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Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,232 Ratings  ·  4,440 Reviews
Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Rosie Van is white or at most very very white-passing. "[Her] skin is clear, pale and looks incredibly healthy" (HW pg 76)

Gus is only described as "tanned"…more
Van is white or at most very very white-passing. "[Her] skin is clear, pale and looks incredibly healthy" (HW pg 76)

Gus is only described as "tanned" (HW 298), which probably means he's white too.

Basically, I'm pretty sure that Black witches in the series are identified by a) their black eyes, b) their resistance to group work and c) their violent natures, rather than by their skin/race.

One thing I would like to know is: are there any /White/ witches who don't have white skin?(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Feb 22, 2015 Emily May rated it really liked it
Do you know a story that goes something like this >>>> There's a poor family consisting of a mother and her bunch of kids, each one from a different father. Then there's that one kid (or more) who had a dad who was known for causing trouble... maybe he drank a lot, got into fights, ended up in prison... you know the kid I'm talking about? The one who has that dad? Well, everyone expects he'll turn out just the same. Everyone has their eye on that kid his whole life, expecting him to ...more
Khanh (the Grinch)
"’s the name of the most evil Black Witch there has ever been.”

I want to say “Marcus.” He’s my father and I want to say his name, but I’m too afraid. I’m always too afraid to say his name.
Oh, hi, Voldemort!

This book is Snape: The Teenage Years. Only without much magic. WHERE'S MY MOTHERFUCKING MAGIC? Is it too much to ask for magic in a book about WITCHES?! If I'm going to read Dracula, I want some fucking vampires, and I want them to suck the bloody hell out of some humans. If I'm going
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I really enjoyed the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages, but everything in between was underwhelming. I'm going to do a full video review to share more of my thoughts, so look out for that! :)
Mar 20, 2016 Daiane rated it did not like it
Unpopular opinion time Yay!

I thought about giving this book 2 stars but who am I kidding? It was a torture to read it! I seriously have no idea how I got to the end. Oh wait, yes I have! I was actually waiting for something, anything, to happen! Plus, it promised me

A world divided between black and white witches and those in the dark side are tortured and murdered. Almost all the black witches are nowhere to see but one. Since Nathan was a baby he is treated poorly by his family. The only kid fr
Steph Sinclair
When I first picked this book up from BEA, I wasn't very interested because I saw the word "witches" and thought, "NOPE, NOPE, NOPE." Even in my review policy it states that I don't review books about witches. Why? Well, because of Harry Potter. I didn't want to sit and compare the two and I had a feeling that I would. What made matters worse was the fact that ended up being toted as The Next Big Thing from The Hunger Games to, you guessed it, Harry Potter. So it's a good thing this book was not ...more
May 01, 2016 Maggie rated it it was ok
i couldn't ever touch anything as bad as you.

Rating: 2/5

Previous review: The One

“Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will
Mar 04, 2014 Giselle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own, paranormal
Half Blood started as a 5-star read for me. This lasted 'til about three quarters which is when I realized we really hadn't gotten anywhere in the story. Boredom quickly followed, until I was unfortunately underwhelmed by the anticlimactic ending. Nevertheless, it's an incredibly well written book that has a lot to offer if you have a bit of patience, although it's unique in a way that may not adhere to all tastes.

When we meet our protagonist, Nathan, he's naught but a young lad. Young and unfo
Feb 14, 2014 Benjaminoftomes rated it it was amazing
this book was super good! i loved it so very much! i am really loving the building of the characters and relationships! i hope in the next book magic will be seen more ! :D
Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
Aug 01, 2015 Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc) rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting to like it but I actually found it really enjoyable and really quick! A nice surprise!
Mar 24, 2014 Regan rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
Half Bad follows a boy named Nathan, and Nathan lives in a world where good witches (white) and bad witches (black) exist. Nathan, however, is unique because he is half good and half bad, his father is the most notorious black witch alive and his mother is dead. Nathan lives a life facing constant prejudice from all sides, and he is just trying to survive until his 17th birthday so he can receive his 3 gifts and become a full fledged witch.

I enjoyed this book overall, especially the first half.
Daniel Cohen
Jun 11, 2013 Daniel Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

For me, something like "Half Bad" is very, very rare. I read a lot of fantasy, much of that lot from the contemporary masters of the field (Sanderson, Rothfuss, Williams, Rowling etc.) I have been well immersed in the fantasy genre, and as spoiled as it may sound, have come to expect greatness in the fantasy that I choose to read. I chanced across a copy of the "Half Bad" unedited manuscript at the 2013 BEA, and decided to take a chance.

