STARRED REVIEW
September 05, 2017

The murderer’s daughter

By Ali Land

Part of the fun of reading a book like Ali Land’s Good Me Bad Me is the anticipation of what’s to come. You know from the get-go that you’re going to be in for a few shocks—you just aren’t sure how you’ll get there. Fortunately, Land delivers on all accounts.

Share this Article:

Part of the fun of reading a book like Ali Land’s Good Me Bad Me is the anticipation of what’s to come. You know from the get-go that you’re going to be in for a few shocks—you just aren’t sure how you’ll get there. Fortunately, Land delivers on all accounts.

The concept provides an instant hook: The 15-year-old daughter of a serial killer turns in her mother and, while waiting to testify, worries if she too is bad and will become a killer. You might think Annie, who is later renamed Milly by her foster family in order to protect her identity, would breathe easier after escaping her mother’s reign of terror. But her nightmare is just beginning.

In addition to the psychological ramifications of having lived with a serial murderer, Milly must adjust to life with a new family and new school environment. Neither is much of a comfort. Her foster family has its own dysfunctional relationships—an uneasy marriage and a spoiled 15-year-old daughter of their own, Phoebe—while school presents more than its share of challenges. Her foster dad, who doubles as her therapist, seems more interested in making notes for his book about Milly. And instead of embracing Milly with sympathy and care, Phoebe sees her as a rival for her parents’ attention and immediately subjects her to bullying and ridicule in front of their classmates.

As the title of the book implies, it’s only a matter of time before Milly’s darker tendencies get the better of her. Getting there is just half the fun.

A former child and adolescent mental health nurse, Land expertly captures the angst and trauma of teenage adolescence through Milly’s compelling narrative voice. The result is a starkly realized and haunting thriller.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Good Me Bad Me

Good Me Bad Me

By Ali Land
Flatiron
ISBN 9781250087645

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!