Cover Image: How to Kill Your Family

How to Kill Your Family

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a great storyline with excellent characters.  I would highly recommend this book as it was a great read.
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Sometimes you just stumble across a book that you cannot help but pick up. How to Kill Your Family is just that book. The title drew me in at first because I immediately knew that it was going to be an intriguing story and then the synopsis drew me in even more. The concept of this book sounded extraordinary and it is executed (no pun intended) incredibly. 

I had previously heard a lot of good things about Bella Mackie’s writing, so when I saw that she would be writing a fiction novel I had to give it a read. Her writing takes us on a wild, unforgettable and thrilling journey that is difficult to put down. I read this book in just two sittings and even when I was not reading it I was thinking about it. 

Grace, our main character, is an absolutely terrible person. She is an awful person, a snob and to be honest quite unlikable. She doesn’t hesitate to share with us all her judgements on people no matter how harsh and terrible. Despite all of this though, I could not help but like her which I know I should not do given what horrendous things she has done. Grace has a dark and dry sense of humour which I found hilarious and thoroughly enjoyed. Your jaw drops whenever she confesses to something and it drops even more with the dry and straightforward way in which she confesses.

I love the variety of characters that Bella Mackie has created in this book. There are some to like, some that make you want to throw the book across the room and there are some that deserve absolutely everything that they get.

I enjoyed the format that this book is written in, a tell all journal by Grace. It grips you right away as you find out all the horrible things she has done and why she is in prison for a crime she did not commit. The book also have a few plot twists which shocked me and had me wanting to not put the book down.

Overall, How to Kill Your Family, is a thrilling, dark, yet humorous read that I would highly recommend. I will certainly be reading more books by Bella Mackie in the future. If you are a fan of Killing Eve or My Sister, the Serial Killer I would highly recommend you give this a read.
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I thought this book was really good. I can't say all I want to without giving spoilers, but I can say that I didn't want to put this book down. The story was really well written and the ways the chapters were split between past/present is something I really enjoy. I found myself rooting for Grace for the entirety of the story. Each sub story was told brilliantly and each incident was unique and well suited. I would definitely recommend this book. I would have liked further insight into Grace's thoughts at the end of the story.
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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book. 
This book was so funny and so splendidly written. The idea and concept for this novel was original and creative and the author put the novel together very well. I really enjoyed reading this and would definitely recommend to people and buy myself a copy, if you are looking for something funny and dark this book is definitely for you. However the chapters were on the longer side making this book harder to read at some points. I gave this book 4 stars.
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A unique and intriguing read with a leading character you won't soon forget, I definitely enjoyed How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie. Her writing was so interactive and enjoyable to get lost in, I just loved Grace's character and the twist/reveal at the end. As twisted as it sounds, I was rooting for her and looked forward to reading about her meticulous planning and prep for each murder.

While I enjoyed the ending, I would have liked an epilogue to see where she was maybe a year afterwards. What happened with Jimmy? How did she feel about Harry? And was she planning revenge? I guess we'll never know...
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"• Kill my family
• Make a claim on their fortune
• Get away with the above
• Adopt a dog"
Grace Bernard is like most other twenty-something women. Her interests include running, fashion, reading and getting revenge. She's a daughter, sister, colleague, friend and serial killer. Grace has killed several members of her estranged family (some brutally, some calmly) but she's currently serving time in Limehouse prison for a crime she didn't commit. 

An exquisitely crafted dark comedy, narrated by such a complex and intensely interesting character. Grace is charming and witty and you find yourself hanging on to her words and championing her crimes. AND THAT ENDING!? *chefs kiss*. I am blown away by Bella Mackie's writing, it's hard to believe that this is a debut novel, with a voice so assured and confident that you expect from seasoned authors. I thoroughly enjoyed How to Kill Your Family, it's taken top spot for my favourite book of the year so far - it's easy to understand why it's topping the book selling charts!

Thank you so much HarperCollins for providing me with a copy to review!
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I have been a big fan of Bella Mackie ever since I read her memoir Jog On, about her love of running. I was delighted to discover that she was turning her hand to fiction.

