Cover Image: How to Kill Your Family

How to Kill Your Family

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Member Reviews

I really struggled with this one, the unlikeable narrator just made it really difficult for me to get invested.
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Oh wow did I love this book! This is one of my favourite books from this year!
It reminded me a little bit of one of my favourite films, Kind Hearts and Coronets, where a man decides to kill members of his family because he realises he can become a Lord, or a King (I can't remember) once he manages to off the people who stand in his way.

This story was just so much fun, light-hearted in ways and serious in others, with very little in the way of a message, which makes it even more enjoyable.
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I didn't like Grace, but I'm OK with not liking her; I'm not sure that I'm supposed to like her. Darkly comic, somewhat convoluted, enjoyable and entertaining. A respectable first novel.
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Imagine the injustice of being sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder you didn’t commit. Not that Grace Bernard is actually innocent. I mean, she HAS murdered six (or is it five? I lose count) members of her own estranged family. Not that they didn’t deserve it. 

This was a dark, funny book, and I found myself laughing at the most inappropriate moments. Grace plans her murders meticulously: she finds out what each family member likes to do, where they live and who their contacts are. She’s calm, collected and seriously scary. Grace is a prime example of a psychopath. She has no real attachments, she’s calm and collected during her murders, and her life otherwise appears to be normal. 

But if anyone had found the memoir she starts to write whilst jailed for the murder she didn’t commit, she would have had a much longer sentence. 

As you probably know by now, I always seem to end up with a soft spot for the more unpleasant, dare I say, naughty, characters. If you count six murders as a bit naughty, then yes, Grace has been added to my list of favourite characters. She really is something special! 

Thanks to The Borough Press for my copy of this book to read through NetGalley.
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Absolutely amazing! The best book I've read this year. The type of book where the last two chapters shatter anything you thought you knew
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A funny, sometimes bloody, look into the mind of a psycopathic scorned teenager... seeking the ultimate family revenge.

Couldnt put it down!
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I kept seeing reviews and mentions of this book on my online book club, so despite having over 1000 unread books on my kindle as a sufferer of FOMO, I bought the book and started reading it on holiday last week.

Grace Bernard is currently in jail for a murder she didn’t commit which is ironic as she has killed 7 other people. This particular murder is sloppy and definitely not her style, because Grace is first and foremost a serial killer with an ingenious approach to killing her victims in ways which are inventive, original and more importantly always look like a tragic accident.

Grace is the narrator of Bella Mackie’s debut novel and having been brought up by a single mother after a short lived affair with a charming, wealthy and very married man, Grace’s childhood was difficult. Living hand-to-mouth in a small bedsit, her mother tried to give Grace everything she needed with the exception of a father, who didn’t want anything to do with her.

After her mother’s death at an early age Grace believes that her biological father and his family should be held accountable for her situation and starts to plot to kill them off one-by-one. The story has a dual time-frame, “present” Grace in a small cell recounting her past and writing her auto-biography and “past” Grace reliving her childhood and the intricate plotting of each of her kills.

This is a very amusing and dark story which kept me entertained throughout. Each of the kills are clever and well thought out and I particularly loved Grace’s sarcastic narrative and amusing observational humour which brought this psychopathic serial killer to life. I don’t normally feel sympathy for murderers, but for Grace I have made an exception.
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I struggled with the so called humour in this one. It just seemed so hateful of EVERYTHING! How dare people like things and get excited over stuff that makes them happy, like that's some sort of marker on what a character is like. And although this was probably a way of making the main protagonist more unlikeable, I felt like it was more of a reflection of the authors dislikes as something just did fit with the character that was being built. The main character had no redeeming factors in anyway and I had no sympathy for her at all. There was a neat little twist at the end which is why I gave it an extra star, but it was so unbelievably vapid. The continued attempts to make it modern seemed so try hard. Not a fan, sorry.
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When Grace Bernard learns that her absent father is a prominent millionaire who willingly abandoned her and rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help, she resolves to take revenge by killing every member of his family and inheriting his massive wealth herself. The plan goes surprisingly well, until Grace is imprisoned for one murder she didn’t commit.

How to Kill Your Family has a truly excellent premise. Written in a journal style, we get a direct insight into the workings of Grace’s mind and why she chose the path she’s on. Grace is a really interesting character. She’s sarcastic and bitter, and obviously a killer, but I liked her. She’s also witty, smart and very determined. I felt the narration was very well written, in a way that allows the reader to actually feel sorry for Grace and the way she has spent her entire life working on this obsessive revenge plan, despite all the murder.

