Review: Half Dead & Fully Broken by Kevin Craig

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I received a digital copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

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Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: January 19, 2015

Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky

Buy LinksAmazon US | Amazon UK

Review:

I have been excited to read Mr. Craig’s ever since I saw his post on IG about his first YA novel Burn baby Burn Baby (Yes, I stalk authors on IG. Sue me. I got no money :P) because they seem to have an inetersting premise for the plot line. So when I got the chance to read this novel, I jumped at the chance (Literally jumped!).

This story begins with Carter’s description of the day; the perfect day with the perfect weather and him with his perfect twin. What could possibly go wrong? Famous last words, really.

Carter loses his twin in a horrific accident, yet he is the one who is ostracised. Why? Because, he is the twin who lived. Marcus was the one who was well liked, the popular one, the one who got all the ‘hello’s’ in the school, while Carter was the one who went ignored.

Nothing changed after the accident, if nothing else, things became worse for Carter. Now being invisible would have been better, because now when everybody looks at him, they see Marcus (which would have been creepy, honestly speaking!)

And if things hadn’t being going weird for Carter already, he starts to see Marcus’s ghost as well. Marcus who doesn’t know why he is still hanging around, all he knows that the reason would be revealed only when the time was right!

Through the journey that Marcus takes Carter through, he gets to know Marcus’s girlfriend, Melanie and Justin, the guy who rammed the brother’s killing Marcus.

All of them are going through the mourning, and coping with the death of Marcus in different ways. And yet, it’s Marcus’s death that brings them all together.  

This story is well written, and so beautifully imagined. The characters have such an amazing growth through the storyline (even ghostly Marcus) that it was actually quite a treat to read about them.

This book is different from other Young Adult novels that you find nowadays, especially since there is an overflow of Science fiction and fantasy genres (Not that I am complaining!). It is as real as it gets. It tackles real life problems in a way that you don’t get to see anymore. The tragedy of life is that what happened to Carter could happen to anybody, even you or me.

These three teenagers have gone through the worst of times, and have come through the burning fire, molded and better equipped for life. They have forged a strong bond of friendship that may have a foundation in loss but now serves as their anchor for loyalty.

This book has only whetted my appetite for more of Mr. Craig’s books, especially the sneak peak into the Burn Baby Burn Baby, which sounds all the more interesting  now (Yes, Kevin, that was a hint to you :P).

The only thing I didn’t like was the fact the ending was abrupt. Maybe it’s just me, but I need to know what happens to my beloved characters, especially when they have just gone through a life changing experience.

This, was just before a tweet conversation I had with Mr. Craig, which I was told there would be a sequel but even that did little, cause I need to know and I needed to Know what happened next NOW! [I am sure, you readers would understand what I am saying ;)]

Beyond this, the book was perfect in every way. The plot, the characters, the relationships and even the hint of paranormal was bought out wonderfully by the writing style of Mr. Craig. This book isn’t one to be missed out on! And I am glad that I didn’t.

Rating:

4.5 / 5 Stars

(I would have given it a full 5 star rating, but as I said, the abrupt ending was something I did not like!)

Recommendation:

I would recommend this book for anyone who has suffered a loss and understood the pain of knowing that letting go of that loved one, is the hardest thing you ever have to do. You should read this book, especially if like a book about friendship with a hint of paranormal thrown in!

About The Author

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Kevin Craig is the author of four previous novels; Burn Baby, Burn Baby, Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and The Reasons. He is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. Kevin is also a playwright and has had eight 10-minute plays produced. His poetry, short stories, memoir and articles have been published internationally. Kevin was a founding member of the Ontario Writers’ Conference and a long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). He is represented by literary agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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