Hafu Sans Halo – Book One
Judge by the Cover (2017) by Melissa Abigail
Overall, it was great to see Haruna come to consider Ryu as an orphan like herself. Some highlights in this novel are endearing:
• It was great that the author introduced a scene where Haruna and Ryu had to be on the same team for their class project.
• It was a surprise when Ryu was introduced living in an orphanage for wayward boys.
• The device of having Haruna's belongings crashing to the ground in Ryu's presence worked well.
• The lead in to the death of David “Wild Dog Singh” was clever.
• Allowing Ryu to overhear the criticisms of Mani that nearly led to a fist fight was well thought out.
• It was shocking to learn that Ryu had become a White Flower assassin and drove a Mazda.
• The news of the death of Singh was well handled between friends.
• It was unexpected as Haruna ended up inviting Ryu to her home while her grandmother Marie was away.
• Surprisingly Haruna and Ryu were able to work together in doing a great class presentation on the Merchant of Venice.
• Cleverly it was shown how Haruna eventually broke up with Mani.
Considerations & Questions
Is Haruna's relationship with Mani really over?
Will she be in a relationship with Ryu?
When will there be a resolution about Singh's murder?
What does the future hold for Ryu?
What will become of Haruna's grandmother Marie?
Will Haruna be happy?
I rather enjoyed reading this novel and it's a success dealing with “coming of age” themes. There is some violence and an occasional curse word, but it is surely geared to young adults. Parents and teachers when considering such a book will be concerned about the amount of sexual and violent incidents. However, the information about adolescent sexuality was at a minimum. The writing style is excellent and so is the characterization. I highly recommend this novel – Judge by the Cover by Melissa Abigail, to readers. The author did a superb job in her first novel of this series.