3 Star Reviews

Book Review (3 Stars) – Good Me, Bad Me, by Ali Land


‘NEW N A M E .
S H I N Y.
ME . ‘

Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…



Unfortunately, I feel completely confused by my experience of this book, as my experience seems to have been somewhat different from most other reviewers. It is described as:

SET TO BE ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017 – for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction: once you read this book you’ll want to talk about it.

Well, I definitely want to talk about it, but perhaps not for the right reasons. Okay, so I will allow ‘controversial’, although the things going on in my mind were more controversial than the words I was reading. However, I grew up on Clive Barker, so that may be the reason. I completely missed the psychological suspense. I felt that I had worked out the story and outcome very early on, it didn’t really give me much more as it progressed, and at no point did I feel tense. I love psychological thrillers, but to me this just didn’t really feel like one. It felt more like a dark Young Adult coming of age novel, but even then, not to the degree of something like the fabulous Girls on Fire, by Robin Wasserman, so I am struggling to place this book into a genre in my own mind.

A teenage girl with a very troubled past reports her mum to the police for the terrible things she has done, and is fostered by her psychologist. Is that even allowed? I would have thought you would be placed in temporary foster care and provided with a separate psychologist. With doctor patient confidentiality, I just can’t get my head around a teenage girl opening up to her psychologist who also happens to be her foster dad. Perhaps this is perfectly acceptable practice, I don’t claim to be an expert in this matter, but did personally find it a little hard to find this situation believable.

I struggled with the style of writing too at first. That’s when I started thinking, Oh no, this is young adult fiction, not the controversial adult psychological suspense I was hoping for. I did get used to the writing style eventually, and the last 30% of the book was more interesting, despite being predictable, so I did still enjoy reading it, even if there were no real surprises.

I honestly feel like I read a completely different book to most people. Based on the number of reviews spelling Milly as Millie, I really am wondering if there are two versions of this book out there. Are we part of an experiment, and some of us read about the Milly I experienced, and others read about a completely different character called Millie? If so, I’d like to read the other version please.

I’ve found this review difficult to write, and have been trying to avoid it, but I wouldn’t be true to myself as a reviewer, if I wasn’t honest about how I felt about this book. I’ve been going back and forth between 2 and 3 stars. I’ve decided it just scrapes 3 stars, as I was able to read the book to the end, and I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy it at all, it just wasn’t what I was expecting and turned out not to be the book for me.

Message to the author: If you are reading my review, and I have upset you in any way with my comments, I am really sorry, it was not my intention. I know that writing a book is a very personal thing to a writer, and any negative reviews can be heart breaking, so I do genuinely wish you good luck with this book, and encourage you to focus on the many positive reviews you have received, rather than dwelling on my ramblings.

3 Stars


Where to find this book:


Amazon UK


9 thoughts on “Book Review (3 Stars) – Good Me, Bad Me, by Ali Land

    1. Ah ha, so you read the same version as me then 😉 I didn’t really like any of the characters either. In fact, I didn’t really have any connection with them. If I’d hated them, at least that would have been a strong emotion, but I found myself not really caring about them either way, which is very rare for me.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. At least it’s not just me. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me for not seeing it the same way as others. I’m used to very differing opinions when it comes to crime/police procedural, as it’s not my favourite genre, but I seem to love most psychological thrillers, so not used to them leaving me feeling completely flat.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Don’t apologise! Your review is very fair, and not everyone can like everything. I gave this one 3.5, mainly because I appreciated what the author was trying to do but just didn’t like any of the characters at all and so struggled to get into the book. Even with dark stories, I need at least one character to like! I also saw the ending coming and was hoping to be shocked with some sort of twist I hadn’t predicted… but unfortunately not. Ah well, you can’t love them all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you understand some of my experience of this book. With so many 4/5 star ratings, I was beginning to think I was missing something or just reading a completely different book to those reviewers. You’re right, Claire, we can’t love them all.


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