Published on 12 January 2017 by Penguin and available here
SET TO BE ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017 – for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction: once you read this book you’ll want to talk about it .
‘NEW NAME .NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME . ‘
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…
Good Me Bad Me is all about Milly, a rather fascinating and unusual teenage girl. Ali Land’s debut psychological thriller is one to check out in 2017! I predict it will be massive!
Milly’s mother is on trial, for multiple child murder. This is one of those huge shocking murder cases, that hits the headlines and stays there. Milly is now in the care system, with foster parents. She has a new identity. With new friends to make, bitchiness galore at school and a dysfunctional foster family, Milly has her work cut out. Milly is placed with a Psychologist foster father, Mike and his flaky wife, Saskia. Their daughter, Phoebe takes an instant dislike to Milly. Phoebe and Milly are polar opposites; the popular girl and the freaky new girl. Milly tries her best. She keeps much to herself, including the full uncensored version of her life at home. Slowly we get a sense of the kind of depraved life Milly had, as a victim of her mother’s abuse. How much has Milly been influenced by her upbringing? Can she escape the past?
This is a dark tale of an everyday teen, with a chilling past. It is clever and subtle. Milly’s voice is distinctive and impossible to forget, as she navigates teen subcultures and a new life. We grow to love her, to understand a little of the shocking cold environment she was brought up in. Milly has been nurtured by evil and is haunted by the past. Her mother is still there, in her head. Milly is fighting a constant inner battle with herself and her fears. Milly tries to be normal, to learn how to fit in and to escape the rules she learnt from her childhood. She wants to make friends and be loved by her new family.
Little hints filter through the narrative to be wary of Milly. She is not what she seems. We are slowly drip fed the past, through the eyes of Milly. How will she cope if her secret identity is revealed? How will she manage facing her mother in court? How will she manage if things do not go her way? Milly’s head is chaotic, with no one there to share her inner struggle.She tries to reassure those around her that she can cope. Our access to her thoughts reveal that Milly is fragile and could snap.Don’t mess with Milly. She is damaged.
Ali Land’s Good Me Bad Me is a dark character study of a wonderful damaged girl. Absorbing and highly entertaining, we slowly discover all there is to know about Milly. Milly will make you smile, probably. And shudder! Highly recommended.