Book Review // Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Book Review // Good Me Bad Me by Ali LandGood Me Bad Me by Ali Land
Published by Penguin UK on January 12th 2017
Rating: five-stars
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Suspense, Crime, Literary, Mystery & Detective, General, Political Science, Public Policy, Social Services & Welfare, Psychology, Developmental, Child
Pages: 352
Buy: Hardback/Paperback|Kindle
Synopsis:

ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017, Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction.
'The new Girl on The Train, which was the new Gone Girl. You get the picture. This psycho-thriller by Ali Land is set to be massive' Cosmopolitan'Incredible, very special' Radio 4's Open Book'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...
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.
'Gripping, unsettling and unforgettable' Heat
'Unsettling. Holds our attention from the opening page. There is so much to praise here' Guardian
'Spellbinding. Will have you on the edge of your seat. Sure to be a big talking point this year' Daily Express
'A creepy, compulsive thriller I read in one breathless gulp. Good Me Bad Me reveals its shocking secrets slowly while reeling in the reader with all the intricate skill of a spider spinning a web. One not to be missed' Red
'Original and compelling - what a sensational debut!' Clare Mackintosh, number one bestselling author of I See You and I Let You Go
'An astoundingly compelling thriller. Beyond tense. You hardly breathe. Best read in ages' Matt Haig
'Intelligent and disturbing, Good Me Bad Me had me hooked from the first page' Debbie Howells, author of Richard & Judy book club bestseller The Bones of You

Oh, holy WOW. If, like me, you were wondering if you were “over” the thriller genre, because they’re all the same, all the “new Gone Girl” or “Girl on the Train”, then you need to pick up Good Me Bad Me. It’s had a LOT of hype on social media, so you’ve probably heard of it, and I’m here to tell you: It. Is. Freaking. Amazing. It’s legitimately good. I was hooked from first page to last and I couldn’t put it down, no matter how tired I was (and I was tired, because I am not sleeping very well at the moment) but I couldn’t get enough of Annie/Milly.

Here’s the thing, I knew exactly where Good Me Bad Me was going before I’d even finished reading the synopsis, but that’s didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the book at all. In fact, I was excited to be proven wrong, and Milly’s voice was so, so captivating that I couldn’t let her go. It’s the kind of voice that resonates with you long after you’ve finished; where you’re still not sure of everything you’ve read and you sure as hell can’t believe everything Milly went through, when she was with her mother, when she was known as Annie. It’s sick, it’s like the worst ever episode of Criminal Minds, not that I think Criminal Minds would ever have an episode so disgusting, so perverse. It made me properly thankful for the family that I have, that’s for sure.

It’s incredibly hard to put into words why this book was so good, it just was. Everything about it. From Milly herself, who has spent her whole life being picked on or bullied in one way or another, and that continues even when she’s with her foster family, made worse is the fact it’s from her very own foster sibling, Phoebe, who was a horrible, nasty girl. Then there’s Mike and Saskia, Phoebe’s parents and Milly’s foster parents. Mike’s overly interested in helping Milly, Saskia’s a space cadet, more worried about her next fix than her real kid or her foster kid. And then there’s Morgan, the one teenager who isn’t nasty to Milly, and their relationship is bizarre and strange, and questionable, but it’s obviously a source of comfort for Milly. Even the way the novel is told, like it’s a love letter to Milly’s mother is both disturbing and fantastic.

I have no idea what goes on in Ali Land’s head, her imagination is out of this world, and if the product of her imagination is Good Me Bad Me, then sign me up for all of her future books because this book kept me gripped throughout. It was intoxicating, addictive, incredibly emotional and absolutely gob-smacking; everything from the characters, to the plot, to the writing was completely on point, and the culmination of everything at the end got me so excited, because just because you can see what’s coming doesn’t make it any less amazing when you see it on the page, especially with the way Ali Land writes. She’s a storytelling genius, and the worst thing of all is that I liked Milly throughout, through it all. I’ve never felt so connected to a character, and I feel like everything has just seeped out of me now that it’s over and I can feel a massive book hangover coming on.

five-stars
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1 Comment

  1. February 27, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    This sounds so good, I’ve actually never heard of this book before but it sounds like something I’d really enjoy so I’m adding it to my TBR list right now! Great review!

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