The story-telling was a bit long-winded, and the narration went off on tangents and returned to the story in weird places which could be a tad disorienting, but overall the plot is good with some laugh-out-loud moments and some completely unpredictable twists.
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I felt a little bit like the story was quite predictable until the very end, the murders seemed very different and I enjoyed the structure but I wasn’t overly keen on the plot. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, and enjoyed the narrator and found the ending full of twists which made the book for me. 

It’s a different kind of thriller and I think I rated it lower because I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters at all
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Very well written, with a main character/unreliable narrator whose voice meshes well with the blackly comic tone. Ending casts an... interesting light on the book's events.
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They say: talent borrows and genius steals. Bella Mackie heists the plot of Kind Hearts and Coronets for this killing rampage, right down to the one mistake our otherwise clever protagonist makes. Mackie has great fun dispatching the various members of the family that wronged Grace and her mother. Some of them deserve it more than others, it's true, but you rejoice as each one bites the dust.
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I love how Grace is a loveable character even through all the grisly bits. 
it was refreshing to read something a bit different than what I am used too.
Great humour and strangely uplifting.
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I was so excited to pick this one up as I had heard fabulous things, but I was so disappointed. 

The start showed promise, and I initially admired how the main character expressed herself and her strength given her familial situation. However, the rest of the book deviated from this and I rapidly lost interest. It tried so hard to be feminist, yet it also came across as being the opposite due to the constant judgment and snide remarks on other women's weight or choice of having cosmetic surgeries. The writing style wasn't for me as it just felt like we had to listen to all of the main characters' rambling inner thoughts. 

It seems to be a marmite book, and I'm firmly in the "I didn't enjoy it" camp. The start showed promise but certain remarks didn't sit well with me and I could've done without the enormous volume of unnecessary detail. 

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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Really enjoyed this book . Not everyone is evil that languishes a n prison . Some are innocent … but only if the crime they are in for .
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A new Kind Hearts and Coronets: dark, twisted and deliciously funny.

Oh just joyously, tantalising amoral!

It's wonderful living along with someone who can do and DOES all those things you would NEVER dream of doing yourself. Family members wronged you? Off them! Someone can help you get to them? Use them!

Grace has been wronged, there's  no denying it. The old story of the young, pretty woman tossed aside by the rich playboy when she finds she's pregnant - her mother's story. Grace's? Raised in poverty and then to anger at the injustice. Then raises herself to revenge. On the whole family who have disowned her and her mother. You may squirm in glee as you realise she's about to try and 'off' the whole entitled lot of them.

Yet she writes this from prison... so what has happened? 

I love the old Ealing comedies, and this had a strong whiff of Kind Hearts and Coronets about it, also written from prison by a poor family member who tried to kill his whole family. 

Grace is just wonderful - absolutely appallingly without mercy, yet you feel it's justified. And you don't want to stop her - you want to see just what she's capable of.

But she's in prison... she never lets us forget that. Which really does spark curiosity as to why she's there for a murder she DIDN'T commit... and if she can get away with those she did.

Ohhh this was brilliant. And Mackie does save her best throw for the end, a total curveball just when you think you can see the end of the game in sight.

So easy to read, perfect black comedy material, hard not to get caught up with Grace in her 'quest', and a villainess you love to hate but admire at the same time.  

With thanks to Netgalley for providing a sample reading copy.
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Now don’t get me wrong I loved the whole story and the plot especially the ending which made the whole book for us both. Totally unexpected. But this book has really really LONG chapters. We are talking huge chapters here. Which many readers including myself do not like. Which made reading it drag for us both even if we split it into three or four chapters a day.

The story is told from inside her cell and splits chapters to each of her kills with also a look inside her prison life. Each kill is different. Each clever. Each very well planned out. Can’t fault that. Just the long chapters is the downfall here. Which is why I awarded four stars instead of five.
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Probably my favourite book of the year. I was hooked from the first couple of pages and finished the book in two days. Bella's writing is...the best work I can think of to describe it is cool.

Whilst the plot is not the same it gave me the same feelings as Killing Eve. 

Absolutely loved it, cannot wait to see what Bella comes up with next.
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This is the first book for a long time that I have stayed up late reading. It has humour, suspense and a great ending. I can see why this book is so popular. Should be on everyone’s reading list this year.
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Loved it! Great twists and turns and I developed an empathy for the main character, despite her being a truly awful person.
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