Good Me Bad Me: A Novel

Good Me Bad Me: A Novel

by Ali Land

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Overview

Good Me Bad Me: A Novel by Ali Land

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S EDITORS' CHOICE

HOW FAR DOES THE APPLE REALLY FALL FROM THE TREE?

Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land: "Could not be more unputdownable if it was slathered with superglue." —Sunday Express

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250087669
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 116,784
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ali Land graduated from university with a degree in Mental Health and spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse. Land is now a full-time writer. Good Me Bad Me is her debut novel.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Forgive me when I tell you it was me.

It was me that told.

The detective. A kindly man, belly full and round. Disbelief at first. Then, the stained dungarees I pulled from my bag. Tiny.

The teddy bear on the front peppered red with blood. I could have brought more, so many to choose from. She never knew I kept them.

Shifted in his chair, he did. Sat up straight, him and his gut.

His hand — I noticed a slight tremor as it reached for the telephone. Come now, he said. You need to hear this. The silent waiting for his superior to arrive. Bearable for me. Less so for him. A hundred questions beat a drum in his head. Is she telling the truth? Can't be. That many? Dead? Surely not.

I told the story again. And again. Same story. Different faces watched, different ears listened. I told them everything.

Well.

Almost everything.

The video recorder on, a gentle whirring the only noise in the room once I finished my statement.

You might have to go to court, you know that, right? You're the only witness, one of the detectives said. Another asked, Do you think it's safe for us to send her home? If what she's saying is true? The chief inspector in charge replied, We'll have a team assembled in a matter of hours, then turned to me and said, Nothing's going to happen to you. It already has, I wanted to reply.

Everything moved quickly after that, it had to. I was dropped off at the school gates, in an unmarked car, in time for pickup. In time for her to pick me up. She would be waiting with her demands, recently more urgent than usual. Two in the last six months. Two little boys. Gone.

Act normal, they said. Go home. We're coming for her. Tonight.

The slow grind of the clock above my wardrobe. Tick. Tock. Tick. And they did. They came. The middle of the night, the element of surprise in their favor. A nearly imperceptible crunching on the gravel outside. I was downstairs by the time they forced their way through the door.

Shouting. A tall, thin man dressed in plain clothes, unlike the others. A string of commands sliced through the sour air of our living room. You, take upstairs. You, in there. You two take the cellar. You. You. You.

A tidal wave of blue uniforms scattered throughout our house. Guns held in praying hands, flat against their chests. The thrill of the search, along with the terror of the truth, etched in equal measure on their faces.

And then you.

Dragged from your room. A red crease of sleep visible down your cheek, eyes foggy with the adjustment from a state of rest to a state of arrest. You said nothing. Even when your face was mashed into the carpet, your rights read out, their knees and elbows pressed in your back. Your nightie rode high up your thighs. No underwear. The indignity of it all.

You turned your head to the side. Faced me. Your eyes never left mine, I read them with ease. You said nothing to them, yet everything to me. I nodded.

But only when no one was watching.

CHAPTER 2

New name. New family.

Shiny.

New.

Me.

*
My foster dad Mike's a psychologist, an expert in trauma; so is his daughter, Phoebe, although more in the causing than the healing. Saskia, the mother. I think she's trying to make me feel at home, although I'm not sure, she's very different from you, Mummy. Skinny and vacant.

Lucky, the staff at the unit told me while I waited for Mike to come. What a fantastic family the Newmonts are, and a place at Wetherbridge. Wow. Wow. WOW. Yes, I get it. I should feel lucky, but really I'm scared. Scared of finding out who and what I might be.

Scared of them finding out, too.

A week ago now Mike came to collect me, toward the end of the summer holidays. My hair brushed neat, pulled back in a band, I practiced how to speak, should I sit or stand. Every minute that went by, when the voices I heard weren't his, the nurses instead, sharing a joke, I became convinced he and his family had changed their minds. Come to their senses. I stood rooted to the spot, waiting to be told, Sorry, you won't be going anywhere today.

