Right before PitchWars 2017 I held a series of interviews with mentors and previous mentees. One of those mentees was Zoje Stage and you can read the interview here. Well her thriller Baby Teeth comes out July 2018 from St. Martin’s Press and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of it. I couldn’t put this book down and I give it 5 stars. I have a few aspects of this book I’m excited to talk about.
First, let’s take a look at the cover and description.
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.
This book features a character who suffers from Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease. As a fellow autoimmune disease sufferer I was excited to see a character deal with the disease in a book. Let me tell you the writing of this was spot on. I have rheumatoid arthritis and Celiac disease and I related to some of the struggles and worries about living with an autoimmune disease so much. A few times I found myself putting the book down just to think about the portrayal and how amazing it was. I’ve never seen this sort of representation in fiction before, so I really enjoyed it. Teenager me would have been so relieved to have seen it in YA fiction so I’d feel less alone. So if you’re wondering what it’s like to live with an autoimmune disease, get a taste of it by reading this book.
I enjoy books about creepy kids, but they usually involve the paranormal. What I appreciated about this book is that it’s more of a realistic take. For people who don’t like creepy kids, this probably isn’t the book for you. Most fiction likes to portray kids as innocent, but that’s not always the case in real life. Spoiler alert, this book gives you a peek into the mind of what is basically a young sociopath and the parents who struggle to understand and deal with the situation. Way creepier and scarier to me than some sort of paranormal demon situation. As a society we don’t seem to want to think about kids who need help or struggle from mental illness, but ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Yes this does deal with mental illness of a manipulative and violent nature, but hey real life can be just as dark.
I got sucked into this book and enjoyed the way the characters developed as the story progressed. By the time I got to the halfway point I couldn’t quit reading. At one point I was playing a board game with family and reading whenever someone needed a minute to figure out their turn. Sure, there are some chilling or slightly disturbing moments, but that’s what gave this book such a large punch. And the ending felt so right and perfect for the story.
If you’re looking for a thriller with a dark edge or a creepy kid, grab a copy of Baby Teeth come July. I promise you it’s a story you won’t easily forget.