Ali Land’s debut novel Good Me Bad Me caught my eye because it’s described as a psychological thriller. It could perhaps equally be a ’young adult’ novel in that it deals with teenagers and bullying themes, although it is very dark — perhaps too dark for some younger readers.
The main character is Annie whose mother — a serial killer of children — is awaiting trial after Annie reported her to the police.
With her mother in jail, Annie gets a new name — Milly — and is sent to live with a foster family. Almost immediately, she is bullied by her foster parents’ daughter Phoebe and Phoebe’s friends. But Milly has skills learned in her past that help her to cope with the pressure.
What is a bit depressing in this novel is that virtually all of the characters are either manipulative or exploitative of others. The possible exceptions are Morgan, with whom Milly forms a friendship, and her
Foster father, Mike, for example, seems kind in his interactions with Milly as he counsels her to help her prepare for her mother’s trial. But even Mike has an ulterior motive as he’s writing a book about Annie.
Milly is an interesting character and Good Me Bad Me is a pacy read. It’s published by Penguin. I read an advance copy courtesy of Netgalley.