Audiobook Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Performed by Laurel Schroeder

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Audible  –  Goodreads

Physical Copies: Amazon  – Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –   Indiebound

Published: 30 June 2017 (first published June 1908)

Publisher: Spoken Realms

Category: Classics/Childrens/Historical Fiction

When Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables farm on Prince Edward Island, she surprises everyone: first of all, she is a girl. Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, had specifically asked for an orphan boy. She has bright red hair that won’t manage and a mouth that won’t shut. Nothing will ever be the same at Green Gables!
A favorite story of generations of girls ever since it was first published in 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic story of one girl’s profound effect on a small Canadian community has stayed in print for nearly one hundred years and has been made into a popular TV series and even a musical.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Performance: 4 Stars; Story: 3 Stars)

Anne of Green Gables is a classic novel that I remember begging to purchase in a Waldenbooks years ago when I was a child. Sadly I cannot remember if I ever did read it; I think I did and I do have that copy on my shelf. Luckily, Jess at Audiobookwork Promotions gave me the opportunity to listen to an edition of this widely beloved tale as part of the Adopt-an-Audiobook Program, for which I’m very thankful.

Audiobook Review

Laurel Schroeder is the narrator of Spoken Realms’s version of Anne. Before starting this book, I’d never heard her perform before, but now that I have, I would add her to the list of narrators or voice actors that I would be happy to listen to again. The pitch in her voice never reached a level that I found unpleasant, a point that I hold to be very important with audiobooks.

Laurel read very clearly and didn’t mumble at all, also very important. I never strained to hear what was going on, even when it was implied that a character might be reserved in their speech. It was easy enough to tell the characters apart, as far as the adults went. I thought that the children, aside from Anne, tended to sound a bit too similar overall.

The sound quality was excellent. There was no scratchiness in the background, no unnecessary musical elements between chapters or added nature sounds that tried to force a sense of setting. The writing and the voice actor did that just fine on their own. Letting these factors shine rather than adding in surplus bits was a smart decision on the part of the production company.

Anne of Green Gables translates very well to an audiobook format. If anything, I think it gains something in the transition because a lot of what makes Anne special is her energy and her fondness for stories, something which someone can imagine, but which can really be enhanced by a good narrator, which Laurel Schroeder was. All the enthusiasm that Anne had for life leaped right off the page and came to life in the air around me as I was listening. If you’re going to listen to any audiobook presentation of Anne of Green Gables, I would recommend this one.

Text Review

The execution of bringing L.M. Montgomery’s book to life was exceptional and got me to enjoy it quite a lot more than I think I would have if I were reading a physical edition.

Montgomery’s text, I had to remember, was written over a hundred years ago and there were some sentiments that were definitely of the time, especially regarding other nationalities.

The author also tended to wax poetical about nature, particularly flowers. Flowers in and of themselves are nice enough, but it felt like, after awhile, I was hearing about them far too often and I began to tire of the frequent occurrences and the time spent on said occurrences.

Another thing about that I thought I noticed about the writing was that Montgomery tended to tell rather than show, particularly when there were large periods of time to be gotten past. As the reader we didn’t get to experience these times with Anne or her fellows, we just got a passing mention of the months that had passed before the author got to the point she’d really wanted to write about. For example, Anne’s time spent at Queen’s school was hardly mentioned at all, even though it was extremely important to her as a character.

A branching off point to this is that because of the abundance of telling rather than showing, I felt like there wasn’t as much heart to the overall novel as there could have been. Anne is a character that is ready to be in your heart forever and in the scenes where she’s allowed to be herself, she truly exhibits this. As the novel progressed, though, and she spent more time among the people of Avonlea and more time was “told”, it felt like she wasn’t that girl anymore. Oh sure, we were told she was, that she had the old love of stories still, but it felt like her soul was being tramped down to make her respectable in the eyes of the people around her, like she wasn’t really allowed to be herself after all.

Conclusion

The narration performance of Laurel Schroeder makes this book a much more pleasant performance than I think reading the page would have been. I’d recommend buying this Audible version if at all possible if you’re thinking of reading Anne of Green Gables because your experience will be infinitely better. Here’s hoping Laurel will do more in the series of Anne books.

 

 

 

 

 

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

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The Devil’s Own Round 1: Spread the Love #thedevilsthief

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The sequel to Lisa Maxwell’s fantastic The Last Magician will be coming out in a few short months. On October 9th, The Devil’s Thief will hit shelves and readers will be able to find out what the Devil’s Own is up to now. Leaderless, spread to the winds with no idea what’s coming next, what will they do in the face of the unknown?

In the coming weeks, those of us on the street team are going to be sharing some of our favorite things about the series. Today, I wanted to share quotes from my initial review of The Last Magician to explain why I loved it so much and why I want to share my thoughts on it in the lead up to The Devil’s Thief.

