Sunday, September 10, 2017

GOOD ME, BAD ME BY ALI LAND - BOOK REVIEW

Serial killers have always been one of those really interesting topics for me, specifically the psychology behind them. How much of it is nature and how much of it is nurture? This book shows one depiction of that with the child of a female serial killer, something even more unique, and how she ends up after living, watching with her mother commit murder and other horrible things for years on end.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, today it is Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land. Thanks so much to Book Sparks for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows 15-year-old Milly after she finds the courage and reports her mother for over a decades worth of crimes. She is swiftly taken into foster care by a psychologist, adopting a new identity, and her mother is arrested, awaiting trial. Milly knows what her mother did was wrong, but she's still her mother. She misses her and finds adjusting to her new life hard. Her new foster sister hates her for taking all her attention and she doesn't have a lot of friends. As the trial date looms, Milly is prepped to take the stand as the star and only witness, but she has secrets too, secrets that can't come out.

First of all, the writing style of this book was really unique. It's kind of told in the second person, with Milly narrating the story and referring to her mother as "you." But the narration itself felt quite different from anything I have ever read before. It is hard to explain but it felt almost dream-like. For the most part, a lot of the dialogue is written right into the rest of the story, like: She looks sad today, Milly said. It was a rough night, Mike replied... instead of the traditional quotations. I didn't think it was a bad thing, necessarily, in fact, it made it hard for me to skim (something I will often subconsciously do with dialogue) and left me feeling like I was always immersed in the story.

The plot of the story was a slower build. You can definitely see the plot groundwork laid out carefully throughout the book, more so when the book is over and you look back. Land did a fantastic job of weaving little details throughout the story and making everything connect in the end. I didn't find the story particularly hard to get into, once you got used to the writing style, you were fairly deeply immersed and committed.

I really loved Land's portrayal of Milly's character. While I am no expert, she seems really well done. She loves her mother even though she did horrible things. And she's afraid that she might become that person, too, one day. I thought her emotions and concerns were spot on and I really appreciated how Land explored both the good and bad sides of Milly's character. Good and evil are things that anyone is capable of, but Milly is possibly more prone to the evil. Land does an interesting job of writing Milly's character and her thoughts.

I am tentatively putting this one on the shelf next to books like You by Caroline Kepnes. We don't see quite as much thought process in this book as we do in that one, but I think that they would appeal to similar audiences. There is just something about serial killers and psychopaths that people find really interesting and I think this book is going to be big because of that.

Overall, I think this is one of those books that will be super-hyped, but unlike many, will actually deserve the hype. Not only is this a really well-done book, it is a phenomenal debut novel, making Land an author to watch!