Welcome to our very own series! It’s called Notebook Sisters Approved (because we’re modest about our opinions like that).
Basically: we pick one thing out of a book or series that we approve of and talk about it! That thing, hopefully, breaks trends or is revolutionary to its genre, or involves delicious food.
Up to be analysed today is HALF BAD by Sally Green which
is one of the best books I’ve read this year has challenged the norm with…
No, I’m not overly dramatic. Why do you ask?
As you probably know (because I’m not super subtle about it), I read a lot of books. I LOVE BOOKS. But sometimes, halfway through a story, my eyelids close a little and I wonder quietly to myself, “HAVEN’T I READ THIS STORY SOMEWHERE BEFORE?” Super subtle and super quiet, just like that.
When you read a lot, things can sound the same. Is it because they are basically the same story? Is it because the tenses and writing styles are so similar? I’ve noticed there’s usually trends in styles-of-writing depending on genre, too.
dystopian – usually present tense and 1st person.
epic fantasy – usually 3rd person and and past tense.
sci-fi – usually 1st person and past tense
contemporaries – equally past and present, but usually 1st person
(I’m just saying “usually”, peoples, not “always”…because nothing is ever “always”!)
So when you read a book that’s just a little bit out of the “average”…do you feel shuddered and uncomfortable OR interested to see it from a different angle? I usually fall into the freakishly-excited-category. Because I’m a writer too! I LIKE to see experiments!
Half Bad has a fresh writing style and I absolutely loved it!
It starts off in 2nd person! Yes, with the “you”s and everything. That kind of threw me at first and I was a little worried the whole book would be like that. But the style changed in Part II. It goes into 1st person, present tense, which is probably favourite way of writing.
Why do I like it?
Ah, you ask good questions, my fantastic blogglings. WELL. I personally think that present tense/first person feels more intimate to the reader. I’m in the story. I’m seeing it as it happens. Then if you stick that personal-writing-style with a really vivid character’s voice…you get fireworks. Honestly, you do.
Half Bad also makes use of short sentences and weird formatting. And I use the word “weird” in the best possible way. Just lower your eyeballs to these pictures:
With great formatting comes great responsibility. Honestly! It does. I really admired this kind of formatting in Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (although I wasn’t so keen on the weird metaphors used). And here it strikes again! Awesome as before!
So did the different style formatting change my view of Half Bad? Absolutely! Although, I will say the story was pretty unique for me anyway. It felt like a mixture of Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter. Or, as I said to Mime, “Half Bad is what would happen if Suzanne Collins wrote Harry Potter.” I liked this book a lot, can you tell? But I think the formatting (and the short sentences and the intimate way of writing) really made me pay attention. I wasn’t read Just Another Book. It was freakishly brilliant.
But formatting like this can often backfire. I can imagine it’d lose some of it’s punch if it was in Kindle. Sometimes it’s too jarring. Sometimes it feels awkward.
You can catch my full review of Half Bad by Sally Green here on Goodreads. And if you don’t know what the story’s about, here, let me give it to you quickly in GIF form:
Cait feels a great connection to Half Bad because it also reminds her of how she likes to write. You know, short sentences and blood everywhere. Lots of fun. When not writing about her own little psychos, Cait is eating her books. Her TBR is taller than her at the moment. Currently she’s reading PAPER TOWNS by John Green.