Spoiler-Free Review: Half Bad

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“The trick is not to mind.
Not to mind about it hurting.
Not to mind about anything.”

Author: Sally Green

Nathan is like other sixteen-year-old boys. He lives in a cage. He’s half black witch. He needs to undergo a magical ritual on his seventeenth birthday or he will die. Normal teenage problems really.

Nathan’s father is the darkest witch in the history of dark witches, which doesn’t get you invited to many playdates.

Only Nathan’s half-brother and grandmother don’t blame Nathan for being his father’s son. For as long as Nathan could remember he was looked down on by white witches, but now, with his birthday fast approaching, Nathan needs to escape from the white witches’ prison, find his father, and undergo the ritual or he will die. but when the only people he can turn to for help, are evil black witches, who can he trust?

The character of Nathan is well done. I’ve never been a teenage boy, but I can imagine teenage boys seeing themselves in Nathan. not too long ago I lamented that teenage boy characters are not represented in YA literature, but I think Nathan is a good example of a teenage male protagonist who is allowed to be masculine. Often “boy literature” falls on the younger side of teen: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, but Nathan feels like a real sixteen-year-old boy to me.

I liked this book quite a bit, and I will be reading the rest of the series. I recommend this series to fans of fantasy and the “bad boy” but it’s not a “chick book.” I think many boys will like it too.

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