But then he arrived. Greeted me with a smile, a firm handshake, not formal, but nice, nice to know he wasn't afraid to connect. To run the risk of being contaminated. I remember him noticing my lack of belongings, one small suitcase. In it, a few books, some clothes and other things hidden too, memories of you. Of us. The rest, taken as evidence when our house was stripped bare. Not to worry, he said, we'll organize a shopping trip. Saskia and Phoebe are at home, he added, we'll all have dinner together, a real welcome.

We met with the head of the unit. Gently, gently, he said, take each day as it comes. I wanted to tell him, It's the nights I fear.

Smiles exchanged. Handshakes. Mike signed on the line, turned to face me and said, Ready?

Not really, no.

But I left with him anyway.

The drive home was short, less than an hour. Every street and building new to me. It was light when we got there, a big house, white pillars at the front. Okay? asked Mike. I nodded, though I didn't feel okay. I waited for him to unlock the front door; my heart spiraled up into my throat when I realized it wasn't locked. We walked straight in, could have been anyone. He called out to his wife, I'd met her a few times now. Sas, he said, we're home. Coming, was the reply. Hi, Milly, she said, welcome. I smiled, that's what I thought I should do. Rosie, their terrier, greeted me too, jumped at my legs, sneezed with joy when I reached for her ears, gave them a rub. Where's Phoebs? Mike asked. On her way back from Clondine's, Saskia replied. Perfect, he said, dinner in half an hour or so then. He suggested Saskia should show me to my room, I remember him nodding at her in a way that looked like encouragement. For her, not me.

I followed her up the stairs, tried not to count. New home. New me.

It's just you and Phoebe on the third floor, Saskia explained, we're on the next level down. We've given you the room at the back, it has a nice view of the garden from the balcony.

It was the yellow of the sunflowers I saw first. Brightly colored. Smiles in a vase. I thanked her, told her they were one of my favorite flowers, she looked pleased. Feel free to explore, she said, there's some clothes in the wardrobe, we'll get you more of course, you can choose them. She asked me if I needed anything. No, I replied, and she left.

I put my suitcase down, walked over to the balcony door, checked it was locked. Secure. The wardrobe to the right, tall, antique pine. I didn't look inside, I didn't want to think about putting on clothes, taking them off. As I turned round, I noticed drawers under the bed, opened them, ran my hands along the back and the sides — nothing there. Safe, for now. An en suite, large, the entire wall on the right covered with a mirror. I turned away from my reflection, didn't want to be reminded. I checked the lock on the bathroom door worked, and that it couldn't be opened from the outside, then I sat on the bed and tried not to think about you.

Before long, I heard feet pounding up the stairs. I tried to stay calm, to remember the breathing exercises I'd been shown by my psychologist, but my head felt fuzzy, so when she appeared at my door I focused on her forehead, as close to eye contact as I could manage. Dinner's ready, her voice more like a purr, creamy, a dash of snide, just as I remembered her from when we met with the social worker. We couldn't meet at the unit, she wasn't allowed to know the truth, or be given the opportunity to wonder. I remember feeling intimidated. The way she looked, blond and self-assured, bored, forced to welcome strangers into her home. Twice during the meeting she asked how long I'd be staying. Twice she was shushed.

Dad asked me to come and get you, she said, her arms folded across her chest. Defensive. I'd seen the staff at the unit calling patients out on what their body language meant, labeling it. I quietly watched, learned a lot. It's days ago now, but the last thing she said before she turned on her heels like an angry ballerina stuck in my head: Oh, and welcome to the madhouse.

I followed her smell, sweet and pink, down to the kitchen, fantasizing about what having a sister might be like. What sort of sisters she and I might become. She would be Meg, I thought, I would be Jo, little women of our own. I'd been told at the unit, hope was my best weapon, it would be what got me through.

Foolishly, I believed them.

