Hi people! How are you? And how are your readings going? I really need the weekend! I am really tired and I really need to relax and decompress a little. The only downside of the weekend is that I would be away from my computer and for the blog… I wanted to write some posts or at least some drafts, but in the end, I have other plans. And you have plans for the weekend?
Anyway… today I’m here for the review of the second of the ARCs that I have actually read in this month for the #ARCtober, so here we are!
Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Good Me, Bad Me
Author: Ali Land
Publication: 12th January 2017
Page Count: 338
You can buy your copy on Amazon.
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.
The idea of the book was great, the book not so much. The plot made me think about the Jasper Dent‘s series by Barry Lyga, and that wasn’t so bad because I really liked that series and so I was really curious about this Land’s book. And the premises were good: we have Milly, who turns her mother in because she’s a serial killer and she’s gotten enough.
The author was good with Milly’s feeling. I think she did her research because I can’t complain about how Milly is feeling, it seems so real, and so difficult. I mean, she grew up with a serial killer, and she was a victim, too, and a forced accomplice in some of her mother’s dealings, so she’s feeling guilty, she’s suffering, and she’s also scared. She’s scared because she misses her mum, and she is scared by this feeling too, and she’s scared because she fears to be like her, like the monster that gave her life, and death too.
And there is not just Milly’s past here, but also her present (and her future). She’s waiting for her mother’s trial, she’s scared by it (obviously) and in the meantime, she is with foster parents and she has to adapt to a completely new life, that’s not so easy or so perfect as could appear from afar: her new family is not the perfect family, the mother and the daughter doesn’t get along too well, the mother is a drug’s addicted and she has a lover, and the daughter, Milly’s step-sister? foster sister? almost sister? I don’t know which one is the right one, is the queen bitch at school. And she’s a real monster.
Needless to say, Phoebe, the step/foster/almost sister hates Milly with a vengeance, and she goes way beyond herself to make sure that school for Milly is a living hell. And that’s the thing that most disturbed me.
I mean: Milly is a really controversial character, is an unreliable narrator and her voice is strong, she spoke with short sentences, she always makes a point, and for all the book she is constantly involved in continue conversations with her mother in her own head. She heard her voice sometimes, and the voice urges her to do the bad when she is trying so hard to make the good. It’s a dark story, with a really peculiar character, so maybe this book is not for everybody, yes, but it has a lot of potentialities, a lot of “what if” that are there, just waiting to happen, and the narration is compelling, it really is, and it’s fast-paced, even if the book is sort of slow. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it doesn’t happen much, so it’s slow in this sense, but the reading, Milly’s voice, urges you to go on, to turn page after page to see what would happen next, so it’s fast-paced, too.
But the core of this book, the main part, it’s not about a child who was grown by a serial killer, neither a child who was victim and accomplice of a criminal, neither a new potential serial killer (or serial killers’ hunter or whatever!), neither something related. The core of this book is to speak about how much cruelty, meanness, and nastiness you can find in high school. The serial killer parts didn’t bother me as much as the high school parts! Those were really terrifying! And I found that these parts are the most central, maybe because they are the parts with more space in the narration, and that they overshadow all the rest. For me, this was a disappointment, because we have a lot of potentialities (hey, her mum is a serial killer!) and in the end, the author points hers and our attention on the less interesting and the less original point. It’s a shame.
And I was expecting soooo much more from the ending! So, yeah, this book was disappointing in many and different ways. But it was not a bad reading, I enjoy the reading, if “enjoy” is the right words for this kind of book. It’s a fast-paced reading, and a dark, controversial, disturbing book, maybe not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure, but it’s not bad. It’s just that this one could have been way way better!
And you? Have you read it? Did you love it? Or do you want to read?