I was sufficiently and unexpectedly blown away. "Half Bad"
OH MY GOD SO EPIC. Loved every word of it. Full review is on its way.
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Nathan is half White Witch and half Black Witch. Half good, half bad. He lives with his two sisters, brother and grandma. Every year he goes to the Council to get assessed. He needs to receive his three Gifts before he turns seventeen or he will die a painful death. The clock is ticking and he doesn't know if his family will be willing to help.

Well I really wanted to like this one. It had all the bare bones for an epic adventure and journey and even a wide character arc but it fell flat. First t
Darth J
Mar 10, 2015 Darth J rated it liked it

This book read more like an overlong prologue than the actual first installment in a series. The whole thing is about the MC finally getting his powers, which he does at the end. I’m not even going to put that in a spoiler alert because it doesn’t need one. The book is very predictable so it also should come as no surprise that he gains them from his father, a *gasp* Black witch.

I have a problem with these terms: “Black” and “White” witches. They aren’t clearly defined in the story other than sa
Melissa Martin

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Nathan, poor Nathan. He had it bad from the start. He is born to a mother that was a white witch and a father that was a black witch. A lot of his family hated him from birth and wanted him dead. I mean to look at a little baby and want it dead. I'm not saying his mother did, there are things about her you have to find out by reading the book.

Nathan h
Simona Bartolotta
2.5, because oh, who am I fooling, it's a 2 and that's it.

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid this review will be terribly short. The reason? Take the title and replace the word "Half" with "Totally". Here you have my review.
But, as I'm sure you know by now, I wouldn't be at peace qith myself without at least trying to explain why.

• The pace is off, off, off. Pages in which nothing happens, others in which the hell happens, but my attention is already drifting in a sea of "let's guess how much fuck I give
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Before reading:

"In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak ..."

Uhh well if that's true then I need to read this ASAP.

After reading:

... This was not in the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak.

I guess I understand the comparison in terms of the writing style, but that's about where the similarities ended for me. I was really hoping to love this book but I just couldn't get into it. It had a lot going for it conceptually, and I thought it was stylistically well-written ... But there
May 09, 2015 Josu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-mayo
Con una trama que puede sonar típica, Sally Green presenta un personaje principal realmente bien construido y una historia que al final, es más profunda de lo que parece. Al ser una relectura, recordaba ciertas cosas que me marcaron. Aun y todo, había pasajes de los cuales no recordaba nada y que me han impactado igual. La autora no tiene pelos en la lengua y habla de torturas y sangre sin importarle nada (y bien que hace, oye). El estilo, sin embargo, es lo que consigue que El lado oscuro se co ...more
Faye, la Patata

If there's anything Half Bad by Sally Green has, it's definitely an interesting and intriguing premise. Now, let me tell you it's hard to make me excited for any Paranormal book, but that's simply because I hold this particular genre in very low regard. I am not a fan of it, not by a long shot, but having been proven wrong again and again by such spectacular PNR books (Written in Red and The Diviners), I will not say "no" to one that has been deemed great by my peers, and especially not to this

I love how original and unique this book is! The writing style is so cool and I really like how the timeline is set up.

The main character Nathan is great, he is just a fighter and never gives up. He goes through some absolutely terrible things, but he always has hope and keeps control of his mind. His journey is so intriguing and interesting, I just had to keep reading to know more.

The world is also great because I felt everything is explained nicely and it's not very confusing. I like the
2.5 stars
This started out strangely, continued that way for a while, then went really downhill.

Nathan was someone that I immediately felt quite sorry for. The way his mother , siblings, in fact everyone treated him from the time he was a new-born was just disgusting and awful. How anyone can treat a poor defenceless baby that way I don’t know. Poor Nathan just got tormented, put down, and generally mistreated his entire life.

This book for me seemed to be about racism? I might have that wrong, bu
It took me a shamefully long time to finish this book for me, because I kept getting distracted by... things... Things I truthfully don't wanna admit. But anyway, onto my review for this book.