Time travel is an amazing storytelling device. Sometimes it can be confusing, such as when potential paradoxes pop up or the varying ways timelines can change. While I was a bit thrown at first in The Last Magician, what with Esta’s timeline hopping ability being demonstrated early on and the early 1900’s being introduced via Dolph, I hit my stride quickly for which I was very thankful.

Time travel, for one. While it can get really confusing really quickly, Lisa Maxwell did a great job at introducing her version of it and explaining how it worked, including how changes in the past might affect the future through the use of a newspaper clipping that Esta brought with her from her own time back through the years to Dolph’s time.

 

I liked finding out the motivations of the cast. everyone’s motivations. Esta’s and Harte’s were, of course, the primary ones to advance the reader, but there is still a lot to be said for the others, such as Dolph, Jack, etc. Even those who’s purpose wasn’t quite glaringly vital to story line A still held up the supports of the novel well.

There were a lot of perspectives and while some of them didn’t seem important at times, they came together in the end. I loved the clues that were planted throughout the ones that appeared to be especially out of place that ended up meaning more than I realized originally.

 

Magic is so integral and there’s a very real fear about it disappearing forever, but there’s also not a 100% reliance on it. Esta, for example, was taught to be a thief without her magic before she learned to work her affinity into her work. Harte learned to use effects in his act, such as false thumbs to hide pins.

The symbiotic relationship demonstrated between magic and ordinary talents, particularly by Esta and Harte, was a good one. Often in books where there’s magic you might seem characters too dependent on their abilities, scoffing at people without the ability to wave a wand or manipulate time. Esta’s teacher made sure she knew how to be a thief without relying on her magic because he knew that magic was in danger in their time, so he didn’t want her to be reliant on it. This gave her a strength that she might not have had otherwise.

 

Lisa Maxwell found a great way to weave a long story (500 pages in my edition) into a pleasant, lose yourself in the pages way.

The writing style was one of the best things because it was so easy to get into, to have so much to read and yet not feel bogged down by it at all.

 

There’s a lot to enjoy in this book and I’m sure there will be even more in the next book. If you want to have some fun ahead of the release of The Devil’s Thief, you can visit www.thelastmagician.com and take quizzes, see character art, and join in the conversation on social media with the hashtag #devilsthief.

It’s going to be a fun few months. Enjoy the magic!

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockstar Book Tours: Mistake of Magic by Alex Lidell

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Recently released on 29 June, Mistake of Magic continues its journey today on The Hermit Librarian as part of Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, a collection of excerpts, reviews, and a giveaway to celebrate the latest release in Alex Lidell’s newest work.

On release day I shared with you an excerpt from the novel and today I have an entirely different one, a new glimpse into this world of fae and the Five’s continued journey to solidify their union and power. Read on to enjoy it, then take a look around the rest of the tour and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book.

 

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Title: MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Power of Five #2)
Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: June 29, 2018
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 193
Find It: Goodreads, Amazon

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

 

Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.

Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake.

When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.

River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.

 

An Excerpt from Mistake of Magic

 

Tye:

What made the lass unique lay somewhere in her soul and made her gaze at the world with eyes full of wonder and questions. Maybe Lera’s mortality had something to do with it, the way she lived every moment and made those around her want to live it with her.

 

“Of course, River,” Lera said in a too-sweet voice that woke every fiber in Tye’s body to yet another realization. Last time the quint was at the Citadel, Tye and his elastic relationship with the law was River’s greatest challenge to conquer. This time, that mantel would be going to someone else.

 

The tiger paws the sand and snarls, the feral predator taking over Tye’s fae senses. But he is still there, my Tye. I can feel his essence, thriving and pulsing behind the teeth and snarls. He won’t hurt me. I know it in my soul, even as my common sense protests. The tiger standing before us, ready to rip River into shreds, will not harm me.

 

Tye tips his head, his red hair swinging. “Do you deserve punishment instead of a reward?” His mouth pulls into a feral grin, his canines glistening in the setting sun. “I think something can be arranged.”

 

About the Author

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Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.
Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex’s newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: www.subscribepage.com/TIDES

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon
Author Page | Book Bub | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

One (1) winner will win: a Signed copy of the book, notebook, & swag (US only)
Three (3) winners will each win an eBook of MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Open INT).
The giveaway will be open until July 17th at 12:00 a.m. EST.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

Tour Schedule

Week One:

7/2/2018- RH WhyChoose– Review

7/2/2018- Book Briefs– Review

7/3/2018- Love in a time of Feminism– Review

7/3/2018- BookHounds– Excerpt

7/4/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review

7/4/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

7/5/2018- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review

7/5/2018- Book-o-Craze– Review

7/6/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

7/6/2018- The Booknerd Dragon– Review

Week Two:

7/9/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

7/9/2018- Parajunkee– Review

7/10/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

7/10/2018- Reese’s Reviews: My Addiction to Fiction– Review

7/11/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

7/11/2018- Fall Into Books– Excerpt

7/12/2018- books are love– Review

7/12/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – Author– Excerpt

7/13/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Excerpt

7/13/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’neill

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Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 16 October 2018

Publisher: Oni Press

Category: Graphic Novels/Fantasy

When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.

