By: Ali Land
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 9/5/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars
UK author Ali Land has dedicated her new breakout psychological gripping thriller to mental nurses everywhere. In fact, it happened to be a conversation the author had with a teenage girl when she was working as a mental health nurse that sparked the idea for the book.
Ultimately this became her chilling debut hit, GOOD ME BAD ME. An Interview with Ali Land
Land, once a full-time nurse to a full-time writer. It seems her former career has inspired new talent in the area of mental health; crosses psychological thriller. This is one highly courageous debut novel, and can only imagine how difficult this was to write — as she delves into the disturbing mind of a teenage girl.
Milly (Annie) tries so desperately to be good. However, is this possible? A strong contender for debut of the year!
“ . . . The playground. That’s what she called it. Where the games were evil, and there was only ever one winner. When it wasn’t my turn, she made me watch. A peephole in the wall. Asked me afterward. What did you see, Annie? What did you see?” . . .
“Forgive me when I tell you it was me. It was me that told.”
Annie’s mother Ruth is a serial, killer. (Peter Pan Killer). Her mom kidnapped and murdered children.
Annie has finally turned over her mom to the authorities. She loves her but she must keep her from killing other children.
Now she has a new family with a new name. Milly. This is her chance to start over.
Or so she thinks . . .
A foster dad named Mike. A psychologist, an expert in trauma. His wife Saski and daughter Phoebe. (Phoebe is not so nice). Phoebe turns out to be a bully, making it more difficult for Milly. She turns others at school against her.
Milly has enough problems with the stress of her traumatic childhood, sexual abuse, the guilt of her mother and the damage she has inflicted on her daughter, plus the upcoming trial, and now this girl and this family.
Plus, the voices in her head. The continued taunting voices from her mom. The lessons she taught her.
She curls up in the floor. She read once that people who are violent are hotheaded, while psychopaths are cold hearted. Hot and cold. Head and heart. But what if you come from a person who’s both?
What happens then?
The person Milly wants to run from is also the person she wants to run to. Game on.
Milly has secrets. What is she hiding?
Will she ever be normal growing up with an abusive and murderous mother? Good or bad?
She wants desperately to do the right thing, but her mother’s voice urging her on to do bad things. A child groomed and sexualized from a very young age, now fifteen. She has to take the stand.
“Good me. Bad me. Siamese twins inside of me at war.”
The upcoming trial and the dreams. Now another toxic home. What happens when the trial is over? Can Milly fit in anywhere? Maybe she thinks there may be no place.
A skillfully woven plot, with an unreliable narrator, GOOD ME BAD ME is heart wrenching, engrossing, terrifying, disturbing and filled with horror, tension, and suspense.
This unsettling yet gripping tale will keep you glued to the pages. The author does an outstanding job of portraying mental and physical damages and trauma to a young disturbed girl and its outcome… A struggle between good and evil.
For fans of Ruth Ware, Candice Fox, Wendy Walker, Louise Jensen, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. (love the cover and the twisty conclusion).
A special thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.