Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

good-me-bad-meAbout the Book

‘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.


I just turned the last page of this book about an hour ago and the only thing on my mind right now is, What the F* did I just read? I will try and explain my feelings about the book while I still remember all the details.

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is a story about Milly/Annie, a fifteen year old girl with a dark past. Milly’s mother is a serial killer just about to go on trial. The interesting/sad thing is that Milly had to be the one to turn her in. This makes her the key witness in her mother’s trial. While awaiting trial, Milly is placed in the Newton’s home where she meets her foster family, Mike, Saskia and their daughter, Phoebe. It soon becomes evident that Milly’s nightmares are far from over. Living with a serial killer as a mother was torturous but the nightmare continues as she adjusts to a new life and is also forced to answer questions about her own identity.

The story is narrated by Milly as undergoes a number of challenges. Settling in a new family and especially a new school is difficult. It is never easy being the new kid especially when others are not so accepting. Milly is also haunted by her mother and the victims of her crimes who she still hears and sees. In addition she is also conflicted by her feelings for her mother.

My feelings about Milly changed from chapter to chapter. I found myself empathizing with her especially as she struggled to fit in her new environment. At other times, I was afraid of her, wondering if she may have been influenced by her mom.

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is not your usual fast-paced thriller. It’s the kind of book where the tension slowly builds through each page. I was fascinated by the narrative although for the first time, I read the book with a feeling of uneasiness and dread all the way to the last page. I have never been this nervous or chilled by the actions of characters.

This is the kind of book that can be considered as thought provoking because questions of nature versus nurture come up throughout the narrative. Does evil beget evil? There is a Swahili saying; ‘Mtoto Wa Nyoka ni Nyoka’ . Loosely translated, this means that snakes give birth to snakes. How true is this? I found myself thinking about this as I read Milly’s narration and I didn’t get the answers in this case until the final chapter. The ending of this book is just as chilling as the rest of it. It left me feeling unsettled. I am pretty sure that this is one book that I will be thinking about for a while.


  1. Oh, this reminds me of the Jasper Dent series. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have that kind of family legacy. Always like when books explore the age old question of nature vs nurture. I guess that means we really don’t have an clear answer for that one.

    1. I have just checked out the Jasper Dent Series and yes, there are some similarities. By the way, the series seems quite interesting. I think the only book that I have ever seen around is I Hunt Killers but I am intrigued. Thanks for mentioning it, I think I will look for the books.

      As for Nature versus Nurture, yeah I think we still don’t. There are books that support either side of the argument. This one also leaned towards one side.

  2. Perfect review, pretty much sums up my feelings as well, this made me uneasy too, but I was so fascinated I couldn’t stop reading!!!

    1. Abu…wah its been a while. I haven’t been seeing your posts even on facebook ama you are working on a big project 🙂

      Yeah, the whole debate made the book much more interesting plus its very well-written so I definitely recommend it.

  3. Well, as I am a HUGE baby when it comes to scary things, I certainly won’t be reading this. That said-I am quite intrigued by the premise. Does this book explore Anne’s relationships with the people in her life? That is the part I would’ve been intrigued to see…

    1. This is one is definitely a creepy book. We do get to see her relate with others like her foster family, school mates and also a friend that she makes. However, due to her personality and background, all these relationships were equally tense.

  4. A book that left you unsettled and gives you the chills.. sounds creepy.. hehe.. I’m kind of weak for this types of books.. but at the same time, I am highly curious to find out how this girl can deal with life when her mother is a serial killer. Wow.. Really excellent review .. I am debating if I want to read it or not and if I read it, I will probably feel as unsettled as you or even more.. 🙂

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