CHAPTER 3

I slept in my clothes that first night. Silk pajamas chosen by Saskia remained unworn, touched only to move them from my bed. The material slippery on my skin. I'm able to sleep better now, if only for part of the night. I've come a long way since I left you. The staff at the unit told me I didn't speak for the first three days. I sat on the bed, back against the wall. Stared. Silent. Shock they called it. Something much worse, I wanted to say. Something that came into my room every time I allowed myself to sleep. Moved in a slither, under the door, hissed at me, called itself Mummy. Still does.

When I can't sleep, it's not sheep I count, it's days until the trial. Me against you. Everybody against you. Twelve weeks on Monday. Eighty-eight days, and counting. I count up, I count down. I count until I cry, and again until I stop, and I know it's wrong but, somewhere in the numbers, I begin to miss you. I'm going to have to work hard between now and then. There are things I must put right in my head. Things I must get right if I'm called upon to present in court. So much can go wrong when all eyes are looking the same way.

Mike has a big part to play in the work to be done. A treatment plan drawn up between him and the unit staff detailed a weekly therapy session with me in the run-up to the trial. An opportunity for me to discuss any concerns or worries with him. Yesterday he suggested Wednesdays, midway through each week. I said yes, not because I wanted to. But because he wanted me to, he thinks it will help.

School begins tomorrow, we're all in the kitchen. Phoebe's saying Thank god, can't wait to get back, and out of this house. Mike laughs it off, Saskia looks sad. Over the past week I've noticed something's not right between her and Phoebe. They exist almost entirely independently of each other, Mike the translator, the mediator. Sometimes Phoebe calls her Saskia, not Mum. I expected her to be punished the first time I heard her say it, but no. Not that I've seen. I also haven't seen them touch each other, and I think touch is an indicator of love. Not the kind of touch you experienced though, Milly. There is good touch and bad touch, said the staff at the unit.

Phoebe announces she's going out to meet someone called Izzy, who just got back from France. Mike suggests she take me too, introduce me. She rolls her eyes and says Come on, I haven't seen Iz all summer, she can meet her tomorrow. It'll be nice for Milly to meet one of the girls, he persists, take her to some of the places you hang out. Fine, she agrees, but it's not really my job.

"It's nice of you though," says Saskia.

She stares her mother down. Stares and stares, until she wins. Saskia looks away, a pink flush imprinting on her cheeks.

"I was just saying how nice I thought you were being."

"Yeah, well, nobody asked you, did they?"

I wait for the backlash, a hand or an object. But nothing. Only Mike.

"Please don't speak to your mother like that."

When we leave the house there's a girl in a tracksuit sitting on the wall opposite our driveway. She looks at us as we pass. Phoebe says Fuck off you little shit, find another wall to sit on. The girl responds by giving her the finger.

"Who was that?" I ask.

"Just some skanky kid from the estate."

She nods toward the tower blocks on the left-hand side of our road.

"Don't get used to this by the way, I'll be doing my own thing when school kicks off properly."

"Okay."

"The close just there runs right past our garden, there's nothing much up there, a few garages and stuff, and it's quicker to get to school this way."

"What time do you normally leave in the morning?" "It depends. I usually meet Iz and we walk together. Sometimes we go to Starbucks and hang out for a bit, but it's hockey season this term and I'm captain so I'll be leaving early most mornings doing fitness and stuff."

"You must be really good if you're captain."

"Suppose so. So what's your story then? Where are your folks?"

An invisible hand reaches into the pit of my stomach, squeezes it hard, doesn't let go. I feel my head fill up again. Relax, I tell myself, I practiced these questions with the staff at the unit, over and over again.

"My mum left when I was young. I lived with my dad but he died recently."

"Fuck, that's pretty shit."

I nod, leave it at that. Less is more, I was told.

"Dad probably showed you some of this stuff last week, but at the end of our road, just here, there's a shortcut to school that way."

She points to the right.

"Cross over the road, take the first left and then the second street on the right, it takes about five minutes from there."

