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Good Me Bad Me Hardcover – 12 Jan 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (12 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718182928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718182922
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A gripping tale about a teenage girl waiting to give evidence at her serial-killer mother's trial. Unsettling and unforgettable (Heat)

Uncomfortable, shocking, and totally compelling, put this to the top of your to-read pile (Sun)

Had me on the edge of my seat from the first page (Women & Home)

This superbly dark, twister chiller is as gripping as they come (Heat)

Good Me Bad Me is the story of a girl who hands her serial killer mother over to the police. With a new life and new, welcoming family, she prepares for the coming trial. But this is a battle of wills, of nature versus nurture - of good against bad . . . (from the publisher's description)

An astoundingly compelling thriller. Beyond tense. You hardly breathe. Best read in ages (Matt Haig)

Intelligent and disturbing, Good Me Bad Me had me hooked from the first page (Debbie Howells, author of Richard & Judy book club bestseller The Bones of You)

Milly's voice is gripping and shocking. This is a book you will want to discuss with everyone you know (Claire Douglas, author of The Sisters and Local Girl Missing)

I absolutely loved it and read it in less than a day. A proper page turner and brilliantly written (Edith Bowman)

A triumph of tension. I doubt I'll ever sleep again (Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of R&J bestseller The Last Act of Love)

Good Me Bad Me is a novel that explodes off the page, with beautifully drawn characters and carefully executed pace. Heart rending, engrossing and ultimately terrifying, you'll be thinking about it a long time after you've turned the final page (Rowan Coleman, author of R&J bestseller The Memory Book)

Unbelievably good, utterly gripping (Jill Mansell)

This book is a work of twisted genius. It is going to be HUGE. Watch out for Ali Land (Bryony Gordon)

Listen to the early praise for Ali Land's Good Me Bad Me because it's all true. It's dark, utterly gripping, brilliant (David Headley, Goldsboro Books)

I read this book in one compulsive gulp over two days and absolutely loved it. It's raw, superbly controlled and it chills to the bone (Richard Skinner)

You know from the first page you're in confident hands. A genuinely disturbing debut that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Good Me Bad Me is going to be huge - and it deserves to be (Catherine Ryan Howard)

Good Me Bad Me is utterly compelling. Ali Land writes with such clarity, and such imagination, you will fall into her world on the very first page and find yourself unable to leave. An extraordinary and breath-taking debut (Joanna Cannon, author of Sunday Times bestseller The Trouble with Goats and Sheep)

The best crime debut I've read in ages. Creepy, edgy and addictively twisted. I loved it (Sarah Hilary)

Ali Land's Good Me Bad Me is an intensely compelling exploration of nature versus nurture wrapped up in a page-turning psychological thriller. Darkly disturbing and beautifully written. What more could any reader want? (Sarah Pinborough)

Good Me Bad Me is an astonishing debut - technically sophisticated and emotionally heart wrenching. So many things are done well - the status jungle of girls school, the psychological dissonance of a dysfunctional family, the internal machinery of damaged children. I thought it was wonderful (Helen Callaghan, bestselling author of Dear Amy)

One word: Wow. What a brilliant book - believable, shocking, thought-provoking and utterly compelling. The writing, as well as being so pacey, is beautiful. This feels such a current and original book (T R Richmond)

Good Me Bad Me is a compelling page-turner. Chilling and dark, it grips you and won't let go (Rebecca Done)

Ten pages into Good Me Bad Me, I became an Ali Land fan. Her beautiful, intimate voice immediately tugged me into the heart and mind of a serial killer's daughter and then wouldn't let go. Is there hope for this teenager's new life outside of her mother's horror? Original, intense, and utterly compelling, Good Me Bad Me is not just a terrific thriller but a psychological dive into a young girl's soul. It takes subtlety and perfect balance to maintain a dark tale like this, and Land never once stutters or makes you look away (Julia Heaberlin, author of Sunday Times bestseller Black-Eyed Susans)

Dark, claustrophobic and thought-provoking. You'll read this outstanding debut while holding your breath! (Prima Magazine)

An incredible narrative voice . . . Very special and different (Radio 4's Open Book)

About the Author

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in a creative warehouse community in North London. Good Me Bad Me has been translated into over twenty languages.