Rating: 5 Stars

From the author of The Tea Dragon Society comes a new and equally well drawn graphic novel with a cast of wonderful creatures that embrace an otherworldly beauty while reminding the reader that there is good in our world too.

Lana is a young girl who, with her father, returns to their hometown to help rebuild after a storm. Her aunt still lives there and, while helping to clear away, we learn through Aunt Mae what it takes to keep the fishing village afloat. It’s a picturesque place, but Lana soon learns that there is danger too.

Through various meetings, including caring for a young Aquicorn, Lana learns valuable lessons about how sometimes what seems like progress can actually cause more damage than do good. Respect is needed and thinking of others in order to support the balance of the world in the long run. The lessons Lana learns in her time in her hometown are valuable not just for her, as she faces returning to the city where she lives with her father, but for everyone who reads the book. It would do the reader well to remember that the smallest action may not seem like it at first but can have far reaching results that are more dire than you thought possible.

The story, while communicating this important message, doesn’t do it with a depressing tone. It does it in a way that is understandable, whatever the age of the person reading it, whether on their own or having it read to them. The art is as glorious as Katie has ever drawn, from the townspeople to the city of Aquicorns.

I highly recommend Aquicorn Cove for new Katie O’neil fans and returning fans alike.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

A Rockstar Book Tour: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White – An Interview With the Author

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Last week I shared with you an excerpt from Bright We Burn (seen here) as a placeholder for the interview I’d done with Kiersten. I’m happy to report that today I can share with you the completed questions and answers from Lada’s creator!

Once again, I’d like to extend a big thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for making this happen and for organizing such a fantastic tour. There’s still a lot of the tour to check out and a giveaway going on. Check out the full tour schedule and the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post.

 

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Title: BRIGHT WE BURN

Author: Kiersten White

Pub. Date: July 10, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 416

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.

Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.

 

Interview with Kiersten White

 

The Hermit Librarian (THL): Lada’s had to rely a lot on herself because even when the men around her promised things, there were always conditions, hooks that tried to bind her to things that she didn’t want. Can you tell me a little bit about why was it important for you to highlight her independence from these trappings as she strove to give her people a better country than the one her forefathers had?

Kiersten White (KW): Lada has seen time and again that promises are always contingent on what the other person gets out of them. Men are never going to give her power—they’re going to leverage her to get more for themselves. There is something to be said for those with access changing the system from within, but there is also a lot to be said for dismantling the system and doing it a new way. I wanted to explore the cost of both.
THL: Lada does some terrible things in the course of building Wallachia up, but all in the name of making it into something great. She also does a lot of good, but some focus only on the bad because they might think that a girl can’t achieve what Lada has. What would you (or Lada even) say to those people?

KW: I don’t think Lada would say anything to them that didn’t involve a sharp blade, ha! I am fascinated by power, what it takes to get it and what it takes to keep it. So often we see history as it has been packaged for us by others; the joy of historical fiction is it allows us to take the journey alongside the characters and see the entire process rather than just the results.

 

THL: Lada admits that Mara is a clever woman for making of her situation what she can and in an advantageous way in a time when women were sold in marriage for the benefit of men while Lada herself has become a Prince. Who are some other women in history that Lada might have admired for their cleverness?

KW: Definitely Theodora of Byzantium, who is talked about in the books. She went from being a child bride to a prostitute to co-Emperor and the most powerful woman in Byzantium—even saving her husband’s reign from an attempted coup. If Lada could have seen into the future, she would be over the moon with Ching Shih, who also went from a prostitute to the most powerful woman on the sea, running a pirate fleet so vast and well-organized that eventually the government hired her rather than keep failing to defeat her.

 

THL: While the situations that Mehmed, Radu, and Lada find themselves in are quite different than ones that people their age find themselves in today, there are some parallels, such as when Radu is reunited with Mehmed and realizes that their relationship has changed. Was this an intentional choice, making their growth as people have particularly relatable connections to people of a similar age?

KW: Oh, absolutely. There are some themes that are universal despite time period differences. Growing up often means growing out of relationships—whether those are friendships, romances, or somewhere in between. There are few things more bittersweet than realizing the intensity of a relationship—something that felt like it was so powerful it could never change—has been extinguished or shifted over time. Teens in particular feel things on a grand and volatile scale because everything is being experienced for the first time. One of the perks of writing such a long trilogy is getting to trace those feelings from start to finish.