I'm about to thank her but she's distracted, her face breaking into a smile. I follow her gaze and see a blond girl crossing the road toward us, blowing exaggerated air kisses. Phoebe laughs and waves, says, That's Iz. Her legs glow brown against the ripped denim shorts she's wearing, and like Phoebe, she's pretty. Very pretty. I watch the way they greet each other, drape round each other. A conversation begins a hundred miles an hour. Questions are flung, returned, they pull their phones out of their pockets, compare photos. They snigger about boys, and a girl named Jacinta who Izzy says is an absolute fright in her bikini, I swear the whole fucking pool emptied when she went for a swim. This whole interaction takes only minutes, but with the awkwardness of being ignored, it feels like hours. It's Izzy who looks at me, then says to Phoebe, "Who's this then, the newest newbie at Mike's rescue center?"

Phoebe laughs and replies, "She's called Milly. She's staying with us for a bit."

"Thought your dad wasn't taking anyone else in?"

"Whatever. You know he can't help himself when it comes to strays."

"Are you coming to Wetherbridge?" Izzy asks me.

"Yes."

"Are you from London?"

"No."

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

"No."

"Crikey, do you only speak in robot tongue? Yes. No. No." She waves her arms around, makes a mechanical noise like the Dalek from the Doctor Who episode I watched in a drama lesson at my old school. They both erupt into laughter, return to their phones. I wish I could tell them I speak like that, slow and purposeful, when I'm nervous and to filter the noise. White noise, punctuated by your voice. Even now, especially now, you're here, in my head. Normal behavior required little effort for you, but for me, an avalanche. I was always surprised by how much they loved you at your work. No violence or rage, your smile gentle, your voice soothing. In the palm of your hand you kept them, isolated them. Took the women you knew could be persuaded to one side, talked close in their ears. Secure. Loved. That's how you made them feel, that's why they trusted you with their children.

"I might head home, I'm not feeling so good."

"Fine," Phoebe replies. "Just don't get me in trouble with Dad."

Izzy looks up, a provocative smile. "See you at school," she says, and as I walk away I hear her add: "This should be fun."

The girl in the tracksuit is no longer on the wall. I pause to look into the estate, follow the tower blocks up to the sky, my neck craning backwards. There were no tower blocks in Devon, just houses and fields. Acres of privacy.

When I go back into the house, Mike asks me where Phoebe is. I explain about Izzy. He smiles, an apology, I think.

"They've been friends forever," he says. "A whole summer to catch up on. Do you fancy a quick chat in my study, touch base before school tomorrow?"

I say yes — I seem to be saying it a lot, it's a good word, one I can hide behind. Mike's study is large with bay windows overlooking the garden. A mahogany-colored desk, a photo frame and a green antique-style reading lamp, piles of paper. There's a home library, rows of built-in shelves full of books, the remaining walls painted a mauve color. It feels stable. Safe. He sees me looking at the shelves, laughs. I know, I know, he says, far too many, but between you and me, I don't think you can ever have too many books.

I nod, agree.

"Did you have a good library at your school?" he asks.

I don't like the question. I don't like thinking about life, the way it was before. But I answer, show I'm willing.

