Family rivalry leads to drama in ‘Baby Teeth’

“Baby Teeth” is a USA Today bestseller and the first book written by author and former filmmaker Zoje (ZOH-yuh) Stage, published earlier this year in July. This story was also published in the UK under the title “Bad Apple.”

“Baby Teeth” is listed in the thriller, horror fiction and suspense category, understandably so. The main characters, stay-at-home mom Suzette and her seven-year-old, homeschooled daughter Hanna, seem like a normal mother and daughter, but as you read on, there is clearly something odd about the two of them, or more specifically, Hanna. 

At first glance, it looks like the usual mother-daughter feud, but quickly leads to concern when Hanna refuses to speak and lashes out at Suzette with violence, manipulating her with her many wordless tantrums and sabotages alike. 

But everything changes when her dad is around; Hanna is the perfect angel. Though readers should not let this moment of innocence fool them; she is sure to come up with another evil plan to get rid of her mother all in the sake of having her father’s love all to herself.

Suzette can be found to be quite an interesting character, not only does she spend the day tending to her seemingly evil daughter, but she also has to deal with her barely manageable Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of her digestive tract. Throwing in this factor to Suzette’s life creates another set of problems, allowing her to be more real and relatable for people who might suffer from the same or a similar disease. Even readers who aren’t facing a disease such as Crohn’s disease can see how difficult it would be to live with it, allowing them to feel sympathy and pride for Hanna and how she manages to deal with her disability.

“Baby Teeth” is a particularly interesting story overall. By letting readers look into both Suzette’s and Hanna’s minds as they go through this rollercoaster of events, readers are able to come to their own conclusions about who to believe, who to trust and who to side with if they were in this situation knowing both of the characters thoughts and pieces of their pasts. 

With 320 pages, “Baby Teeth” is filled with suspense and excitement from beginning to end.

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