Author: Zoje Stage
Published: July 17, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Where I picked up my book: Local Bookstore
Key Words: creepy, psychological thriller, dysfunctional family
My Rating: 4 star
Synopsis (via 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.
Oh man…this was one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. There is something about sadistic, dysfunctional kids that I can barely handle. That was 100% the case for this one. It was like a train wreck where I didn’t want to look, but couldn’t help but continue looking (slash reading). It was completely disturbing, but I just had find out what the hell was going to happen. Are you picking up what I”m putting down here? It was THAT creepy.
Zoje Stage is a genius to be able to write from both Hanna’s perspective and Suzette’s perspective with what seems like ease. She had me 100% invested in the story, these characters and their story line. And this was a debut novel-ohhhh, I can’t wait to see what else Stage has in store for us.
Can I get personal for a minute here? In my life, especially as of late, I am used to feeling like a lesser than for choosing not to have children. Granted, it’s an expensive and quite the process for my wife and I to create a child, but still…I have this constant, low-level of stress and anxiety about our choice and feel the weirdness in people when they find out I am about to be 40 and do not have any children. Welp…this book might have cured that problem and it only cost me the price of a book in lieu of expensive therapy sessions that I had been thinking about acquiring. All kidding aside, this was the first book where I thought to myself, “Solid choice Melissa. You’re going to be just fine without children.” So there’s that too 🙂
If you like psychological thrillers, pick this one up immediately. It’s creepy, strange, weird, terrifying and had me looking at all children around me with a stink-eye. I obsessively read this one and can’t wait to see what else Stage has for us with her next book!