"Not really, but there was one in the village next to ours, I went there sometimes."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Good Me Bad Me"
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Copyright © 2017 Bo Dreams Ltd..
Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Good Me Bad Me 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Hpergo 7 months ago
Milly is the child of a serial killer, her mother. From the first page, I was pulled in! This story is a captivating pull between the good and evil that Milly feels she is. On one hand, Milly couldn’t take it any longer and to save the next child from harm; turns in her mother to authorities. The other hand, Milly misses her mother terribly and still has a deep love for her. Throughout the story, Milly wrestles with the weight and guilt of what she did, all the while trying to chase her own demons. I enjoyed the story. I do feel the ending was a bit predictable but overall a great psychological thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrilling and disturbing Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can’t wait till the author writes another book !!!
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
This is a relentless tale of a girl shaped by her serial killer mother. This girl is incredibly brave and strong, demonstrated by her need to escape and accepting that the only way to do so is to turn her mother in and testify against her. But this girl is also very weak and needy and wants so badly to belong and to be accepted by her foster family - the family of the man helping her prepare her testimony. Annie - now Milly - had to learn how to survive living with her mother. A cruel mother. And she is still surrounded by many cruel people. So the question is, how much of that learning is still with her and how will she cope? Is it ever possible to really escape? This is a sad and scary roller-coaster ride that will keep you guessing right until the end. Is she good or is she bad? Can she choose whether or not to be like her mother, or is it inevitable? I received an ARC of Good Me Bad Me from the publisher and thoroughly enjoyed both the suspense and the phrasing. Great read.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
Whilst the premise of the book was good and gave me something to think about - how much impact does your behaviour have on your children and how damaged can your actions make them? - I found these book to be merely "okay". Told from the perspective of Annie/Milly it has a wonderfully chatty style but I became completely irritated with some of the attempts at using teenage speech patterns; in several places throughout the book she sounds like Yoda - much of this was due to punctuation issues however and could have been fixed by a good editor (maybe they are the editor's fault in the first place - but I digress). This then served to yank me out of the story and then other things begin to strike you. There is little to no characterisation beyond a simple one dimension for any of the other people in the book. Annie/Milly sees herself in many different lights (almost split personality in some cases) and yet Phoebe is little more than a caricature of a self-obsessed teenage girl; there is some attempt to rectify this later in the book but it feels forced and stilted and really doesn't lift the character at all. Mike is a complete doormat and the drug-addicted Foster Mother is so bland I cannot even recall her name. The plotting is adequate but I found the attempt at drawing out suspense over the terrible crimes Annie's mother (Ruth Thompson in case you missed her one name check in the book) had committed to feel contrived, especially the cross examination of Annie in the Court Room. What saved this book, in my opinion, were Annie's internal dialogues with her mother and her constant description of her mother's memory being reptilian. The ending felt designed to shock and serves no other purpose than that, no resolutions are reached and it left a bitter taste in the mouth. I didn't expect a happy ending but what I got was a disastrous ending that had no hope for redemption in it.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
Whilst the premise of the book was good and gave me something to think about - how much impact does your behaviour have on your children and how damaged can your actions make them? - I found these book to be merely "okay". Told from the perspective of Annie/Milly it has a wonderfully chatty style but I became completely irritated with some of the attempts at using teenage speech patterns; in several places throughout the book she sounds like Yoda - much of this was due to punctuation issues however and could have been fixed by a good editor (maybe they are the editor's fault in the first place - but I digress). This then served to yank me out of the story and then other things begin to strike you. There is little to no characterisation beyond a simple one dimension for any of the other people in the book. Annie/Milly sees herself in many different lights (almost split personality in some cases) and yet Phoebe is little more than a caricature of a self-obsessed teenage girl; there is some attempt to rectify this later in the book but it feels forced and stilted and really doesn't lift the character at all. Mike is a complete doormat and the drug-addicted Foster Mother is so bland I cannot even recall her name. The plotting is adequate but I found the attempt at drawing out suspense over the terrible crimes Annie's mother (Ruth Thompson in case you missed her one name check in the book) had committed to feel contrived, especially the cross examination of Annie in the Court Room. What saved this book, in my opinion, were Annie's internal dialogues with her mother and her constant description of her mother's memory being reptilian. The ending felt designed to shock and serves no other purpose than that, no resolutions are reached and it left a bitter taste in the mouth. I didn't expect a happy ending but what I got was a disastrous ending that had no hope for redemption in it.
