supernatural, magic, abilities, good vs. evil
UK: England, Scotland and Wales
person POV, present tense: Nathan. Sometimes also in 2nd person.
Length: 394 pgs.
List Price: $18.99
“Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle
for survival in a hidden society of witches.
can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.
get sick if you stay indoors after dark.
hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.
been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.
you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And
do that before your seventeenth birthday.
Bad is a bit different from all the paranormal books I have read. Usually a book
would start out with the character as a teenager and usually stick to a certain
POV. Well, Half Bad started in 2nd person for about 18 pages. Then
the first person POV part had Nathan at age 11. It isn’t till part three of the
book that he turn 16. About 150 pages into the book. The beginning felt a
little middle grade-like rather than YA.
The book wasn’t bad. It was pretty interesting. I was
expecting some alternate world where everyone knows witches exist, kind of like
the Tantalize series where everybody know shifters exist. I was wrong. Regular
people are called fains by the witches. The witches are a secret society. There
are new rules about Half Code, those who are half Black/White witches or half
fain. Nathan has to go to assessments so they can determine whether he’ll be a
Black or White witch.
The book does have a brief bit of romance, but not
enough to really matter. There’s some action. Fighting and trying to escape.
The parts that were in 2nd person made me think of Shatter Me by
Tahereh Mafi. There’s a lot of broken grammar and lists and short chapters
almost like poems. There’s also a lot of British slang and phrases that I’m not
used to hearing as an American. I feel so sorry for Nathan. He’s dyslexic or
just illiterate. He can draw really well, though. He seems depressed and
neglected. He thinks he’ll be a Black witch.
The world building was pretty interesting. The Black
and White witches seemed like a racism think, but it was really good vs. evil.
You start to question whether White witches are actually good. Some of them are
probably rotting on the inside, or wanting to kill just as much as a Black
witch. All young witches has to receive 3 gift on their 17th
birthday in order to get their one special ability what even it may be. I also
enjoyed the setting. Most books set in the UK just stick to London, but this
was the countryside. He was in Wales and Scotland also. It’s fun to imagine the
misty, rainy environment there. It adds atmosphere.
I recommend this book if you like book like Harry
Potter or Shatter Me. It’s not dystopian, but it kind of feels that way in
certain parts. It’s mostly a just a British paranormal book filled with magic
and interesting characters.
Cover Art Review: I love the cover because it’s
metallic and the silhouette made of spreading blood really pops out. The title
is a little hard to read because it’s orientation, but it’s a well designed
cover and will appeal to not only teens, but adults as well.
person POV, present tense: Jacqui (16-year-old female side character from
previous book that pretended to be a 12-year-old boy)
List Price: $17.99
“Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they
set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor,
Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to
spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily,
they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his
underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect
he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui
and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do
anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of
life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental
catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.”
is a dystopian retelling loosely based of Red-Riding Hood. Stung was a loose
retelling of Sleepy Beauty. Cured as references other fairy tales and stories,
but it deviates. Cured is a very unique dystopian novel, second book in the
Stung series. I was a little confused going into it because I forgot whom
Jacqui is, but I learned pretty early on that she was the side character girl
in the previous book who is pretending to be a 12-year-old boy so raiders don’t
take her away. Woman and girl are not safe in this world. There are also
zombies known as Beasts who were infected by the Bee Flu Vaccination and want
Cured was a pretty fast read. It’s fast-paced and
uncomplicated. Once you get into it, you won’t feel so confused. There’s
survival and a hot romance. Jacqui is very independent and does a good
impersonation of a pre-teen boy, but other than the necessary cross-dressing,
she’s like any other teenage girl. She notices guys. Her and a character named
Kevin develop a relationship. He’s able to see past the disguise somehow and
think’s she’s beautiful no matter what.
Cured also has a few unexpected twists. Something
about Kevin, and others about family members. There’s also something very
unique about the female lead. Back when Jacqui was 14, she was very fat,
possibly obese. Both her and her mom were not allowed in the walled city
because of their health problem. Jacqui was able to overcome her weight through
running on a treadmill. She’s lean as ever, but probably from the lack of food
I love the setting in Cured. Denver, Colorado is a
city I visited about ten years ago, but I remember how awesome it was. I love
it when a book is set in a familiar city or area. I love the mountains and
foothills. It’s such a beautiful place.
I you haven’t read Stung or Cured, I recommend them to
fans of dystopian books. It has some of the elements of post-apocalyptic/zombie
dystopian books you are familiar with, but they are unique enough to pick you
from a reading slump. If you liked books like Under The Never Sky or Rot &
Ruin, then give it a try.
Cover Art Review: Very interesting cover. Not as good
as the 1st book’s cover, which has a rainbow effect on the bee’s
wings. I do like the neon green beaker with the bee in it, but the bee is
creepy. I think it's actually a horse fly.
Summary/ product description: “I didn't ask for any
of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no
choice but to go along, you know?
I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow
and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To
be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the
good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's
still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the
power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
been trained to fight.
I have a mission:
the Tin Woodman's heart.
the Scarecrow's brain.
the Lion's courage.
and only then—Dorothy must die!”
Must Die is and exciting and unique retelling. It centers around the character
Amy Gumm, who’s just a normal, snarky girl from modern day Kansas. She’s teased
at school for living in a trailer with her mom. Her and her trailer are swept
up in a tornado and she lands in Oz. She has the same kind of beginning as
Dorothy, but she’s so very different. Dorothy came back to Oz only two years
after she left. You can read her story in the novella called No Place Like Oz.
Dorothy has been twisted by the magic of ruby red high
heels. She’s ruling Oz like a tyrant queen. She has a lot of horrible laws and
punishments and Amy finds this out shortly after she arrives. Later on Amy
meets a group of Witches that call themselves the Order. They consider
themselves wicked because Dorothy, who’s assisted by Glinda, considers
themselves good. She by being against Dorothy, they are Wicked. The lines
between Good and Wicked are blurred.
Amy learns a lot from these Witches. They want her to
kills Dorothy, who’s hoarding Oz’s magic. The witches want Oz to be what it
I did not know what to expect when I first heard of
this book. I wasn’t expecting it to be as amazing as it turned out. My first
impression was that it was going to be a retelling and that maybe it was set
sometime in the past. When I started reading I was happy that the narrator was
a modern girl and that her voice was so snarky and a little angry. She’s a bit
of a rebel and not sweet. Amy is able to channel her anger into a powerful
There’s some brief romance in this book, but it’s
definitely going to build. I didn’t realize this was a series when I read it.
There’s a hot warlock/wizard named Nox. He helps train Amy along with the other
witches. I like a lot of the characters. Nox, as well as Gert and even Glamora.
Ollie also. Ozma who was in the novella prequel, is not herself, but kind of
My favorite part in the book was when Amy had to
impersonate a maid, and also the training scenes with Nox. There’s a lot of
action too. More than I expected. There’s references to the Wizard of Oz book
and movie and there’s even characters a creature that we’d expect. There’s even
fairies. The story’s full of magic and all kinds of crazy strange stuff. For
some reason the book had a dystopian feel. A post-apocalyptic fantasyland ruled
and ruined by Dorothy.
Dorothy Must Die lives up to the hype and will leave
you dying for more. It’s not the Dorothy you know. It’s bloody, action packed
and fun. I also just heard it might become a TV show on the CW!!!! If you like shows like Once Upon A Time or other retellings, you'll love this.
Cover Art Review: Minimalist vector based cover. Like
the use of texture. I like the title and the hand rendered word DIE.