What’s it about?
When Annie hands her mother over to the police she hopes for a new start in life – but can we ever escape our past?
‘NEW NAME. NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME.’
Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way Annie can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.
With a new foster family and a new name – Milly – she hopes for a fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But as her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of Milly’s past won’t let her sleep . . .
Because Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water…
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for soooo long! One of my favorite series since forever is the I Hunt Killer series by Barry Lyga where he wrote about the son of a serial killer and his inner turmoil. Well this one’s the female equivalent.
There’s only one POV in this novel and that’s Annie’s, or Milly as she is called now that she’s got a new life with the Newmonts, her temporary foster family. Her father and her brother fled from home a long time ago, her mother is waiting in jail for the court case to appear. After 15 years of living with her dear mum she has told the police about young Daniel and the other children that came to stay with them and were locked in the ‘playground’. It was enough, it had to stop. All she wants is a normal life and to feel normal but can she really?
Different. That was the first thing that went through my head when I started reading this novel. I didn’t know yet what this girl went through but she was certainly different from us. She continually assesses people, she’s a master observer of other people’s intentions, behaviour and even her smell is more developed than yours or mine.
Good Me Bad Me is Milly’s internal struggle between good and bad and it was quite fascinating to see how she is trying so hard but there are always those little pinpricks of conditioned behavior and of old memories where she’s back in the role of doing what her mother wants her to do. She doesn’t want to be like her mother, she wants to be good but she hears her mother’s voice inside her head who is telling her she looks just like her all the time. Even after all the terrible abuse that she suffered – divulged through small morsels throughout the story – she still misses her and doesn’t want to disappoint her.
I really liked hearing what was going on inside Milly’s head and her internal conversations with her mother made it even more disturbing. There was always a sense of foreboding that something could tip Milly over to the wrong side. Her friendship with Morgan proved difficult, she wanted to share who she really was but was afraid for the rejection as the daughter of a serial killer, and her stepsister Phoebe made it even harder. She’s a real bully but doesn’t know who Milly really is, and with all that’s going on in Milly’s little head… let’s just say I was anxious for the girl. It felt kind of dangerous playing with the daughter of a serial killer.
The build-up to the trial is pretty suspenseful and even then I didn’t know what she was going to tell the jury. In the end though there wasn’t anything I didn’t expect or see coming, I was anticipating something would be up. It’s not that kind of story of many twists and turns but even if it wasn’t, it was very captivating. I felt sympathy, sadness, pity and anger for Milly. At times I wished she had reached out and told her true thoughts to Mike, at other times I could certainly understand why she didn’t.
This is a great debut novel and I can understand why so many readers became so enthralled, it is really worth reading.
I bought a paperback copy of this book at full price. This is my honest opinion.