How to Kill Your Family did not disappoint. Even though it’s quite a long read (I mean, it’s not Infinite Jest but it’s longer than I’d prefer to read on my phone’s kindle app!), I absolutely raced through it. Mackie is a very skilled writer and her dry wit shines through. Her protagonist Grace is the best kind of anti-heroine; she is superior and sarcastic, yet you can’t help but love her. Oh yes, and she’s a murderer too. 

This novel has been repeatedly compared to Killing Eve (presumably because there’s so few cultural examples of female murderers) but it’s a bit more akin to My Sister, the Serial Killer. Even if you don’t usually read crime fiction, this is a darkly funny delight.
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I really wanted to love this book but it fell a little flat for me. The acerbic wit was just a little too sharp and I think it requires a thick skinned reader as there was a line or two to insult just about everyone. I did like that it was dark and funny, I just felt it could have been a little more refined and a bit less pointed.
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I was expecting more from this book as I’ve seen so many people rating it highly recently , however for me it was a 2 star read. The premise sounded fantastic, a good old family revenge thriller, however the book could have done with being 100 pages shorter. There was A lot of build up, with some things being repetitive or needless, and the killings were anticlimactic in my opinion and not worth wading through the long chapters for one boring paragraph briefly detailing how that family member died. As the book is told retrospectively, I found the characters and their interactions quite boring as there was no dynamic to any of them. Even Grace, the main character, was insufferable at times with her preachyness about social
Media and not being like other people. I understand that this was a big part of her motivation, and she would also acknowledge at times that she was being hypocritical but would continue her hypocrisy throughout the whole book.  The ending feel like it was stolen from us, I was pushing myself to not DNF this book because I thought that there would be something interesting when she killed her number one target, but instead we got nothing at all. Just an added character that did nothing to expand or make the plot better, and honestly it felt like a cop out. This book did nothing for me and I don’t believe it will satisfy other thriller/horror/mystery readers either so I will not be recommending this book personally.
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How To Kill Your Family is a fun novel that perhaps was never supposed to be. I was never quite able to believe any of the actions of storyline of the characters within this book. After recently reading a book like Black Buck, there is an ability to stretch this readers mind to quite what is believable. That novel was more cartoonish in its bravado and style and yet was more believable than anything in this novel. It felt very bland, and I never connected with the voice of Grace Bernard. A novel that did not work for me on any level and left disappointed. Perhaps I am not the target audience but non-the less hoped for me for a novel that has had lots of hype and on so many reading lists for Summer 2021.
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"How To Kill Your Family" was a fantastic read, a dark comedy about a woman who kills six members of her estranged family only to be jailed for a crime she did not commit. It might sound ghoulish, but you immediately side with Grace Bernard who is a great antiheroine, a sarcastic and cynical narrator without a shade of remorse. Yet, you cannot help but be impressed by her resourcefulness, stubbornness and deadpan humour. Plus, the story of her endeavours is gripping and the ending is definitely NOT what you expect!
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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How to Kill Your Family tells the story of Grace, who is writing from prison after being convicted of a murder that she didn't commit. However, though she didn't commit the murder she was jailed for, she has killed six of her family members, and she's using her time in prison to record her story. 

HTKYF had a lot of hype surrounding it's release, and I was really looking forward to it. However, this one really didn't work for me - though I seem to be in the minority here, as I've seen almost universal 4 and 5 star reviews. 

Unfortunately, I found the writing really clunky and amateurish. I think that writing a book from the point of view of someone recording their thoughts/story is quite difficult because it forces the writing style into something too self-aware. It also became just a list of things to the character did? As we're told in the prologue that Grace has killed six people, what follows is just a quite boring description of who she killed and how she planned it. There's no life to the book, it feels like it might as well have been a bullet-point list of her actions. 

I also enjoy unlikeable narrators, but Grace was unlikeable for all of the wrong reasons. I think the author was really trying to go for social commentary about the upper classes in this book, but she failed (in my view) because it was all mixed in with Grace's horrible fat-shaming, misogynistic thoughts too. 