 

THL: There are lines throughout the book that, to me, point to Lada and Radu having a lot more in common that the casual observer or reader might think, such as how they shape themselves based on their environments.  What is the one thing you’d want to make sure to point out to someone that might have missed it in their initial read through of the series?

KW: One of the most fascinating things about the actual Vlad and Radu was that they were brothers raised in exactly the same circumstances, experiencing the exact same things, and yet they had polar opposite reactions. One went on to fight the Ottomans for the rest of his life, and the other loved them and stayed loyal to them for the rest of his. Lada and Radu are both survivors, both ruthless, both determined. They just have different goals and different ways of obtaining them.

 

THL: Which came first, the idea of Lada as a character idea or an interpretation of Vlad Dracul? Did you ever see Lada having her story take place at a different time in history?

KW: The idea came to me as I was thinking about the history of Vlad Dracul, so to me they were always the same person. It was a way for me to explore and retell the history from a lens I found captivating. So no, there was never a moment where Lada was independent of Vlad. (Which makes it confusing for me when talking about the actual history, since they’re so enmeshed in my brain!)

 

THL: For a fun question: have you ever seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure? What do you think Lada’s reaction would’ve been to their appearing and attempting to whisk her for their history report?

KW: Oh, the movie would have ended very abruptly and definitely not in a PG manner.

 

About the Author

Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

Tour Schedule

Week One:

6/25/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review- Books 1 & 2

6/26/2018- Pandora’s Books– Excerpt

6/27/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

6/28/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Review

6/29/2018- The Hermit Librarian– Interview

Week Two:

7/2/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

7/3/2018- PaperTrailYA– Review

7/4/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

7/5/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review

7/6/2018- Beware Of The Reader– Review

Week Three:

7/9/2018- Lisa Loves Literature Review

7/10/2018- Omg Books and More Books– Review

7/11/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

7/12/2018- Wishful Endings– Review

7/13/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

Week Four:

7/16/2018- The Clever Reader– Review

7/17/2018- Under the Book Cover– Review

7/18/2018- mall3tg1rl– Review

7/19/2018- The Book Nut– Review

7/20/2018- lori’s Little House of Reviews– Review

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

Baby Teeth Blog Tour – Review & Giveaway

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Thank you to Jordan Hanley from St. Martin’s Press for contacting me about reviewing this book and taking part in the blog tour. Reading the summary, I thought it sounded fantastic. It’s got this veneer of creepiness that’s right up my alley. Hanna, the child at the center of the tale, reminded me in equal parts of Gage from Pet Semetary and Damien from Omen with something entirely her own that came from the imagination of author Zoje Stage.

Today I’ll be sharing with you not only my thoughts on the novel itself, but also a giveaway for arc copies of the book itself. Please check at the end for the giveaway terms & conditions.

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Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository

Goodreads  –  Indiebound

Published: 17 July 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Category: Fiction/Family Life/Horror/Thrillers

Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

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.

Meet Suzette.

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.

Rating: 4 Stars

Caution: some scenes may be particularly intense for some readers

Baby Teeth, being told in alternating perspectives, offers a unique look into this kind of story. I’ve heard of tales before where the motives of a child were questioned, where the sanity of a parent is weakening under the strain of care, but to get both sides of the story at the same time and judge them equally was not something I’d had the chance to read before.

It was tough to read this book at times. Hanna could be sympathetic at times. There were periods when I almost saw my own child in her, such as when she was trying to “sign” please to her mother or when she said something along the lines of how eyes could be just as good as ears if adults would just use them. Then there were the terrifying moments when she was calculating, horrifying even. The worst part was, as the book progressed, you could almost see the somewhat bizarre logic behind Hanna’s choices.

Suzette was also a sympathetic character for two reasons: she has a child who she doesn’t understand and she has her own background that necessitates understanding. She has Crohn’s disease, discovered as a teen, and has to handle the effects of this as well as the consequences of Hanna’s behaviors, not to mention the results of her own tumultuous upbringing (dead father, possibly depressed “?”/manipulative mother).

Watching these two interact, Suzette trying to be the best mother she is able and Hanna essentially waging war against her mother (in an effort to keep Daddy all to herself), was engaging but also frightening. The longer the book went on, the more  wanted to know how things ended, but the more I found that things dragged on. The narrative started to lag in the last third of the book, so I think it suffered a bit there. I thought the ending was rather more satisfying than I was expecting and could actually lead to more of the story, if Zoje Stage so chose. That in and of itself is both intriguing and terrifying because of what it means for the characters in the book.

A psychological thriller for sure, this one will eat at you as you’re reading and make you think about the choices you’d make in Suzette and Alex’s position. It may seem black and white, but when is anything ever, especially in parenting?

 

 

Giveaway

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will each receive an arc of Baby Teeth by Zoja Stage

Open to US entrants only, 7/1/18-7/15/18

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.