Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Happy Friday the 13th!!!
Thank you St Martin's Press for the advanced copy of this book - all opinions are my own. #freebook #partner
While I have seen and heard mixed reviews on this book - I am SOLIDLY in Team THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. Holy hell, this book is the definition of a creepy, horrifying, slow-burn psychological thriller.
Synopsis: Hanna is an adorable 7 year old girl who loves her daddy. What sets Hanna apart from other kids is that she has been a mute her entire life. And she wants to murder her mommy.
Honestly, I don't think there is anything creepier than a homicidal, psychopathic child. The uneasiness of this is rooted in the idea that this is a psychosis that is simply hard wired into a person - not a learned behaviour, not the cause of abuse or lack of nurturing - just a dark, deadly core of a human being. Everything about Hanna as a character was so perfectly done in a twisting, methodical way that still made complete sense in the limitations of her age and experience. Each homicidal attempt on her mother's life was completely plausible as something a 7-year old would dream up, and every reaction was something that rang true back to a child trying to muddle through the results of actions.
This book was the perfect pace - letting the suspense and the frustration grow page by page. I really enjoyed how the book moved back and forth from Hanna's perspective to her mom, Suzette's perspective. Because they were both experiencing the same events, but in completely different ways, it really upped the suspense chapter to chapter. You would know SOMETHING was about to happen, and then see how Suzette experienced it. I devoured this book - its a story you can't pause or set down once you start. Watching each twist had me feeling about as sick and nervous as Suzette, right to the very last page.
I also loved that Zoje gave her lead character a chronic disease in the form of Crohn's - its wildly unique and refreshing to have characters who aren't picture perfect, and who have the struggles of real life. Not to mention that Suzette's illness played into the story line so perfectly. I was completely absorbed into how much more sick she could get with the added stress flaring up her already fragile health - it made me all the more empathetic towards her as a character (not that I didn't already have the most empathy ever, considering, you know, her kid was trying really hard to kill her at every turn....LOL).
Overall, this is a must read in my opinion. Its fresh, its unique and it makes you side eye ever kid you see immediately afterward. This story is a page turner, and will be an AMAZING book club read. If you love a dark psychological thriller, this is the psychologically creepy, homicidal child size treat for you.
Its hitting shelves July 17th!