Book Review – Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

by Maryse on February 23, 2019 · 3 comments

in My Book Reviews

Baby Teeth: A Novel
I was DESPERATE to read this book the minute it came out and kept stalking it to see if it would go on sale. I AM ALWAYS in the mood for this genre, and the day it finally did go on sale, I one clicked that sucker SO HARD and I swear I SQUEEED SO LOUD, the whole book-world could hear it. ;)

Yep, it’s not only alpha males that make me squee. The creepy stuff does too! *snort* :P

Cynthia: …a new one you shouldn’t miss, “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage… Little girls are supposed to love their mothers….

Amy: O. M. G…Baby Teeth sounds NUTS! Did anyone ever see the movie (or read the book) We Need To Talk About Kevin? *shivers* Baby Teeth sounds eerily similar.

Lisa:  I read Baby Teeth some time ago. It was creepy, but not enough to give me nightmares. The little girl is just awful, and the father is a bit clueless to it all. If I had a kid like this, I’d consider accidentally drowning her! The most horrifying part is how does a parent deal with a child that they are afraid of. That is just chilling!!

Leslie M: Just the name Baby Teeth sounds creepy. *shudders*

Maryse: I kind of like it but I just can’t STAND that creepy-evil child, so I have no clue how I’m gonna feel at the end of it.

Maryse: I’m just finishing up “Baby Teeth” and ooooooooh what a creeeeeeepy psycho child. I love creepy child books, but I’m always so disturbed by them, too. I’m so curious how it’s going to end. A bit scared actually.

Tasha J: Oooh, *rushes to look up Baby Teeth

Amy: Maryse, have you ever watched We Need to Talk About Kevin starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly? GAH! Talk about feeling that woman’s frustration. I know it’s hard to picture JCR in a serious role but he pulls it off. It jumps back and forth between past and present, and holy moly the ending is just *OOMPH!* I’m sure the book is good as well, I’m just a little partial to the movie having seen it first. ;)

Maryse: Amy is he a creepy kid?? I haven’t seen it. But I WANNA!!!! I LOVE “holy moly endings”!! :P Baby Teeth’s ending gave me a chill up my spine. ;) I love when that happens!!

Maryse: Tasha I give it 4 stars (but an easy 4 stars). Well worth the read because you’ll be wondering a few things the whole way through. And there’s just nothing creepier than a kid with an evil streak… trying to figure out the WHY and OMG how can a 6 year old even think that way??!! GASP!! Fun fun fun! In books. ONLY ever in books. *sideeyes any creepy kids watching me right now*

And ooooooooh boy that ending gave me a chill up my spine and I LOVE when that happens. A little extra introspective into the story as a whole, and it came together nicely (and my mind is already wandering). Eeeeeeep!

I just can’t resist a story about an adorable child (to most) yet totally creepy (to some). The manipulation, and the torment and yet how could anyone ever believe that something like this is possible?  I think my curiosity of this kind of psych-thriller is the reality in the psychology of it. Developmental psychology was always my favorite in college (how children *tick* and yet some don’t tick like others at all).

I remember many years ago watching a documentary (maybe it was a daytime talk show special?) about the cutest adopted Romanian child (adopted as a baby) that had a serious sadistic streak and kept trying to kill his parents and siblings. I just couldn’t fathom, but as time goes on, we hear these similar stories.

Oh!! And what about that Simpsons Halloween special where Bart had a special power to make whatever he was thinking (often bad!) happen, and his whole family was terrified of him, and terrified to upset him. Those kinds of stories just STAY with me. How can something so young, so innocent, be so capable of evil?

I mean… for some, this is real life.

So what’s it about?

Told from two POVs (the mom’s and the daughter’s…)

Adorable and cherubic Hannah (I think she’s about 5 or 6) is mute but not for any physical reason.

Hanna kept her words to herself because they gave her power. Inside her, they retained their purity. She scrutinized Mommy and other adults, studied them.

Communication is a struggle, but she makes her wants and needs known by way of hugs, moments of affections, and… moments of atrocious acts and acting out.

Hanna had creative ways to amuse herself, and most of them were intolerable.

She seemingly despises her mother with an all encompassing flaming passion of hate…

She didn’t like to be corrected. But she always enjoyed seeing Mommy like this, in her natural state of hating and giving up. If only Daddy could see it, then he’d understand that Mommy was phony. When he was around, Mommy was kissy and helpful. But it was an act she couldn’t keep up.

and yet she loves her father with all of her might.

He has yet to see this dark side of her, and struggles to believe his wife when she tells him of the bad things she’s done (or the occasional horrendous things she says… only for her mother’s ears).

“You think this is funny? These games you play? Someday it’s gonna get you in real trouble. You’re not going to get your way forever.”

Hanna smiled. And nodded her head.

That is, until every school they try to enroll her in, ends up calling with serious concerns about her behavioral issues, and kicking her out.

And I’ll let you read the story from here. ;)

This one did not disappoint. Shocking at times, you’ll find yourself cringing, and furious and so sympathetic to the poor mom in the story. Moments of treasonous thoughts on many aspects, moments of guilt, moments of genius, moments of sweetness… you’ll find yourself vascilating. I caught myself wondering if I was reading it right? If maybe there’d be a twist where I was seeing things… incorrectly. It seemed obvious who the victim was in all of this but, what if I was missing an important part of the story?

The word “hate” formed in her mouth, but she didn’t give it a voice.

“Why? Why are you doing this to me?”

Her daughter’s slight shoulders drooped, her head tilted a little to the right. She almost looked sad.

So while things seemed obvious enough, there were hints and moments that had me doubting my own impressions (and I love when that happens!)

4 stars! <— A creepy, intriguing read that will leave you haunted…

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

bev February 24, 2019 at 11:49 AM

That’s just a creepy title. Like she is going to kill you and eat you with her little shiny baby teeth.

Maryse February 24, 2019 at 12:06 PM

LOL!!!! She sure bares them a lot. And yes, she’s just… *shudders*

Maryse February 24, 2019 at 12:07 PM

Oh and now I’m watching “We Need To Talk About Kevin”. I’m appalled. He’s just awful.

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