This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.
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.
Traveling With T’s Thoughts:
ACK. I have SO many feelings on this book. SO. MANY. FEELINGS.
First, you should know that this is either a LOVE or HATE book. You really won’t have lukewarm feelings. These characters are meant to drive you crazy (in the best or worst ways!)
Secondly, I’m potentially going to get in some spoiler-ish territory so if you don’t want the book spoiled- STOP now.
Ok…. first that Hanna is this evil is just genius. I mean it’s not often that you see a child that has this level of sophistication in her games, in driving her mom crazy, in being a perfect angel for her dad. So I think that has a lot to do with people’s reactions to this book.
And make no mistake- Hanna has an evil streak. Can she be fixed? I like how the author alludes to mental illness in this book- a whole nature vs nurture angle that is not completely obvious at first until you do some thinking about the relationship between Suzette and her daughter AND Suzette and her mother.
However, I don’t think Hanna is the only bad character in this book.
I think Suzette should take plenty of blame for how Hanna has progressed (and we’ll get to her father later!)
There are themes of selfish/selfless love in this book and again it circles back to the relationship that Suzette and her mother had which colors her relationship with Hanna. I still think Hanna has something that is “wrong” with her- I don’t know if you would call her a sociopath exactly- but there is something. However, I think that lots of how Hanna and Suzette’s relationship festered was due to Suzette. And the ugly truth that Suzette will not admit: She did not want to be a mother. Zoje Stage really does explore the fine line of selfish/selfless love in this book and I find it kind of fascinating (like in a Psych 101 level fascinating.)
And Alex. Both females striving for his love, wanting each other out of the way for his love. And him.. Just clueless. Setting up a dynamic that only one person could win. Sure he loved both of them- but when they would show their true colors- he was a wimp. Ugh.
What I liked:
The actual ending. It’s not super twisty or anything, but it give you a bit of a thrill (and maybe a chill.)
How this book has jumpstarted at least 5 discussions for me with people who have read it.
Bottom line: I still say it’s a “READ IT” book, but don’t be sucked in by all of Hanna’s overtly evil angles. She’s no angel, but neither is her mom.
*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*
Pin For Later:
*Have you added Baby Teeth to your TBR list?*
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T