Book Review: Good Me, Bad Me
I hope you’re enjoying the turn of the season. The cold is finally here in Kansas City, and I’m loving it!
Anywho, it’s book review time once more!
This time I read Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land.
This is an assigned group read for my reader’s advisory class and I was running short on time for the deadline, so I kind of swan dived right into this one. How did it end up? Keep on reading!
Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land.
How far does the apple really fall from the tree?
Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.
But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.
When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.
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This was a fun psych thriller despite some mixed feelings here and there.
In a nutshell, this novel is centered on the relocated daughter of a serial killer named Milly. Having turned her mother in for her inhuman deeds, Milly anxiously awaits her mother’s trial as the star witness. As she waits she has been taken in by a foster family, but discovers that her new life may be just as hellish as her former in different ways. Can Milly adjust to everyday life, or is she destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps?
What worked most for me was the psychological thriller element and premise. Every chapter felt tense and uncertain, and I was on pins and needles the entire time. There is something about the prerogative of this young woman that was unsettling and frankly, horrifying. I found myself worrying when she might fully snap, and you could cut the tension in the air with a knife.
I read via audiobook, and the narrator Imogen Church did a masterful job. She truly embodied our troubled Milly and other characters with distinct accents and voices. I found myself hooked to this audiobook, and I didn’t want to stop listening.
The writing was beautiful and poetic in spots without verging on purple prose, and I enjoyed that.
Milly’s character itself was an enigma. She was hard to read, and the reader is forced to try and figure out the truth for themselves as bits and pieces are revealed chapter by chapter.
That being said, I was disappointed with the other characters. The foster family she’s been relocated to seems ill equipped to handle a foster child, let alone the daughter of a serial killer.
Mike is something of a counselor who is assisting with the prosecution of Milly’s mother, but he’s so preoccupied with that that he turns a blind eye to anything else going on. His wife Saskia was a total mess, dependent on a mixture of drugs and alcohol, and their daughter Phoebe was a truly horrendous bully and one-dimensional. I don’t know how they earned their spot as a foster family, but it should’ve been taken away long before the events of this novel. Their characters didn’t make enough sense to me.
There’s also a lot of bullying in this novel, enough to grate on even my nerves and warrant a warning for prospective readers.
In the end, this was an entertaining novel despite its faults, and I think a lover of psychological thrillers would still enjoy this.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!