Overall, I thought this was quite predictable and the author literally gave the game away in the prologue. From there, there was nothing to surprise or shock, as we already knew she was going to kill six relatives. The ending was, however, a real low point to me - the exposition was shockingly bad. I would not recommend and I won't be picking up anything else from this author either.
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I was fooled into thinking this was a very different story due to the girly pink cover but loved the book I got instead. 
Grace is a very cold and ruthless killer (probably a product of her situation) ironically languishing in prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Ironic due to the fact she has in fact been on a ruthless killing spree in order to get revenge on the father who denied her.
Loved the narrative voice but there must be a sequel. You can’t leave the story there!!!!
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Do not be fooled by the bubble pink cover here - Bella Mackie's 'How to Kill Your Family' is an intense portrayal of an anti-heroine and her vengeful string of murders. It is gripping, uncomfortable in places and has a killer twist. 

Grace is the illegitimate child of Simon Artemis, a disgustingly rich man who refuses to acknowledge or support Grace's existence. When her mother dies of cancer, Grace vows revenge against the man who left her family in near-poverty. When we meet Grace, she is in Limehouse prison, imprisoned for a murder she did not commit. Ironic, since she is six murders into her family killing spree! Across the book, Grace is writing a diary recounting each murder, unwilling to rest until her father is fully punished.

Mackie has come up with a killer concept here. Grace is cold, calculating and completes each murder with a disturbingly calm demeanour. It was only when the first murder happened that I realised what I was in for - Grace pulls no punches in making these murders look like tragic accidents, even if it is a long, painful death for her victims. Each person has either personally slighted Grace and her mother or just been unlucky enough to be related to Simon Artemis. These grizzly murders juxtapose the dull monotony of Grace's prison life, the insights into her experience behind bars ramping up the tension between her description of each murder.

I did enjoy the concept and Mackie's writing in this novel. However, I feel it would have benefited from a snappier pace. We have several dragging points throughout the book and get some irrelevant diatribes (e.g. did we need the extended internal monologue about plastic surgery and Grace wanting her nose done to look less like Simon? I guess it shows some physical trauma when looking like a man she detests but moments like this slowed the main action too much.). Also, let's talk about that ending. WHAT?! I know Grace is cold but I was not expecting her story to end that way. I am hoping we get a sequel to unpick that bombshell a bit more!

Overall, a 4 star read. Some issues with the pacing but a great story. I look forward to seeing what Mackie writes next!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

This book is brilliant and the writing is just incredible!

I'm not sure if I was supposed to like Grace but I just couldn't resist being her biggest fan! 

The premise alone was enough to entice me to read this book. Grace is in prison for a murder she didn't commit but here she is telling us all about the murders she did commit. That ending though, I need to know more!

I've been recommending this to friends before I'd even finished reading it and I feel like I'll be talking about it for a long time! Can't wait to see what Bella writes next!
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Ohhh this was a good one! Bella Mackie has written a sharp and funny debut novel that kept me wanting more all the way through. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not disappoint!
I read Jog On by Bella Mackie last year and really enjoyed her writing so I was very intrigued to read her first work of fiction. The title alone made me excited to read this book and once I got started, the dark humour and observations had me completely sold. 
I quickly took to Grace as a character and although her actions are wrong and she is undoubtedly flawed, I found myself rooting for her. She shares her account of events in a very entertaining way and is completely unapologetic. The details from her backstory gave a better understanding of why she was doing what she was doing, as did all the detail that was included in the story.
As Grace takes us through the ways she killed her family members, the book is at risk of being repetitive, but the order and pace it was written in kept me gripped. I was so impressed with how original each of her plans were and the twists that were included - especially near the end! 
I thought this book was fab and I can’t wait to see what Bella Mackie thinks of next!
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You know how sometimes you meet a character in a book and you think, ‘oooh, I’d really like to be friends with you’? Well, this happened to me with Grace, the protagonist and narrator of Bella Mackie’s debut fiction novel, How To Kill Your Family, the only problem is, Grace is a serial killer. Awkward.

