Book Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Brief synopsis : Suzette is happily married to Alex and together they have Hanna, an incredibly smart seven year-old who hasn'...

Brief synopsis: Suzette is happily married to Alex and together they have Hanna, an incredibly smart seven year-old who hasn't ever actually spoken before. When doctors confirm there's nothing physically wrong with Hanna, Suzette becomes convinced it's all psychological - especially because Hanna is different when Alex isn't around. Hanna loves her daddy, but not her mommy so much. In fact, she'd much prefer it if mommy was gone (dead).

You guys. Baby Teeth is probably one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my entire life. I had read the description prior and knew the book was about a child who wants to kill her mother, but I honestly never expected it to be so outlandish.

The chapters are alternative perspectives between Suzette and Hanna - Alex is mostly out of the picture at work or whatever, and is completely oblivious to everything happening around him. It's a twist on the classic "daddy's little girl" and also pitting females against each other, except in this case one of the females is a seven year-old child. Seriously, so weird. This book has been compared to We Need to Talk About Kevin, which I haven't read, but I've watched the movie - and I can totally see the comparison, though I feel Kevin (as a film anyways) did it much better and seemed much more real, I guess.

I mean, it's obviously been a while since I was seven, but the thought process of this child - is there any kind of realistic significance to what's going on? I can't figure out if this novel is a take on mental illness, or spiritual possession, or it's just all for fun. It's definitely a horror novel in many ways, but very much psychological thriller as well. I was just so over it almost as soon as I began and it seriously took me over two weeks to read it, which is very much unlike me. (I'm also bitter because this was the last book I read in May, which caused me to only read five books, instead of six, which has been my monthly average so far this year. Ugh!)

I also felt the writing was very choppy and honestly, hard to follow at times. Suzette's condition was such a major point, but I felt like something was missing from the story when discussing it. Like, it was discussed a lot without there being valuable content behind it. There was also no true climax to the story really, and the entire thing just fell totally flat for me. It definitely missed the mark, which was unfortunate because the marketing behind it was soooo promising!

Sadly, I would not recommend.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

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  1. I almost never leave books unfinished, but a few chapters into this one I couldn't read anymore. Hanna is so awful it just made me too angry to keep reading.

    1. It honestly only got worse. I almost never don't finish books, and I seriously struggled to get through it. It was so unbelievable and Hanna was definitely awful.