A chilling, psychological thriller that does not disappoint - revolving around a young girl whose mother is a serial killer.- Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Good Me Bad Me

By Ali Land


Review:


A story that is disturbing and unsettling - one you won’t want to put down. It’s a thriller that’s complex, multi-layered and twisty. Fifteen-year-old Mille, the daughter of a serial killer is the main character. She suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse by her mother and finally decides to turn her mother into the police.

Afterwards, Millie is haunted, constantly hearing her mother’s voice urging her to do bad things and she worries that she has inherited the killer gene. A foster family takes her in and as a reader, you know she is deeply scarred but you want her to be accepted. But there is tension and suspense as Millie struggles to fit in at her new school and get along with members of her new family. Ali Land gets you right into the head of the very damaged fifteen-year-old Milly and will keep you guessing what’s going to happen next.
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*Discussion Questions



1. Good Me Bad Me is narrated by fifteen-year- old Milly. Discuss her voice. Why do you think the author chose to write the book in this style?

2. Milly is placed in a foster family that, on paper, looks ideal but behind closed doors is anything but. Is there such a thing as anormal family? Arethe Newmonts “normal”? Do you think a different foster family would have changed who Milly became? Was it the right decision to place Milly in foster care or should she have remained in a secure, psychiatric unit—and for how long? Forever?

3. Why do you think the author chose a female serial killer who is also a mother? Are bad women somehow worse than bad men?

4. Milly strikes up a friendship with a younger, vulnerable girl named Morgan. Discuss their relationship. There’s a scene in Milly’s bedroom where she’s tempted to harm Morgan but doesn’t. What does that tell you about Milly, and why was Morgan an important relationship for her to experience?

5. Lord of the Flies is referenced a number of times in Good Me Bad Me and particularly in the school scenes. Do you think the prevalence of mobile phones and social media has made school a more savage place? Had it been a mixed school, both boys and girls, do you think Milly would still have been subjected to such brutal bullying?

6. Phoebe is painted as the bad cop in the book. To what extent could you say she is also the product of her mother? Was she justified in her feelings toward Milly? Are there similarities between the two girls, and what do you think would have happened if they’d teamed up instead of going head to head?

7. Milly testified in court against her mother but she didn’t have to;she could have given evidence by a video link. Should she have been allowed to take the stand? Should any minor be allowed to? Why did she want to, need to, do this?

8. Following the court case, Milly makes a devastating confession to the reader about Daniel. Were you shocked by her confession? Did it make you feel differently about her?

9. Mike is a skilled psychologist and spent the most time with Milly, yet he missed what was going on between Phoebe and her. Or did he? How much did he choose to ignore the tension in his household so he could fulfill his own goals and have access to Milly’s mind? Do you hold him at all responsible for what happened at the end of the book?

10. What scared you the most in Good Me Bad Me?

11. The nature/nurture debate rages on.Are there particular points you think the author is trying to make about this debate? Has reading this book changed your opinion on nature versus nurture?

12. Compare how you felt about Milly at the beginning of the book with how you feel about her at the end. Both the opening and closing lines of the book are “Forgive me.” Does she need forgiveness? Do you forgive her? The ending was deliberately ambiguous; what do you see for her future?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)


Book Summary
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S EDITORS' CHOICE
HOW FAR DOES THE APPLE REALLY FALL FROM THE TREE?


Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land: "Could not be more unputdownable if it was slathered with superglue." —Sunday Express

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother's daughter.

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