This review is written with thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of Bad Little Girl.
Lorna Bell is one of teacher Claire Penny's Christmas Crackers, part of a group of school pupils who need a little extra support outside of lessons. Lorna is notoriously badly behaved, but Claire thinks there must be something more behind Lorna's actions and tries to protect her. However, when Claire and Lorna meet Marianne, Lorna becomes more distant. Is Lorna troubled or just a bad little girl?
Through Bad Little Girl, Vick raises the important issue of nature vs nurture, and the premise from which she begins has a lot of potential. However, I was mostly disappointed with this novel. It starts rather slowly, which means that several of the events that are recounted seem mundane, and Lorna's character, particularly in the first half of the novel, is not explored as well as it might be in order that the reader can really consider the issues raised in detail.
I am a youth worker by trade, so I am reasonably familiar with safeguarding protocols that are used in situations similar to that of Lorna in Bad Little Girl. An experienced teacher such as Claire would not act in the way that she does, and this made me (literally) shout at the pages in frustration. It stopped me from connecting with Claire and sympathising with her.
As you can see from the cover, the tagline for Bad Little Girl boasts a "brilliant" twist. I love a twist, and thought that this might be the novel's redeeming feature. Unfortunately, however, I saw the ending coming from quite early on, and this diminished its effect for me.
Overall, I finished Bad Little Girl feeling disappointed that it didn't live up to the potential promised by the synopsis.
Bad Little Girl is available from Amazon.