Thursday, 31 March 2016

Half Lost by Sally Wild annihilated me and I'M A MESS

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3)Title: Half Lost
Series: Half Life #3
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: March 29th 2016, Penguin
Pages: 384 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Penguin for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 5/5 CUPCAKES!
Nathan Byrn is running again. The Alliance of Free Witches has been all but destroyed. Scattered and demoralized, constantly pursued by the Council's Hunters, only a bold new strategy can save the rebels from total defeat. They need the missing half of Gabriel's amulet - an ancient artifact with the power to render its bearer invincible in battle.

But the amulet's guardian - the reclusive and awesomely powerful witch Ledger - has her own agenda. To win her trust, Nathan must travel to America and persuade her to give him the amulet. Combined with his own Gifts, the amulet might just be enough turn the tide for the Alliance and end the bloody civil war between Black and White witches once and for all...
 

So, I just finished Half Lost by Sally Green and I am reeling from the exhilarating, breathtaking, life altering story I just read and my heart is splintering as I think back on this incredible journey that I've just experienced. I loved this book, it's one of those books that consumes part of your soul and leaves a permanent mark on your heart. It's one of those books that wraps you in its arms and never relinquishes control. It's one of those books that breaks your heart, snatches your breath away and just makes you feel everything. Half Lost by Sally Green made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me scream in anger and frustration and it completely broke my heart but in the best way possible. I've fallen completely in love with this book and I guarantee that if you read it, so will you.

Where do I begin? Perhaps with the characters, who feel like my best friends?

Nathan, our protagonist, the boy who was abused, tortured and chained because of what he might not even become. A character that I'd do anything to protect, a character that feels like a brother and a best friend. A character who taught me that good and evil aren't two separate things but exist as one within a person. A character who taught me to never give up, that the pain will cease. A character who I fell completely in love with despite them being flawed and angry and hurtful. Seeing the psychological turmoil Nathan faced because of the war and because of his past frightened me and made my heart bleed because we, as the reader, see the dark thoughts that are beginning to race through Nathan's head and I know I came to fear what he might become because of the things he had been forced to do. I can't quite describe how much I love Nathan or why exactly I've formed such an emotional attachment to him, all I know is that I have – he crawled into my heart and will always reside there.

Gabriel, my vibrant, beautiful Gabriel who I fell for even more in this book. He's gentleness and he's love and he's overflowing capacity to forgive had the tears flowing down my face more times than I can count whilst reading this. He, hand in hand with Nathan, crept into my heart and I know they will stay there for as long as I live. He's such a gorgeous person with a soul that shines like the sun. The way he was able to burn away the dark in Nathan, calm him, love him despite the shadows that threatened to consume him utterly astonished me. It was a love so beautiful, an unforgettable one given by a boy so magnificent and it stole my breath away. I'm left speechless about why I love Gabriel all I know is that with every word he speaks and every part of love he shows, I fell in love with him a little bit more.

The secondary characters were just as extraordinary and I became severely emotionally attached to most of the characters which proved to be a slight issue when Sally Green thought it would be fun to kill everyone. We have found ourselves a new Veronica Roth, people. I absolutely loved Nesbitt in this book and I loved watching him and Nathan form something like friendship. I loved Van. I loved Ellen. I loved Greatorex. I even grew to feel some affection towards Celia something I never thought would happen. There was Annalise who I still don't know how exactly I feel about. I was so bitterly furious with her after Half Wild but a part of me believes she did care for Nathan and she did love him and I, like Nathan, often reminisced about the early days of their childhood friendship. I don't think I could ever like her again but I do miss her and Nathan's friendship and I regret that she did what she did because she was a character I really adored. This is what I mean, you feel everything Nathan feels in this book, his confusion, his anger, his grief – that is the mark of a truly talented writer.

I really enjoyed the plot in this book. It showed the fear, the boredom, the grief and the full spectrum of emotions that one feels when faced with a war. There were moments of heart-stopping terror that made my heart freeze in my chest. There were moments of joy when things started looking up. And there was severe ugly crying when things didn't go according to plan. I loved the introduction of Ledger and learning more about the magic the witches possess, I loved watching Nathan harness his gifts, I loved the action-packed scenes and the scenes that had a gentle, melodic quality, I loved everything about this book, except the ending which I will be forever in denial about. That ending completely shattered me. I cried and I screamed and I couldn't bare to turn the pages, I felt such anxiety for my characters and I was left in such shock that for several moments all I could do was sit there and swallow air because that ending made me feel like I'd been punched in the gut. I don't think I've ever been that affected by an ending in my entire life and I still don't think it's officially sunk in. When you read Half Lost, don't be afraid to email or tweet me because you will need to talk about it. (Thank you Charnell and Shannon for being there to cry and rant with me!). It's been a day and I still tear up about it and I'm sure I will continue to tear up whenever I think about it for many more days to come because that ending was cruel and devastating and I could type a thousand more words on just the ending alone but pain. In fact, I still feel in shock and in a haze because how? I have become so attached to this trilogy.

I once again loved the theme this book delved into, about how there is never a distinct good or evil person. There's always going to be love and hatred, peace and war, the beautiful and the horrifying that exist within us. There's a fine line between good and bad and I love how this series wasn't afraid to reveal the venom that lies in all of our hearts. I love how this book shows that no matter what you believe you are, if you come from a family that is consumed with blackened hearts, there's always a speck of good, a blossom of love that you can water and you can grow until the blackness is just dot amidst the sea of white. I love how this book showed that you choose what you become.

I'm so incredibly happy that I've read this trilogy. I've fallen so in love with these characters and they are a firm fixture that sits upon my heart. The writing in this book was lyric and delightful, the plot was enchanting and this whole entire series has utterly swept me away. Half Lost was a heart-breaking but brilliant finale to an exquisite series.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

- Violence including chopping off body parts and various other graphic scenes
- Implicit sex scene
- Swearing 

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