REVIEW: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

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Expected publication: July 17, 2018, by St Martin’s Press

OH MY ….

I have no words.

HA! Yeah right!!

Hanna LOVES her Daddy. Her Mommy?

Not so much….

This first thing I’m going to say about “Baby Teeth” is that it won’t be for everybody. And that’s OKAY! I’m not going to judge anyone for liking it OR not liking it. It’s a fiction book!

It does clearly say in the description:

“From blazing new talent Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth is a story about a perfect-looking family, and a darling little girl who wants nothing more than to kill her mother.”

A book about a child wanting to kill their mother is not going to be light suspense…it’s likely going to be an uncomfortable read. So I knew what I was getting into…. for the most part.

The book opens with Hanna at the hospital having a CT scan. It’s not her first. There have been many tests.

You see….Hanna doesn’t speak.

“Words, ever unreliable, were no one’s friend”

Hanna knows how much Mommy wants her to talk.

“Mommy was failing her tests to prove her motherly love.”

Is Hanna choosing not to talk?

“if it’s a matter of her refusing…WON’T requires a different type of doctor than CAN’T.”

Hanna’s favorite game is “Scare Mommy” and she likes to make special projects for Mommy too. VERY special.

WOW! I have such conflicting emotions about this one!

Imagine having someone who you expect will love you, not love you. And not only do they not love you? They LOATHE you.

They wish you didn’t exist….

The story is told from Hanna and Suzette’s alternating perspectives. There are some terrifying and dysfunctional scenes in this book. I haven’t read “The Dinner” or “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (books that this has been compared to) so I wouldn’t know how it stacks up against them.

“Baby Teeth” seems to be in its own league. However, there are a couple of movies that came to mind for me…“The Omen” and “The Good Son”. All rolled up into a ball of darkness and wickedness that will make you squirm. I couldn’t put this sucker down. I read it in two sittings and honestly, when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.

I wondered if a seven-year-old was capable of some of the acts committed. Could a child be that diabolical and manipulative? I think this is one of those books that if you look at it closely, yes you will probably see a lot of things that push the believability envelope…right off the table. However, it ended up not mattering if things were all possible or believable…. I was pulled right into the story.

As I said earlier, this book won’t be for everyone. I do wonder if it would fit more into the horror genre. I found it diabolical and creepy and I’m really glad I read it. “Baby Teeth” is definitely a book I won’t soon forget. I’m very curious to see what Zoje Stage is going to come up with next.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Teaser Tuesday: January 30, 2018

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker.

Reader

It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Here are my “teasers” :

“If everyone could stop assuming that I care about being skinny that would be so great. You’re showing young girls that you don’t have to be thin to be beautiful, many a freshly body-positive women’s mag editor has started off an interview with me, causing my pelvic floor to seize up in a fit of fury. No, I correct them, I’m showing young girls that you don’t have to be beautiful to matter.”

From the novel:

 

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

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Expected publication: May 15, 2018 by Simon & Schuster

 

 

Goodreads Description:

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.

 

My Thoughts:

Once again, I am reading WAYYY too many books at one time. I can’t help it though! They call my name…  Then I give in and say “Okay but only a few pages” and BAM! I’m hooked. I haven’t gotten very far in “The Favorite Sister” yet but honestly? So far…SO GREAT!!

 

Music Monday – Thompson Twins – Lay Your Hands On Me

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Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today is:

Thompson Twins – Lay Your Hands On Me

I’m a huge 80’s fan and this song takes me back. I remember waiting all day for the radio to play it. Trying to press PLAY and RECORD at just the right moment so I could add it to my mixed tape 😀

 

“Lay Your Hands On Me”

This old life seemed much too long
With little point in going on
I couldn’t think of what to say
Words just vanished in a haze
I was feeling cold and tired
Yeah, kinda sad and uninspired

When it almost seemed too much
I see your face and sense the grace
And feel the magic in your touch

Oh, lay your hands
Lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands (woo hoo)
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands

Back and forth across the sea
I have chased so many dreams
But I have never felt a grace
That I have felt in your embrace
I was tired and I was cold
Yeah, with a hunger in my soul

When it almost seemed too much
I see your face and sense the grace
And feel the magic of your touch

Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Lay your hands, woo hoo
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands, oooh

You know make me feel so good
Yeah, like I never ever thought I would
You know you make me feel so strong
And now our laughter just goes on and on (and on)
So c’mon lay your hands on me
‘Cause close to you
Is where I really wanna be

And if it ever gets too much
I see your face and sense the grace
And feel the magic in our touch

Oh, lay your hands
Lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands (Woo hoo)
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands
Ooh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands (Woo hoo)
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands
Oh, lay your hands on me
Oh, lay your hands

REVIEW – The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

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Expected publication: March 6, 2018, by St. Martin’s Press

 

This is my second read from Sally Hepworth. I wondered if I could possibly enjoy this novel as much as I enjoyed her previous novel, “The Mother’s Promise”.  Well I did, I absolutely loved this novel.

“Do you ever really know your neighbours?”

The suburb of Pleasant Court really lives up to its name. It’s a perfectly pleasant place with perfectly pleasant people. An ideal place to raise children.

Essie Walker had quite a hard time adjusting to motherhood the first time around. In fact, one day almost ended in disaster. Thankfully, disaster was averted, and Essie improved. Now it is three years later, and Essie has another daughter, Polly. Things have been easier this time around and Essie is lucky to have her mother living next door, able to help out. Polly had been quite an easy baby at first. However, lately, she’s been waking almost hourly and almost never naps. Essie’s mother and husband are a little worried about how Essie is handling things.

But now everyone is distracted by a newcomer to Pleasant Court. Isabelle Heatherington has apparently moved to Melbourne for work. But why would a single woman with no children rent a four bedroom home for just her to live in? And why is she asking so many questions about her neighbours and their children?

When Essie meets Isabelle she feels an instant connection. She could use a new friend. Though she gets along with her neighbours, Fran and Ange, they aren’t what you would consider friends…more like friendly acquaintances.

 “If Ange was the image of the life you wanted to lead, Fran was the image of the person you want to be”

But there’s more to Fran and Ange than meets the eye….

Fran constantly has the feeling that her life is a moment away from unraveling completely. Her husband, Nigel wonders why she is constantly breaking down in tears. Fran runs for miles every day until her legs and chest burn. It’s almost like she’s punishing herself, literally running herself into the ground.

Then we have Ange and her gorgeous husband, Lucas. The perfect husband and father…though she can never seem to find him when she needs him. Why won’t she ask the questions that continue to plague her? Are the pictures she constantly posts on Instagram really to show everyone how great her life its? Or is she #tryingtoconvinceherself

So many secrets!!!

During this Melbourne summer heat wave, things definitely start to heat up around Pleasant Court.

PHEW! As I said at the beginning of my review, I LOVED this novel. Sally Hepworth has a remarkable ability to create stories with relatable characters that are completely entertaining. The story is told from multiple points of view, which can sometimes be hard to keep up with, but I honestly had no problem keeping things straight.

This novel deals with many different issues, some that I wouldn’t have expected, and I can clearly see that the author has done her research. It made me think about the things we will do to keep the peace. The questions we don’t ask. How complicated marriage, relationships, and parenthood can be.

While reading the last few chapters, nothing short of a 911 emergency would have made me put this book down. I HAD to know how things were going to turn out. Everything is revealed at a perfect pace. We learn what’s happening in each household, and it all comes together in what I thought was a fantastic and satisfying way.

Sally Hepworth has written another thought-provoking and entertaining novel with the perfect amount of intrigue and suspense.  A story of love, family, secrets, lies, forgiveness and so much more.

“The Family Next Door” was one of my top ten most anticipated reads for 2018 and I can honestly say that although it’s still the beginning of the year, I’m pretty sure that this book will be on my top ten best reads of 2018.

I can’t wait to see what Sally Hepworth comes up with next!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.