When I first started reading Half bad, this book was nothing like what I had been expecting, and in truth, this book is in that certain, particular style that I just don't like. The writing style was kinda basic, and it also kind of jumped from first person to second person all the time. In all honesty, th
Apr 10, 2016 Taneika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
I flew through most of this book but I can't decide if I found it boring or not because I couldn't stop reading? Not a lot happened, yet I was completely enthralled!
Matt Kays
Dec 23, 2013 Matt Kays rated it it was amazing
This will become your new obsession come March. Trust.

Between this and Red Rising the SFF YA landscape is changing, and for the better. It will be hard for me read other YA novels this year that do not live up to this level of storytelling and craftsmanship and I imagine my DNF list to grow exponentially because of it.

Half Bad is as good, if not better, than most of the adult fantasy I read. Think Sanderson, Rothfuss, Weeks, Ryan, etc. This book is excellent and I have no doubt that it will beco
I read this book in half a day.

I liked the first half of this book. The second half was really meh.

Half Bad had a great start. The narration style was really unique. In the beginning, it was like as if you are the main character in this book but sadly, it quickly switched to the first person's point of view which was also enjoyable to read but I would have liked to have more of 'you're the main character' point of view. I honestly have no idea if there's a term for such narrations.

Nathan, our
Jemma (MyLittleBookishCorner)
I went out and bought this book when I first saw the author Sally Green on the news one morning. I then attempted to read it on two separate occasions, but struggled to get into it – I think I just wasn't in the mood to read it at the time.

Then 2015 came around and I was at a book signing where I saw Half Wild book 2 in the trilogy on the shelves and decided that it was about time that I tried to start it again. And third time was the charm, as I raced through this in only two sittings.

Half B
Apr 08, 2014 Tatiana rated it it was ok
The downfall of this book is its lackluster plot. I quite liked the story in the beginning - the cage, the brutality, the freshness of the narrator's voice (oh yes, this boy IS half bad). But as the book went on, the limitations of the plot revealed themselves - imagine Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and all the running around and hiding, but without the friendships, the deep back story and the big showdown in the end. What's left is a lot of going from one place to another and meeting var ...more
Sercan Vatansever
Jan 11, 2015 Sercan Vatansever rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Allah'ım bitti! Neresinden başlasam...

Eğer bu kitabı yorumlarına güvendiğim arkadaşlar bu kadar sevmeseydi 'çok satılması için yapılıyor' falan derdim. (hatta demişim gibi bişey) 48 ülkeye satılacak, film hakkı daha çıkmadan alınacak hiçbir şey görmedim. Hiçbir şey. Hatta bu kitabın yurt dışında çıkar çıkmaz hemen sonrasında Türkiye'de yayımlanmasını ve o kadar güzel serileri hala beklememizi esefle kınıyorum!

Betimlemeler: Tek kelimeyle; yetersiz. YA'larda betimleme beklemiyorum zaten ama insan
Maxi  ♥
Jun 06, 2015 Maxi ♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Second time reading this book - this time in english - and I loved it! It was a little more difficult to get into it but that's fine.
Like I said in my other review ( link here ) I wanted a little more informations about the whole Black Witches VS White Witches war-thingy and I really wasn't a fan of the love stuff.
Initial reaction: I'll have to think about this one guys, because the quality of this book fluctuated from interesting to dry in many places and I struggled with the novel, but I can't say that I disliked it. I think the quality of this book might've been oversold though. I liked parts of it, but I found it also very flawed. Hopefully I can explain this after I give myself a night to sleep on it.

Full review:

I'm at a loss of words to describe my experiences with Sally Green's "Half Bad," the firs
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YA Kingdom Book Club: March-Half Bad 11 50 Apr 18, 2016 03:42AM  
Penguin Loves YA ...: * WELCOME! 53 429 Nov 13, 2015 07:48PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Change description 2 14 Oct 24, 2015 06:17PM  
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Hi - I'm Sally Green, author of Half Bad. It's my first book - and the first in a series of three, to be published by Penguin in March 2014.

I've had a whirlwind 2013, submitting Half Bad to an agent in January (and getting an agent - the wonderful Claire) and then agreeing a deal with Puffin (UK) and Viking (USA) in March. In April I agreed a film deal with Fox 2000 with Karen Rosenfelt as produce
More about Sally Green...

Other Books in the Series

The Half Bad Trilogy (3 books)
  • Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2)
  • Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3)

Share This Book

“The trick is not to mind.
Not to mind about it hurting.
Not to mind about anything.”
“The new trick is to stay in the present ... Get lost in the detail of it ... Enjoy it!” 28 likes
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