REVIEW: Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage (July 12, 2018)

Hi all. Long time no talk. Reeeeally long time. To be honest, I’ve been in a little of a reading slump. I’ve read a fair amount of books, but they’ve all hovered between the 2.5-3 star range. I enjoyed them, but nothing to write home about. I am so happy to say that I’ve broken the rut.

Holy CRAP, this book.


The 411: Alex, Suzette, and their daughter, Hanna, live a normal, domestic suburban life.  Hanna has selective mutism, but uses her few words to scare the living daylights out of her mother, who is convinced that Hanna is out to get her. And, spoiler alert, she is. Hanna goes out of her way to ruin her mother’s life and undermine her, all the while remaining the image of absolute innocence with her father. And Alex doesn’t believe Suzette that Hanna is a little different.


This book alternates perspectives between Suzette and Hanna. Hanna’s chapters are chilling and creepy and there were several times where I actually said out loud, “What the fuck?!?!” Suzette’s chapter are equally hard to read but in a completely different way. Suzette is a mother just desperately trying to connect with her daughter. And her daughter is a budding psychopath.

Feels very Rosemary’s Baby, right? Well, here’s the thing. Hanna’s not possessed. She’s just a sadistic kid. And quite honestly, that makes it even the more scarier for me. At the moment, I have no interest in kids, and quite frankly, I’ve never been the biggest fan of kids. Especially babies. But thanks to Damien and now, Hanna, I am more than happy to prolong the time before I am a mother. Because this book encapsulates one of my worst nightmares: What if I’m not a bad parent, but my kid just doesn’t like me?

This is going to a polarizing book, I can feel it. It’s going to be a 5-star or a 1-star read for you. I’m a horror junkie, so I highly enjoyed this book. My knowledge of psychopathy ended in freshman year Psychology I in college, but Hanna’s thought-process seemed very realistic and well-researched to me. I would definitely categorize BABY TEETH as a horror novel. And it’s hands down the best horror novel I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for the nightmares, Zoje. Dark and twisty just like I like it.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰1/2
RECOMMENDED FOR: fans of Nick Cutter and Stephen King


Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my e-galley! Baby Teeth is available July 12.

Advertisements

REVIEW: Picture Us in the Light, Kelly Loy Gilbert (April 10, 2018)

PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT, like THUNDERHEAD, is a book I will shoving down everyone’s throats for the rest of the year my life. I was initially drawn in by the beautiful cover and then I was captivated from the first page and finished in my usual fashion: crying uncontrollably into my teddy bear and pillow.

So, #sorrynotsorry for name-dropping this book up the wazoo…because I will not rest until everyone has read this beautiful book and we can all gush together.


The 411: Danny Cheng is a high school senior and talented artist, who has already been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). But ever since his acceptance, he’s felt uninspired and unable

Danny’s parents are immigrants from China. He also has an older sister who died prematurely. Even though he barely knew her, Danny has always felt an emptiness in his life where she should be. One day Danny unearths a box hidden away in the closet, full of files detailing the whereabouts of a powerful Silicon Valley family, and his parents refuse to explain.

As Danny begins to put the pieces together, he starts reflecting on things from his past that just didn’t add up. Like the time his parents moved them from Texas to California overnight with no warning. Along for the ride is Danny’s best friend, Harry, for whom he harbors a deep, hidden attraction.


First off, 90 percent of the cast of characters are of Asian descent. *insert squee here* Any typical stereotypes of Asians, i.e. Asian parents all want their kids to be doctors, are addressed head on. (And Danny’s parents are more than supportive of his future in art).

If you like getting your heart ripped out by love stories (or just in general), you’re in for a reeeeal treat. Danny’s feelings for Harry definitely aren’t the focus point of this book, but play a large role. Danny’s sexuality is also never specifically labeled, which I love. The word “gay” is never used. Danny is just Danny. And he loves Harry. (#HANNY <—  Yes, I just did that).

With all the current political conversations regarding immigrants to the US, this book feels extremely timely.  For a book that tackles many hard-hitting topics, Gilbert does it with grace. Her writing is lyrical and eloquent and her first novel, CONVICTION, skyrocketed to the top of my TBR.

Now, unfortunately, the “swerve” of this novel that touched me to my core is a spoiler and I won’t mention it more here. But just know my origin story begins the same way and it’s a storyline I’ve read very little about in YA. Once I surmised that the story was going in this direction, I actually had to hold in my gasp because it’s perfect. (Once you read, message me on Goodreads and LET’S TALK).


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰✰ (one of my fave books of 2018 so far)
RECOMMENDED FOR: anyone with a heart and/or soul. So everyone.
MAY I ALSO SUGGEST: STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman


Thank you Disney Hyperion for my galley! Picture Us in the Light is available April 10.