I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Half Dead & Fully Broken by Kevin Craig
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on January 19th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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?
I received a copy of Half Dead and Fully Broken from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This does not influence my opinion in any shape or form.
The beginning of this book is so strong. I was immediately sucked into it. I believe in ghosts, spirits, the whole unfinished business thing, the whole waking up at 3 in the morning is the mocking hour (okay maybe I’ve seen too many exorcists movies) but anyway I totally believe in this whole concept. I was anxious to see just what way Kevin was going to go with this story; I literally had a notebook by my side scribbling my theories and thoughts throughout the book.
Half dead and fully broken left me speechless and I do mean this in a good way.
The story is told from Carter’s point of view. Carter is our main character. When we first meet Carter, he is going through a really hard time. His twin brother Marcus just died and the wounds are still refresh. His parents can’t look at him without bursting into tears because they see Marcus and not Carter. Everyone around him doesn’t see Carter, they see Marcus and so they avoid him. Before Marcus died, Carter was invisible. Everyone loved Marcus he was Mr. Do-Nothing-Wrong, Mr. Freaking Wonder. But after Marcus died, Carter finally becomes known only to be ignored he has the face of the dead guy and some are having trouble distinguishing between the two even him. He even has trouble looking in the mirror because he doesn’t see himself he sees Marcus.
Carter explains how the accident happened. Marcus who did nothing wrong or dangerous had this crazy idea of riding his motorbike to school. It was this idea that today was the day they must fully live to the fullest. Carter knew better then to argue with Marcus when he was like that so he went a long with the idea. So off to school they go, school isn’t that far everything should be fine right? Nope, the light turns red and Marcus doesn’t stop he decides to go instead of stop and the next thing Carter knows is that he’s flown down the road his arms feel like their on fire and the motor bike is a twisted piece of metal. Right, when the ambulance is about to take him to the hospital he sees Marcus running towards him telling him everything is going to be okay and so he fall asleep due to the medication they are administrating to him.
Then he wakes up, he’s in the hospital and he has bandages on his arms and hands. His parents are crying and no one will answer if Marcus is okay. Randomly Marcus starts appearing but it seems like Carter is the only one who sees him. And that’s when the truth is told, Marcus died instantly.
Carter is seeing his brother’s ghost.
Carter is replaying everything in his head, the morning of the accident, the different ways he could have stopped Marcus. The what-ifs, could haves, would haves you get the gist. It’s tearing him apart.
Waking up 3:33 am
Carter begins to wake up at 3:33 am every night. At first he wasn’t sure why then Marcus began appearing and they would have conversations things like that. He also knew if his parents and sister heard him speaking to himself then they would send him to a crazy house or make him see his shrink.
Marcus doesn’t tell him much other then he’s here for a reason one that he cannot explain to Carter.
My theories went as followed: he wanted to be with his girlfriend one last time, he had some unfinished business, he wanted to hurt the person who did this to him, he wanted to find peace or he wanted to stop something from happening to Carter.
Marcus learns he can do things now that he’s dead, like flying for instance. But there’s also something he wants to try which is use Carter’s body to communicate with his girlfriend Mel. I totally thought this was a Ghost movie reference/idea.
Their first attempt of sharing bodies means Carter is in his body but he isn’t really in his body. Marcus insists on trying to make perfect these things they can do. At times I had mixed feelings like was Marcus going to take over Carter’s body completely, were his intentions good or bad. I wasn’t the only one questioning them so was Carter.
Mel & Justin
Marcus was in a serious relationship with Mel. Mel and Carter have never spoken a word to each other but after Marcus’s death they developed a friendship that slowly turns into more.
I had some conflicted feelings about this relationship. For instance, was she just seeking comfort in the arms of the guy who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend or did she really see Carter for Carter. I did enjoy their relationship growing and becoming one different from Marcus. It still gave me conflicted feelings but not enough to take away from the story.
Justin is the guy whose truck smashed into the bike Marcus and Carter were on. He’s the high school top football player and he’s a total mess. He reaches out to Carter because his guilt is killing him. I could sense that the guilt was unbearable for Justin. What I really loved about this story is that Carter, is accepting of Justin like he understood that it was an accident and doesn’t hold it against him in fact he tries really hard to make Justin forgive himself.
The Book as a Whole
I really enjoyed the paranormal events that took place in the book. I had conflicted feelings about Marcus’s intentions with using Carter’s body but at the end of the story I understood what he was trying to do. I also loved how the novel did not just focus on the death of Marcus but how it brought Carter to Mel and Justin. It was also about forgiveness. I thought Carter and Mel were very strong characters because they understood it was accident and wanted to help Justin with his guilt. They wanted to show him it was okay that it was an accident that he didn’t do anything wrong because he didn’t. Even though the story is written in first person through Carter, I got to know Mel, Justin, Carter’s parents and sister. I even got to know Marcus.
It shows a great message of learning to forgive, and understanding just how short life can truly be. Even though Marcus died seizing the day, Carter, Mel and Justin learned to come together from that day and develop a friendship that I am sure will last a lifetime.
The last parts of the book left me on the edge of my seat. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but I’m glad things turned out the way they did. I was left speechless with the ending because it was beautiful. It really left you with a sense of peace and hope that those that have passed have somehow managed to find peace and are in a better place because that’s all you could ever really ask for.