When we meet her she is in jail for murder, a murder she didn’t actually commit. She’s furious about this. I mean, wouldn’t you be too? Especially when it wasn’t even a good murder. She is far more inventive in her crimes, taking out her victims via ingenious methods. So ingenious that I fear for Bella Mackie’s search history.

Her victims? Members of her own family. Yup, you read that right. Grace is the result of a short lived but passionate affair her mother had with a very wealthy and very charming man who also happened to be very married. When Grace’s mother dies when Grace is a teen she discovers that despite her mother’s pleas to her father for help and support he has wanted nothing to do with either of them. He was quite content to leave them to sharing a tiny one bed flat in London and let them struggle for money. Grace’s mother dying doesn’t even bother him. He couldn’t care less that his teenage daughter has nowhere to go. Unable to get over his abandonment she plots to get her own back, deciding that she will pick off his family one by one. And boy she does it with style.

This is such a great book. It is caustic, sharp and archly funny. It takes a satirical look at those with wealth, showing us their greed and their lack of compassion and empathy. Their constant striving for more and never being satisfied seeps from the pages and made me cringe with embarrassment for their classlessness. I could imagine Grace flicking through Hello magazine, an eyebrow raised at yet another photo spread of a living room with grey velvet sofas and a marble fireplace. I laughed out loud on more than occasion, recognising the Instagram generation and their constant pursuit of affirmation and the next dopamine hit of a few thousand likes. Mackie uses this book to show us that much of what we see is smoke and mirrors, that those in power are generally only out for thing; themselves and that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you gold taps and as much botox as your face can take.

It’s such great writing, witty and intelligent with a real punch to it. I loved how Mackie turned the serial killer trope on its head and explored a female serial killer and her motivations. It is so refreshing and honestly, I didn’t think that I’d ever be rooting for a serial killer, but somehow, Mackie makes Grace likeable. Even when she is plotting the slow death of somebody you really, really want her to succeed. Her family are just so awful, (without being cartoonish, a delicate balancing act which Mackie gets pitch perfect), that you just think that she is actually doing the world the favour.

How To Kill Your Family is brilliantly plotted, inventive and a real masterclass in smart writing. It also features a really satisfying ending which made me do a little applause of appreciation. Honestly, it just gets everything right and is such a readable and fun book. I look forward to reading more from Bella Mackie, this was cracking. Recommended!
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How To Kill Your Family centres Grace Bernand. Daughter, Sister, Colleague, friend, serial killer…. After Grace loses everything, she wants revenge. She decides to pick of her family one by one – she doesn’t get caught and yet she lies in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. 

This is a hugely entertaining read. It is a dark and yet funny story about family, love, class and murder. I loved how mysterious it was and the thought that went into the character of Grace, her deeply cruel mind was fascinating to explore. I also admired the detail of the murders, which were so calculated and must have required extensive research. 

Grace reminded me a lot of Villanelle in Killing Eve and I loved that. With each chapter focusing on the different family members, slowly revealing the reason why Grace was going to kill them and the way she was going to do it, was a fab way to build suspense.
I really enjoyed this one – a unique comical read.
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After reading Bella’s running books I was very excited to read this! All I can say is, what an absolute bonkers book this is! I bloody loved it!! 

We meet Grace who’s locked up in prison for a murder she did not commit. Quite ironic since she’s killed multiple members of her family and got away with it! 
I loved Grace, she is an absolute badass who is driven and knows exactly what she wants and won’t stop till she gets it. Following her along her journey for freedom while retelling her past stories of murder was gripping and addictive!
I read most of this book in one sitting and I couldn’t wait to find out how it would end. 
Another brilliant book from Bella! The detail of the family’s past and Grace’s upbringing was well written and the murders were well thought out. I for one cannot wait to see what Bella writes for us next!!
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I thought this book was brilliant. Told in a diary format, you go from present time to different points in the narrator's voice. The main character is so well described that you really feel as if you know her. 

Grace is in prison for a crime she didn't commit - but has committed plenty before that. I couldn't put the book down, wanting to know how she had, effectively, killed her family. Her motivation is well explained and the twist at the end was great - lots of little details throughout the book had set it up but they were so meaningless at the time you don't realise until the end.

Highly recommended.
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