Follow Ali on Twitter @byAliLand

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
‘Good Me Bad Me’ by Ali Land is a difficult book to review without giving anything away. It is compulsive, difficult reading, and though I raced through it I can’t honestly say I enjoyed it.
Teenager Annie is living with a foster family whilst waiting to give evidence at her mother’s trial. Her mother is accused of being a serial killer of children, Annie turned her in to the police. As she waits for the trial, Annie [now called Milly] is coached by her foster father on how to handle being in court and giving evidence under cross-examination. For Milly, there is no escaping her horrible childhood. As Mike tells her, the only way out is through. But Milly isn’t telling Mike everything.
Milly’s identity is secret, her name false, her reason for being fostered is fabricated. In this world of officially-approved lies, Milly must face her memories of what happened: what is real, and not-real. What did her mother really do? What did Milly do? At times of stress – and there are many as she fits into a foster family with an unwelcoming teenage daughter – Milly hears the voice of her mother in her head, encouraging her to be controlling, to be nasty. This is the ‘good me, bad me’ of the title. Of course every person is a mixture of light and dark, what matters is the decisions we make. Will Milly be able to let go of her past and make a new life?
Covering the few tense weeks in the run-up to the trial, ‘Good Me Bad Me’ is a turbulent emotional read. One minute I thought ‘please don’t do that, Milly’, the next I was indignant on Milly’s behalf at some of her foul treatment at the hands of school friends. The picture of teenagers, girls selfish and taunting, boys over-sexualised, is not an easy-read. You will make up your own mind whether to like Milly and whether to believe her.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Have you ever read a book that was so good you sit back after finishing it, and wish you had written it? That is how I felt after reading Good Me, Bad Me. Not only had the book captivated me, horrified me and made me want to cry, it left me with a bittersweet feeling. Energised by how much I had enjoyed it, yet frustrated that I myself hadn’t come up with the idea.

So Milly’s mother is a serial killer. She has kidnapped, sexually abused, and murdered twelve children. Dubbed the Peter Pan Killer, Milly’s mother is all over the front pages of the national news, but that part of the story is very much in the background. This is Milly’s story of how she integrates into life after her mother’s arrest. After Milly reports her mother to the police she is placed with a foster family. Mike is Super-Dad. A psychologist who is helping treat Milly. Saskia a yoga loving blonde yummy mummy, and Phoebe the daughter. Phoebe is the most popular girl in her year at the exclusive private school she attends. Milly and Phoebe don’t exactly hit it off and a battle to become the apple of Mike’s eye quickly ensues. This rivalry continues when Milly is enrolled at the same school as Phoebe, and subjected to a heinous campaign of bullying. Milly struggles with this and as her mother’s trial date looms closer she is torn with conflicting guilt for turning her mother in, and for not doing enough to save the last of her victims. But the greatest struggle for Milly is the old Cherokee parable of two wolves. One is good and one is evil, which one will Milly chose to feed?

It was hard for me to write this review as I had to think carefully how to fully portray how beautifully poignant this story is.
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By Brett H TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Annie has been placed with a foster family on a temporary basis. Nearly sixteen, she has been been raised by her mother, a mass murderer of young children, usually boys. However, Annie knew and liked the last of her victims which has driven her over the edge, and she has turned her mother in. Now with a new name, Milly, and a new life, she is waiting to be called to give evidence at her mother's trial.

All does not go smoothly in her new home as the resident daughter, Phoebe, a 24 carat bitch, takes an instant dislike to the newcomer and misses no opportunity to bully and belittle her. This story is told from Milly's point of view in the first person so the reader gets her reactions in real time. When bad things happen she is very calm, processes and adjusts, responding if necessary unemotionally. Whatever goes wrong, far worse has already happened to her in her short life and she is already actually and metaphorically scarred by her experiences.

Early in the book I was not at all sure I was going to get on with it, but it's very well written, and it's one of those stories which gradually grabs the reader and becomes compulsive reading as you progress. A strong psychological thriller which I would thoroughly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Often with domestic-type thrillers I wonder why the characters just don't leave but Land has picked a clever scenario in this respect: a child has very little choice in their domestic situation. Of course, having a minor as the protagonist in a story like this could be quite difficult to pull off.

There is some really dark stuff hinted at here which is hard to read but then doesn't really seem to go anywhere. In fact, there were many other times when it started to read a lot like a typical teen drama and I felt myself a little disinterested in bitchy teenage girls.

I can't help but feel Good Me, Bad Me is trying a little hard to be controversial; I felt the suspense and discomfort relies a little too much on taboo subjects without fully developing the characters and their relationships. It was certainly a gripping read but it didn't quite convince me.

I received a copy of this title for review purposes.
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