good me bad me ali land book review

Good Me, Bad Me, Ali Land: Book Review

Flatiron Books / Laura Lewis
Good Me, Bad Me Book Cover Good Me, Bad Me
Ali Land
Mystery
Flatiron Books
2017
Hardcover
289

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.

This review contains quotes from the book.

*Special thanks to Flatiron Books for allowing us to read Ali Land’s Good Me, Bad Me.

Ali Land has written the next best thriller with her terrifying debut novel, Good Me, Bad Me. From the get-go, we are immediately drawn into Milly’s life the moment her mother is arrested for her murderous acts as a serial killer. In the story, Milly reflects on the emotions that led up to her eventually having to turn her mother in because of all the heinous crimes she committed.

“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.”

– excerpt from Ali Land’s Good Me, Bad Me

She had to put an end to her mother’s crimes, and turning her mother into the police was the only way. After her mother is arrested, Milly is thrust into a new family so she can try to experience a normal life. But during her time with her new family, she has to think about the upcoming trial for her mom. She has to tell the jury about the crimes she witnessed and had to live through. But Milly has secrets also. Milly is haunted by her past and that comes out with her foster family. The question is will Milly become good or will she become bad like her mother.

“The past few days haven’t been good. A recurring dream about being on the stand, opening my mouth, but instead of words, a colony of bats flies out. Screeching the truth. The shame of saying it out loud, of what I let you do to me. Of what I let you do to them. I woke up this morning gasping for breath, the pillow game you used to play.”

– excerpt from Ali Land’s Good Me, Bad Me

My favorite part of this was the whole plot line. It was so compelling because it is so rare to have a narrator where her mother is a serial killer. Usually writers choose the narrator to be the psychopath. But you get a whole other perspective on what it is like to actually live with a killer. Not only does Milly live with one, but it’s her own flesh and blood. It is hard to imagine being in her situation, but Land does a great job with trying to put you in Milly’s shoes.

I would definitely give this book to anyone who needs a read they will never forget. Trust me when I say Good Me, Bad Meย will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.

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Jessica Duffield
I am a sophomore in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate.