Half Bad by Sally Green

I’m in two minds about this one.

On the one hand, the book was good enough to keep me reading until the end and it made me want to go out and buy the sequel, and it’s been a while since that happened. On the other hand…it’s been called the next Harry Potter, and I’ve got to say I disagree. Strongly.

It was compelling but not quite that good.

It’s about a sixteen-year-old boy called Nathan, and it’s a modern-witch story, and it was actually fairly interesting. I was cautious after hearing my friend say, “It’s not Half Bad, it’s all bad,” but it turned out to be okay.

Bad jokes aside…Nathan is basically half-white witch, half-black witch in a story world where white witches are good and black witches are evil. Nathan’s dad is basically the black witch, like, a crazy mass-murderer who incidentally went on to become my favorite character in the story, and Nathan’s being raised by his grandmother and living with his half-siblings. The first two-thirds of the book are quite boring: Nathan being a kid, Nathan being in a cage, Nathan with Annalise, his bland, goody-white-witch, intelligent-and-blonde love interest. Oh, how I loathed her and her lack of actual personality.

The last third was a lot better. There was Gabriel, my second favorite character – he’s literally just the greatest, I loved him. The whole Mercury plot line could have been a little stronger, since I felt Nathan had to chase about a billion more people than necessary to find her and her actual character turned out to be flat and anticlimactic.

It was in the present tense, mostly first person: I liked that about it, though I know lots of people don’t. A little bit was in second person…this has the potential to be a disaster if it’s not written properly, but I think it was done okay. Not spectacularly but not a train wreck.

I think that actually sums up the whole book, honestly: not spectacular, not a train wreck. Could be better, could be worse. It seemed to be aimed at like 12/13-year-olds – my mom actually bought it for my little brother to read – but I was fine reading it; and it was overall a pretty okay read. I read the sequel and I think the slight dull tone to this book is worth it, since the sequel is a dramatic improvement!

 

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Half Bad WIKI site

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This is the fourth in the Harry Potter series (duh) by J.K. Rowling. (double duh).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireA lot of my friends consider this one to be the best one, but I didn’t like it at all initially, to be honest. I’ve grown to quite like it over my 18 times reading it, but I still don’t consider it to be that brilliant. That’s just in comparison to the other Harry Potter books, though; it’s still absolutely amazing. No question.

So this book starts in the arguably quite boring setting of the village Little Hangleton. It’s got a kind of dark air to it because years ago, the three Riddles were killed. No trace was left; the Muggle authorities were totally confused. But the Ministry of Magic knew it was a wizard murder. Since then, an old Muggle, Frank, has tended to the Riddle house, and the Muggles suspect that Frank actually killed the Riddles, and so he is disliked. One night there is a light in the Riddle house, and Frank sees it and thinks it’s just some rowdy boys messing around, because they know Frank will have to clear up. So Frank goes, and when he approaches the room he saw the light in, he hears voices… and that’s Lord Voldemort (in whatever mangled state he’s in) and Peter Pettigrew (wormtail) plotting to kill a boy called… guess who… Harry Potter. Nagini, Voldemort’s snake, notices Frank listening outside the door, and tells Voldemort (in Parseltongue). Voldemort ‘invites’ Frank inside and kills him immediately.

Next chapter, the scene shifts to Harry Potter, who has just dreamt about that whole scene. His scar is hurting, and he writes to Sirius, his godfather. The next morning, Uncle Vernon receives a letter from the Weasleys inviting Harry to join them at the Quidditch World Cup. (I laughed at this scene… “I hope we put enough stamps on!!” made me laugh.)

Harry goes to the Burrow the next day. Early the morning after that, Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys head to the Quidditch Cup. They travel by Portkey, which I’ve always thought is awesome. At their Portkey they meet Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff seventh year. At their seat, they meet Winky, Barty Crouch’s house- elf (they didn’t include her in the movie… L ) who says she’s saving a seat for Barty, but he never turns up. Winky is terrified of heights, but she stays there.

That night, after the match, a crowd of Death Eaters destroy the campsite and torture the Muggle owners. Harry, Ron and Hermione escape into the woods, where Harry realizes his wand is missing. While Harry, Ron and Hermione are searching for the wand, someone fires Voldemort’s symbol… the Dark Mark.

Harry is thrown into fourth year, where it soon becomes apparent that someone wants him dead; though Ron doesn’t seem to see it that way. And is Mad Eye Moody supposed to act like that?

