Release date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Sweetness can be deceptive.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.
I want to start by saying that I think this book will be extremely divisive, it’s uncomfortable, bold and full of shocking scenarios, and very over the top. BUT, it worked really well for me and there was an originality to it, I really haven’t read anything like it before and it’s not a book I’ll soon forget.
This alternates between a mother, Suzette, a woman who desperately wants to connect to her daughter, and Hanna, a seven year old girl. While obviously I could relate more to Suzette, Hanna’s point of view was far more compelling to me. She’s a creepy little girl and I wasn’t quite sure if she was a super clever little actress, skilled in sophisticated manipulation or a child with some serious mental issues who needed professional help in the worst way. Many of her chapters were chilling, a glimpse inside the mind of a child who behaves in abhorrent ways is the type of stuff nightmares are made of!
While this was definitely a thriller it almost read like a horror novel at some points, Stage created a really creepy atmosphere in the Jensen home, one full of uneasiness and dread and undercurrents of a dark danger. She’s a gifted writer and her ability to write two distinct narratives was excellent, if you’ve read this I would LOVE to discuss it!
Baby Teeth in three words: Controversial, Twisted and Wicked.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.