Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Reviewer: Barbara Scott Emmett, ( author of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion, The Land Beyond Goodbye, and The Man with the Horn.

What We Thought: When her mother is imprisoned for violent crimes against children, 15 year old Milly is sent to a foster home. Her foster father is a psychologist and it soon becomes apparent that he intends to make a study of Milly and her mother.

Traumatised by her home life Milly is more than happy to fit in to her new family in the hope that the arrangement will become permanent. With a flaky foster mother and a jealous foster sister, however, all is not plain sailing.

While Phoebe, her ‘sister’, who is in the same class at the private school the girls attend, does everything she can to make her life a misery, Milly attempts to rise above the challenges presented. Bullied by the other girls who side with Phoebe, Milly draws comfort from her friendship with a younger girl from the local sink estate. She is determined not to be like her mother and harms herself in an effort not to harm others.

Despite her best efforts things do not go smoothly. Humiliated after a crush on a teacher is repudiated, she discovers secrets which both anger her and give her power. Though outwardly well-behaved she finds ways to cause trouble for those who hurt her and shows through inner dialogue her dismissal of the adults who are trying to help her.

This is a novel with an unreliable narrator, where truths are hidden and instincts suppressed. The ending is shocking but once revealed it is obvious that everything has been leading up to this and that no other outcome could be possible. I was gripped throughout.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Gone Girl, Girl on a Train etc

Avoid if you dislike: Books involving teenagers.

Ideal accompaniments: A bag of wine gums to chew anxiously.

Genre: Psychological Crime.

Available on Amazon

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