Bad Apple – Zoje Stage

About the Book: Seven-year-old Hanna has never spoken a word.

She is a sweet but silent angel in the eyes of her adoring father, but with Mummy, things are different. Suzette loves her daughter but difficulties with babysitters and teachers over the years have put a strain on their relationship and her sanity.

Then Hanna speaks for the first time, to Suzette alone, and what she says is chilling.

Suzette wants to write it off as a scary joke, but she’s becoming increasingly frightened by Hanna’s little games. Could she be in danger from her own child? And when it’s her word against her daughter’s, can she make her husband believe her?

Bad Apple is a blazing debut novel about a perfect-looking family – where sweetness can be deceptive.

Bad Apple is also published in America under the title Baby Teeth.

My Review:  I picked up this book when a member of my book club mentioned it and started reading it immediately, without even checking the blurb or reviews.  About an hour into the book I looked at the blurb and reviews on Goodreads and saw that it was a real MARMITE book, which for me is great as I love marmite – so I would suggest you don’t read the reviews before reading it, but then it’s a dilemma as I’m reviewing it hoping to entice you to read it.

Anyway, back to the book; there are very few things that creep me out in stories; in fact the more gore the better, however one thing does freak me right out – little children behaving in scary ways and boy-oh-boy 7 year old Hanna may have to get a prize for the most disturbing, psychopathic little girl with the exception of Regan the spinny head kid from The Exorcist.

Bad Apple (Baby Teeth in America) is the dark and disturbing tale of a “nice, normal American family”, stay at home mum, loving and supportive dad and 1 seriously, screwed up, non-verbal seven year old daughter called Hanna, who for some inexplicable reason wants to kill her mum so she can be with her father.

The book is narrated from Hanna’s weird and very uncomfortable perspective and Suzette, her mother who is rapidly losing her patience as well as her mind.  It’s creepy, uncomfortable and quite shocking in places.  It seems to have divided opinions from other readers – some HATED it, but personally I really ENJOYED it.

It’s not a comfortable read and it is very, very, very dark (you may need a flashlight and a miners helmet it’s so dark), but Entertainment Weekly describes it as “Gone Girl meets The Omen… a twisty delicious read” and I totally agree.

About the Author: An author of dark and suspenseful novels, Zoje lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her debut novel BABY TEETH (St. Martin’s Press) was released 17 July 2018. It will be released in the UK as BAD APPLE (Transworld) on 9 Aug.

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