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- Monthly Book Round-up: July 2014 August 1, 2014
- Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children | Book Review July 31, 2014
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I don’t often buy new releases, mainly because I hate paying full price for a book. If I do make the splurge, it’s typically for a book on the bestseller’s list, because I figure I’m more likely to love it if many other people love it too (I know, this can be a ridiculous way to look at something, but it keeps money in my pocket, lol). However, I read several good reviews about Half Bad, and the plot intrigued me, so I snatched it up shortly after it came out.
I loved the way this book began. It immediately sucked me in, and I just HAD to know how Nathan got where he was (Forgive me for being vague, I don’t want to give it away.).
Then we get the background to the present day story. We learn about the White Witches and Black Witches, the importance of a witch’s 17th birthday, and how Nathan is brought up. I enjoyed the development of the story, but I think Green could have left out some of the extraneous information and still had a great background. Also, Nathan’s relationship with his brother Arran is strange. They are very affectionate towards each other, kissing the other’s forehead and the like, which felt almost innocently incestuous, if there is such a thing. It definitely effeminated Nathan for me, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except that it didn’t go with the rest of the story. I had a hard time believing Nathan’s “intense” feelings for Annalise. Really the only point of detailing the odd relationship between Nathan and Arran was to show how important Arran was to Nathan, which could have been done differently.
Brought back to present day, I start to have issues with the rest of the book. There are great periods of action, times at which I was aghast at the horror of what was happening. But there’s SO MUCH DOWNTIME. For example, several pages discuss Nathan chilling out in the woods alone for a while – at TWO different instances in the book. I think a paragraph or two could have covered that, maybe a page at most. This downtime is what bothered me the most about the story. A couple of times I briefly considered putting it down, but I wanted to find out how it ended.
Well, the book ends with the event you’ve pretty much been expecting for most of the book. Of course, there’s a twist to how it happens, but I wasn’t really surprised by it. I felt very blah when I finished this book, it just didn’t do it for me.
Half Bad is the first in the Half Life trilogy by Sally Green. Truth be told, I can’t believe this storyline is a trilogy, and I don’t think I’ll be reading the others. While I’m somewhat curious how the plot will continue to unravel, I just wasn’t impressed enough with Green’s storytelling to want to read more, and I honestly think this is an instance where more than one book is unnecessary. I had such high hopes for Half Bad because of the reviews I read, and I did enjoy the majority of it, but the bad parts really brought it down for me. This is a prime example of why I need to stick to my gut more about buying newly-released books (Earth to Krystal, this is why you own a library card!).
I realize this review is a bit on the negative side, but I’d still recommend the book to anyone willing to overlook the downtime and wanting a story about good vs bad where good isn’t as sparkly clean as expected.
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“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.” - Arnold Lobel
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