Read… I generally force people into reading these, and once they’ve read them, nobody’s complained about it, so they must be worth reading!! Age… umm… whenever, after age 7. I read it at about nine.

 

Author J K Rowling’s official web site

Author J K Rowling’s wiki site

Author J K Rowling’s biography

Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireMovie Trailer

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanThis is the third book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

This is the book where Dementors are introduced-foul creatures that will suck your soul out of your mouth; and the threat of Sirius Black is looming over everyone’s heads. It’s quite a dark book, though I think it’s the best one… I really enjoyed it… but it’s probably one of the scariest in the series, as the Dementors are really quite creepy.

There are still some comic elements in the book, though. Things like when Harry accidentally blows up his Aunt Marge; then encounters the Knight Bus; Sir Cadogan, the mad painting; the Marauder’s Map; Hogsmeade; and a lot of other things. It’s quite contrasting; First, Harry blows up his Aunt, then encounters the ‘Grim’; and things like that, basically. This has to be one of thebest in the series!!

My favorite part of the book has to be the bit with the Time Turner, as I loved the idea of it; to be able to go back in time is a really nice thought. I also liked that part because there, you find out what’s been going on with Hermione the whole time, too.

Amazing book; please read!!!

 

Author J K Rowling’s official web site

Author J K Rowling’s wiki site

Author J K Rowling’s biography

Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Movie Trailer

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsIt’s the second in the AMAZING Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

So, the first reintroduction to magic is when Harry gets a visit from Dobby the House-Elf, because Harry hasn’t received any letters from his friends all summer. Harry learns it’s because of Dobby this has happened, because Dobby is adamantly refusing to comply with what Harry tells him because he says, ‘harry potter must not return to Hogwarts!’

Then, at school, he faces the flying car problems, as well as the Basilisk, a deadly serpent that can kill just by looking you in the eye. Harry learns he is a parselmouth, and also unknowingly destroys a Horcrux. Basically, this book, like the first, is jam-packed with different plotlines within the book; there’s loads going on.

However, I didn’t find this book as good as the first one; it’s still just as gripping, but there’s something a little off for me, and that makes it my least favorite book in the series. Not to say it’s bad; it’s still pretty amazing!! I just found I didn’t like it as much as the others in the Harry Potter books.

I think, though, they missed out less in this book’s film, which made me enjoy it more, and the parseltongue in the in the movie is just how I imagined it.

My favorite part of this book was probably the part when Harry battles the Basilisk, just because it’s the part where you are introduced to Tom Riddle for the first time.

This is DEFINETELY worth a read, if you haven’t read it already. If you have, it’s worth a reread, too!! 😉 Can’t put an age to it, you can read it at any age… that’s what I love about these.

 

Author J K Rowling’s official web site

Author J K Rowling’s wiki site

Author J K Rowling’s biography

Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Movie Trailer

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone)

Harry-Potter-and-the-Sorcerers-StoneSo, this is the first in the seven-book series by J.K. Rowling!!

It’s basically about Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, and how he finds out about Voldemort killing his parents, and you just get introduced to all the characters like Hagrid, Dumbledore, the other teachers, and obviously Ron and Hermione. You get to know the characters really well in the books, and there are now all these extra books, and the making of Harry Potter at WB Studios, and the theme park, that you end up getting the impression that the characters are real people, and the movies just add to that.

The book- no, the series- is amazing. Brilliant. Fab. It’s gripping, and it’s never boring, and it’s impossible to put an age to it- you can read the books when you’re 7 or an adult and it just doesn’t matter. I loved the books. Completely. I must have read them around… 18 times now, and every time I found some new bit, and I never get bored of reading the same series again, even though I know the storyline amazingly well now- so far that I’ve memorized paragraphs. But that’s just me being obsessive.

If you haven’t read them, you definitely should!! Like I said, it’s just impossible to put an age to these.

I think the best part of the book is the part with Voldemort in the end- I think the challenges from each teacher is a great idea, and I think J. K. Rowling is amazing for coming up with all of this!!

There is(obviously) a movie out for this, but I think it misses out some parts I was really looking forward to seeing on screen after I read the book, so I think the book is better.

 

Author J K Rowling’s official web site

Author J K Rowling’s wiki site

Author J K Rowling’s biography

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone MOVIE

Get your own book from AMAZON