Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: July 17th, 2018
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 enjoy reading thrillers. I love it when a book gets under my skin and I can’t stop thinking about it. When the publisher offered me the book through the widget and I read the synopsis, I thought “Sure, why not“. I figured that the book would be like John Saul’s books. Creepy kids who end up doing horrible things because they were possessed. For the first half of the book, it was that. Then it got creepy and got under my skin (not in a good way).
Baby Teeth’s plot is pretty straightforward. Hanna wants her Daddy to herself in the worse way. But to have that, her Mommy needs to go away. So Hanna starts a campaign to drive Suzette out of the house. When she realizes that isn’t working, Hanna decides that Mommy needs to go.
Suzette is stressed to the max. Taking care of a special needs child is a full-time job. She needs a break. But Hanna will not let that happen.
Alex is oblivious to what Hanna is doing and writes off Suzette’s complaints as petty. That is until something happens. What happened?? Read the book.
Hanna was so evil. The things she did to Suzette was awful. Like taking pictures of a naked, sleeping Suzette and putting that picture next to a dead woman. Or impersonating a long-dead witch. Or messing with Suzette’s Crohn’s medication. I was disturbed that a child could hate her mother that much and at such a young age.
Suzette did bother me for most of the book. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t record Hanna talking or even set up a nanny. It baffled me. Instead, she ranted and raved about how Hanna was doing this and doing that with no evidence. No wonder Alex was oblivious to what was going on. It wasn’t until the tack incident that he finally figured it out. Also, her attitude towards Hanna bothered me. She treated her like she was a burden for most of the book.
I mentioned in the first paragraph that I thought that this book was going to be like John Saul’s books. I did think that Hanna was possessed by the ghost of the witch. There was nothing that suggested otherwise. Until midway through the book. Then my mind was changed.
Like I said in the first paragraph, this book got under my skin. By the end of the book, I was disturbed by it. I have read reviews where people thought this book was fantastic. As a mother, I was disturbed by the lengths that a 7-year-old went through to try to kill her mother. I kept comparing this book to “Rosemary’s Baby” and other horror books that are similar. What made this book stand out from them was that it was raw and gritty and different from any other book in the thriller category.
There was not a happy ending to Baby Teeth. The implication in the last chapter was chilling and kept me up thinking about it the rest of the night.
I am not going to do a Pros/Cons of this book. I can’t do that without giving spoilers.
I would give Baby Teeth an Adult rating. There is sex, language, and violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
There are triggers in this book. They are abuse (of a parent by a child), PTSD like symptoms, and Crohn’s disease.
I am on the fence about recommending Baby Teeth to family and friends. I would have to make sure that they like thrillers and can deal with what this book is about. I would also include a warning about the triggers. I am on the fence about rereading this book too.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Baby Teeth.
All opinions stated in this review of Baby Teeth are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**