Tracey_L More than 1 year ago
Holy cow this was one intense ride! I had to put this book aside several times because it got so unnerving. It was disturbing and enthralling and grabs you and doesn't let go. The writing is excellent and well-paced, and the characters are believable. Overall, an excellent story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Just don't read it late at night if you want to get some restful sleep. I was provided an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Annie is the daughter of a serial killer. Her mother’s case has yet to go on trial. Annie plans to be a witness and testify in court over the deaths of the nine innocent children who were killed while in the care of Annie’s mother, while Annie was nearby. Annie acts too quiet, she was too nice to have endured what she has and act the way she is, I kept waiting for the true Annie to come out. Annie has changed her name to Milly and is currently living with a foster family. Her foster father, a psychologist, is helping her prepare for trial. In my opinion, he was a bit too big for his shoes and his wife, she needed to start wearing his shoes. What a pair. Everyone is trying to protect Milly’s new identity so she can have a quiet life until the trial. My emotions were all over the place with Annie/Milly. I wanted to like her but she was playing this hopeless, depressed individual and I knew, for what she had gone through, she was hiding something. As her foster sister Phoebe began harassing and tormenting her, I wanted Milly to fight back. I wanted justice! Do something Milly! Phoebe needed to have her lights shut down, she was one mean chick. The actions in the novel intensified and I loved how things were progressing. It was fantastic. The ending, I was waiting for it and then, when I read those final twenty pages or so….oh Milly, Milly, Milly.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Wow!! A book about a serial killer's daughter? And, the daughter turns in her mother to the police? Yes, please! This book definitely held my interest as I sped through it. While reading it, there was no way that I could tell it was debut novel. It was well written and certainly worth my time. The subject matter was definitely uncomfortable, but thankfully there wasn't a lot of explaining or detail about what the mother was doing to the children. Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC with the hopes that I would and review this book.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is a very highly recommended psychological thriller. This is an impressive, compelling debut novel. "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." Psychologist Mike Newmont, his wife, Saskia, and their daughter, Phoebe take Milly (whose real name is Annie) into their home, while her mother, Ruth, a nurse who murdered nine young children, is locked up and headed toward a trial. Mike's job is to provide Milly with therapy and support as she comes to terms with her childhood and prepares for testifying at her mother's trial, but after living with her mother and being abused for fifteen years, Milly knows how to keep some things secret. She knows what her mother would say, what she is capable of, and she still hears her mother's voice in her head. Milly certainly sees and knows more than she tells Mike, as well as other people. As Milly is trying hard to fit in at her new home, she is also struggling to fit in at her new school too, even as Phoebe, also fifteen, is determined to bully her and make her life hell. The problem is that Phoebe doesn't know Milly's true identity - and that Milly knows all about bullies and tormentors. Can Milly be good, or is she her mother's daughter? Good Me Bad Me really is an unputdownable novel. Land manages to capture a feeling of impending dread that had me hooked from the beginning. The tension didn't let up straight through to the end. The narrative is wonderfully paced to allow that feeling of nervous anticipation of some unnamed horrific event that will surely be forthcoming. Milly's account of events also has her gradually disclosing more information about her past. As the tormenting increases, the potential of what living with Ruth has taught Milly, also begins to surface. It is also a character analysis of someone who has experienced years of horrific childhood trauma. The abuse is by the hands of someone who is supposed to love her, establishing the question is it nature or nurture. Can Milly overcome the experiences of her childhood or is she doomed to repeat what her mother has taught her? Adding to the total package is the excellent writing. Land presents us with a well-written, entertaining, engrossing psychological thriller that held my rapt attention from beginning to end. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Flatiron Books.
HowUsefulItIs More than 1 year ago
