ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



October 2022



How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

Written by , Posted in Reviews

3 Stars

Best for:
People who like a real good revenge story, but also something a little different.

In a nutshell:
Bella Mackie is picking off her family, one by one. The twist? Most of them don’t even know she’s related to them.

Worth quoting:
“Tell me if the person I’ve fallen in love with seems like a monster. List the ways. Do a deep dive into it, make graphs. I want all the information.”

“The only thing worse than someone who enthusiastically devours all pop culture and spews it up … is someone who takes pride in not understanding new trends. You’re not better than that. You don’t get points for deliberately trying to avoid learning about what’s happening around you.”

Why I chose it:
I’ve seen it a few times in bookshops and finally decided to pick it up.

The book drew me in from the first page, because it starts unexpectedly. I’m going to gloss over that part and provide a bit about the high-level plot and discuss the narrator Grace. Grace is the one who is killing her ‘family.’ Her dad cheated on his wife with her mother, and then denied Grace’s existence while Grace and her mother Marie lived in a studio.

Grace is pissed about it, and I get that. So she spend time planning to basically wipe out the family. Which is made a bit easier because her dad is very well-known, and thus his family is easy to track.

Grace is not a good person. She doesn’t pretend to be, and she knows that killing a bunch of people puts her on the wrong side of moral. But she’s also a bit insufferable, which makes it both easy to root for her to try to right some wrongs, but also makes it easy to remember that, um, killing is also super wrong. Grace is the worst kind of judgmental – she thinks pretty much everyone is less intelligent than her, and really any choice any person could make is ripe for the mocking. Not outwardly – she’s very good at blending into the scenery when she wants to. But her inner monologue is snarky and her social commentary at times feels a bit like someone trying to sound cool on Reddit.

The book itself is well-written – I kept reading it and wanting to read it, and had to force myself not to pick it up before bed last night because I knew I’d just stay up too late reading it. As it was, I finished it in three days, and one of those days I was working.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it (I don’t tend to keep fiction books around, but I hope whoever picks this up at the free library at my Tube station enjoys it as much as I did)

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