good read! Thanks, also, for visiting my blog.

  6. yeah... I have not finished this one yet myself, struggling with it.

  7. :( Aww...sorry you didn't like this one very much Missy! I'm reading it soon, but I can definitely see where you're coming from. The premise sounds AWESOME, but I'm not a huge fan of the first person / "you should do this, you should do that" narration. Thanks for sharing though, and, as always, PHENOMENAL review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  8. I hate it when a book bores me. Good for you for finishing it! Those are the ones I struggle with the most.

  9. It's a shame this one didn't live up the hype for you Missie. Great review though, I'm still eager to read it and see how it's like.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  10. I hate whenever a book is boring and seems to drag on. It gets so hard to concentrate on finishing it without getting distracted. I'm sorry this one fell flat for you, Missie!

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

  11. Oh sorry you didn't like it! This was one of my most anticipated books as well, but it does seem to be getting lower reviews than I had hoped. I will probably read it anyway, because I love anything to do with witches.

  12. It's difficult when you don't relate with the character and you're right, sometimes the first person doesn't give the same feeling. I'm sorry it was a disapointment at the end.

  13. It's nice to see that someone else was not a big fan of this book! I thought it was going to be excellent but like you I was bored and didn't connect with Nathan.

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  14. It's to bad you didn't like this one. I was really looking forward to it. I have been seeing a lot of mixed reviews regarding Half Bad. I hope I enjoy it more than you did.

    Thanks for the review,

    ~Sara @ Just Another Story

  15. I see this book everywhere! Too bad you didn't like it. The thought of good witches vs bad witches makes me think of Beautiful Creatures which I didn't enjoy.

    Angela's Anxious Life

  16. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't like it. I absolutely loved it...totally like a favourite of the year, but I do understand why it wouldn't work for some people. I adored how unique it was, though. XD

  17. Not a great week for books for you it seems. Sorry this one was a disappointment.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  18. "There was quite a bit of the book I was bored." - Agreed! I was a bit more in the middle with this book, but I felt like it could have been so much better if there was more to the story and more consistent writing.

    Nice honest review :)


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.