Thursday, 12 January 2017

Book Review: Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

The Blurb
Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter... 
Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.
My Review

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Michael Joseph, for the advanced reading copy.

Oh. My. God. What a book!

I was initially intrigued by the premise of a girl having to deal with having a serial killer for a mother. But as I started reading Good Me Bad Me I started to get scared. I was worried the story was going to dissolve into a voyeuristic, sadistic car crash.

But I needn't have worried - I am so glad I carried on reading. Once I did, I found it hard to leave - hence a couple of late nights where I couldn't stop thinking about the book once I put it down.

The narrator, Milly, is talking to her mother. Telling her how she has made her feel, telling her how she is coping (or not) without her. The descriptions of the crimes committed thankfully don't go into gory detail, leaving your mind to fill in the blanks - which works to great effect here.

Milly is staying with a foster family, the Newmonts. The father, Mike, is a psychologist, helping Milly prepare to testify against her own mother. The mother, Saskia, a mere shadow of a woman, scorned by her own daughter, Phoebe, who rails against having to compete with a broken foster child.

Milly has to battle to survive, against her mother's voice, constantly with her; against her background, desperate to keep her past hidden, against herself, for fear of becoming like her mother. She finds a friend in Morgan, but can she keep her safe?

Phoebe is a poisonous character, hellbent on making Milly's life even more of a living hell than it already is. Ali Land depicts the turmoils of adolescence perfectly, showing how cruel girls can be to each other, vying to be leader of the gang, and how easily led some can become, to afraid to say no. 

This is an absolute smasher of a debut novel. I think Good Me Bad Me is going to be one of the most talked about books for 2017. Absolutely bloody amazing.

Good Me Bad Me is published on 12th January by Michael Joseph. You can buy the book at Amazon, Waterstones and other retailers.

About the Author

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in a creative warehouse community in North London. Good Me Bad Me has been translated into over twenty languages.

Follow Ali on Twitter @byAliLand

No comments:

Post a Comment