In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?
In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.
First sentence: “There’s these two kids, boys, sitting close together, squished in by the big arms of an old chair.”
THREE THINGS THAT STUCK OUT TO ME IN HALF BAD
The middle-grade writing didn’t bother me as much as I had thought it would.
I had initially thought I would be because generally, I don’t find middle-grade writing all that appealing. Sometimes, it’s a bit hard to read through because I feel like it’s talking down to me or that it’s too simple. (Yes, I’m aware these books are mostly aimed at kids.) However, writing that way makes sense considering Nathan was a kid when this story started and his lack of proper education. It’s not written middle-grade for no reason.