About: Good Me Bad Me is a thriller written by Ali Land. It was recently published on 9/5/2017 by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing, paperback, 304 pages. The genres are mystery thriller, fiction, psychological, and crime. This is the author’s debut novel. My Experience: I started reading Good Me Bad Me on 9/16/17 and finished it on 9/22/17. This book is a fantastic read! Not everyday I get to read from the point of view of the serial killer’s daughter! This thriller gives readers a new angle to explore in psychological thriller and it’s every bit as good as reading from the killer’s perspectives. This book kept me hooked from the start. I love that the main character is smart! Even when she’s being bullied in school, she quietly has a come back to make them pay. The thrill in this book gives me the chills! This book is told in the first person point of view following Milly (aka Annie) 15 years old high school student and daughter of the notorious child serial killer. Her mom uses Annie to get close to the kids at the refuge where she works. When her mom commits her heinous crimes, Annie is forced to watch through the peephole. Her mom’s last crime shook Annie to the core because it’s someone she knows well. That’s when she decided to go to the police and turn her mom in. Annie is then placed into foster care system with a new identity. Annie now becomes Milly. Her foster dad, Mike, is a psychologist prepping Milly for her day in court to testify against her mother. Phoebe is her foster sister and one of the mean girls at the school who torment Milly. Morgan is Milly’s only friend who Milly is afraid if she reveals about who she is, whether her friend will leave. Milly’s biggest fear is to face her mom at the courthouse and to relive her horrors all over again. Despite escaping her mom and starting a new life with a new identity, the memory of her mom still follows her and torment her. Furthermore, the kids that her mom hurt and whom she watched through the peephole haunts her everywhere she goes. The courthouse testimony is one that will shock readers! This book is very well written and interesting to read. I like having the exposure of how victims deal with life after a horrific experience. I dislike mean girls so much and it’s so sad that with Milly’s ugly past, she still have to deal with mean girls. I admire Milly taking it upon herself to defend and revenge against the mean girls. I like her calm and collective demeanor. I like her sneaky ways to get back at the mean girls. She observes and harbor their secrets for future use. She excels in school which makes Phoebe looks bad in a smart way in dealing with mean girls. I like the twist at the end. This thriller is a book readers cannot pass up and I highly recommend everyone to read it! Pro: page turner, first person point of view, suspenseful, intense, psycho, adrenaline rush, courtroom Con: none I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at howusefulitis dot wordpress dot com for a detailed review
IrishEyes430 More than 1 year ago
If you like psychological thrillers, this is a great read! Annie’s mother is a killer, and the only way Annie can stop her is to turn her in. Annie is placed in foster care under a different name, now Milly. What happens to a child when a parent is a killer? How does her mother's killing affect Milly? This book will keep you guessing until the end!!!
LizzyB27 More than 1 year ago
We follow Milly, a fifteen year old girl with quite the troubled past. She just turned her mother into the police for murdering nine children over the course of nine years. Milly comes home from the hospital with Mike, her psychiatrist, his wife, Saskia, and their daughter, Phoebe, as a foster child. Milly doesn't know, but soon figures out Mike is writing a book about her, Saskia has a drug issue and is sleeping with her yoga instructor, and Phoebe is a big bully. Phoebe and her friends call Milly Dog Face, torture her, do bad things and blame her, take pictures of her showering. Then, bad things start happing to Phoebe- her house key suddenly goes missing, so she was home late after a party because she was trying to find it, her chemistry homework vanishes and she gets detention, and then she falls off the banister, killing herself. All the while, Milly is preparing to testify in court against her mother. After the trial, Milly overdoses on all the saved up pills Mike has been giving her but she stashed instead of swallowing. After Phoebe's death, Milly tries to make Mike and Saskia her mom and dad. But all the secrets Milly carries, something is going to come out- someone will know who and what Milly really is.
girlfromwvaKY More than 1 year ago
This book is the debut novel of Ali Land. This book is a gripping tale of a daughter of a serial killer. She turns her mother in. The story unfolds of what her life has been like since it happened up until the trial. Secrets are revealed all the way til the end. Gripping, dramatic, revealing and intelligently written.
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing read, if I could give it more than five stars I would. Milly grew up with a serial killer mother and now that she has gotten herself free we get a look into nature versus nurture. She is taken in by a psychologist and his family who are there to help her while she awaits her mothers trial. We see her actions and reactions to living a life that she is unfamiliar with. The author delves into the mind of this 15 year old who has spent her life at the mercy of her mother. Does she still love this woman who has done unimaginable things? Has it made her into the monster that her mother wants her to become? She has her own secrets, does she tell them or keep them all her own? Just how effected was Milly? This was a truly thought provoking book, it kept me on edge the whole way through, and I couldn't put it down if I tried. I liked how the author pulled me in and grabbed the emotions right out of me. I look forward to seeing what else this author publishes.