Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting the newest instalment to my “Top Shelf Spotlight” series – ‘Good Me Bad Me’ by Ali Land. You can find the other posts in the series here. In this series, I will be focusing on one book in particular that has made my “top shelf/favourites” bookshelf. I’ll be giving you some information on the book, as well as sharing some of my personal thoughts on the novel. I hope you enjoy this series, and please leave any feedback below, including any other posts or series you’d like to see on my blog! So, here goes…
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land.
When Annie hands her mother over to the police she hopes for a new start in life – but can we ever escape our past?
‘NEW NAME. NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME.’
Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way Annie can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.
With a new foster family and a new name – Milly – she hopes for a fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But as her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of Milly’s past won’t let her sleep . . .
Because Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water…
About the Author.
‘Good Me Bad Me’ is the debut novel by Ali Land. Land has a degree in Mental Health and has spent over a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in various hospitals and schools, before turning to writing as a full-time profession.
About the Book.
Release Date: August 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Average Goodreads rating: 3.92
Author’s other works: None.
Themes explored: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, childhood trauma, murder, mental illness, self-harm, suicide.
Favourite character/narrator: Milly!
What I liked/overall standout elements:
- I really enjoyed the author’s choice of narrative method. The novel is narrated from the first-person perspective of Milly, providing the reader with an in-depth insight to her thoughts, feelings and emotions. The narrative is mostly told in the present tense, but also contains some interesting flashbacks to Milly’s past.
- The characterisation of Milly is absolutely fantastic. She’s a very complex character – she’s deeply scarred by the horrors of her past, and she wishes to be free of that. She’s kind-hearted and lovely, but suffers greatly with multiple, complex mental illnesses. There’s also a dark side to her character which comes out towards the end of the novel which I really enjoyed.
- The exploration of childhood abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse towards children, is very well-written. It addresses issues such as child abduction, torment and murder, which are explored with appropriate sensitivity and in sufficient detail.
- The theme of mental illness is also explored in great detail. There are many explicit scenes of self-harm and a suicide attempt, which completely broke my heart to read. These issues are important to read about in my opinion, as they serve to educate the reader.
- There are many Crime/Thriller elements incorporated in this novel, such as increasing suspense, tension surrounding Milly’s mothers’ court case, plenty of twists and turns, and a fantastic ending.
- The novel ends fantastically. There’s a dramatic end scene in which Milly must decide what is more important to her – her blood ties with her mother, or the kindness of her new family. There’s an unbelievable twist which I definitely never saw coming! I was extremely satisfied by the ending of the novel.
Happy reading 🙂