=> More disturbing than hurt is love when it’s wrong. -Good Me Bad Me<=
Author: Ali Land
(3.90 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: 2017, Bo Dreams, Ltd.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I’m scared. Different. I wasn’t given a choice.
Remember in You’ve Got Mail when Kathleen Kelly tells Joe Fox that she always wanted to be that person that can say exactly what she wants to say exactly when she wants to say it? I totally felt the exact same way. To be able to say that mean or snarky thing to that totally rude or disrespectful person at the exact time that it would affect them the most – that seemed like a lofty goal. The Bad Me wanted that so badly!
But then, like Kathleen, there is the Good Me. The one who keeps the peace and mends the fences, goes home, and then two hours later has an epiphany and thinks, THAT’S exactly what I SHOULD have said. The battle of good and evil, it always rages, but never in my life has it ever been as intense as it is in Good Me Bad Me. Check out the blurb…
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.
I thought you would own less of me after I handed you in but sometimes it feels like you own more… Invisible chains. Jangle when I walk.
OK, we are introduced to this tragic creature, Milly, who really needs a hug. Her mom is serial killer, which is a pretty rotten way to grow up, no matter how you analyze it. So, naturally, you’d think that things would start getting better after Murder-Mom is arrested (not a spoiler) and Milly starts a new life with her highly-esteemed foster parents, right? Not so fast…
You know how at random moments you might hear your mother’s voice in your head reminding you, encouraging you, nagging you – “Never leave the house with your hair wet.” or, “Use your head for something other than a hat rack!” Well, Milly could hear her mom’s voice too, only that voice wasn’t doing much encouraging. Or maybe it was…
I used to pray for a night light, I believed in a god back then but instead I got you.
Good Me Bad Me really took me on a ride. While readers naturally (and necessarily) sympathize with Milly’s plight, we all know that there are things operating in the background that we just can’t suss out in the beginning (or middle). The steadily building action is dangerous and there is very little that distracts from it. This is a psychological thriller that truly earned its name.
With an unconventional narrative style, Ali Land captures our imagination and forces us into the mind of a teenage girl who certainly isn’t all that she seems to be. The fit is uncomfortable, but that’s how it’s supposed to feel – for most of us. What you get with Good Me Bad Me is not so much a plot twist as a plot untwisting with characters that are motivated by more than just the obvious connections we see on the pages.
After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.