Bad Fruit by Ella King #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Ella King, Bad Fruit.



Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.


But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster . . .


Bad Fruit is a really compelling debut novel by Ella King. Told from the point of view of eighteen-year-old Lily, the novel explores the complicated relationship Lily has with her family, and it makes for a very addictive read. I was utterly compelled to find out what was going to happen to Lily, as she navigates the stormy seas, as she prepares to enter the adult world. Lily is a young woman who has lot on her shoulders.

Lily’s voice shone through on the page. Through Ella King’s writing we step into Lily’s world and experience the tension and trauma she experiences alongside with her. Bad Fruit has some of the most fascinating character’s I’ve come across recently. The relationship Lily has with her family, but particularly, her mother, is tense. There is such intensity to the writing, as Ella King explores this part of their lives, and it really pulled me into the story, keeping me hooked right the way through. I wanted to understand what was going on here and why Lily’s mother behaved in the way she did towards her daughter.

As Ella King delves deeper into Lily’s family, Ella shows us some intense scenes that occur between them, some, which are also, quite upsetting to read. These scenes made me feel really angry for Lily, and I wanted her to be able to get away from her family. I could always feel that she was trying to avoid stepping on eggshells around her mother. This begins with her mother’s insistence that Lily’s father has been having an affair. I could see just how controlling Lily’s mother was, and how much power she holds over Lily. Lily follows her mother’s every command, making her, her mother’s favourite out of her three children. But this puts Lily in uncomfortable situations and her mother takes advantage of this. Lily’s mother is also very unpredictable. I had no idea what she was going to do next. It’s also what makes her very unlikeable, as a person. But there is a sense of mystery about Lily’s mother that I found compelling. I wanted to know the reasons why she was the way she is now.

Bad Fruit will immediately pull you into the story and you will be hooked on every word. I’m so pleased I found this book. I will definitely be keeping an eye out to see what Ella King writes next.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication date: 18th August 2022

Print length: 319 pages

Bad Fruit is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones