Young people’s voices are notoriously difficult to do well in literature. Emma Donahue ‘s Room and Claire King’s The Night Rainbow did it really well. Ali Land’s Annie/Millie in Good Me Bad Me…for me, the author didn’t manage to pull it off.
Annie’s mother is on remand in prison, accused of killing 9 children. Annie turned her in, eventually, and is now living as the foster daughter of her therapist. While not as dysfunctional as her own family, Annie’s new family is not without its problems and her new life is less than perfect. Her new sister resents her and she has no friends. Soon, Annie will have to give evidence in court at her mother’s trial. How will she handle seeing the monster who abused her? And what will happen to Annie after the trial?
This book has been marketed as this year’s Gone Girl. I abhor lazy marketing like this and I feel that it didn’t do GMBM any favours. If you were to approach the story as a debut psychological thriller I think you’d not be disappointed. But it’s nowhere near as good as Ms Flynne’s book.
Annie is a typical unreliable narrator and very unlikable. I honestly didn’t care what happened to her. And back to the character’s voice – the author’s staccato style with single word sentences and sentence fragments makes for awkward reading.
The plot is decent enough but the twist ending wasn’t hard to see coming.
I’d give this book 3*. It’s not a bad book, but it’s nowhere near as good as the hype.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.