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The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton
Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton
Cleopatra in Space: Fallen Empires by Mike Maihack
Curse of the Were-wiener by Ursula Vernon
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 5 by Ryoko Kui
The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn
Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands
Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri and Corban Wilkin (Illustrations)
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico and Devon Sorvari
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris
To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid
Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
The Pawful Truth by Miranda James
See You On a Starry Night by Lisa Schroeder
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James and Erin Bennett
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner
Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson
Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Esme Shapiro (Illustrations)
You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Baby Teeth: 08/30/20

Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage is about a horrible family: a horrible father, a horrible mother, and a horrible child where the mother and daughter are in a constant cage match for the father's adoration. The novel is narrated in alternating points of view between Hanna, the child, and Suzette, the mother. The father, who is probably the worst of them, though, gets to keep his thoughts to himself.

Hanna is seven, though there are some flashbacks to when she was younger. She has never spoken until this year. When she does speak, she insists that she is the reincarnation — or perhaps possessed by — a French woman executed for being a witch.

For two thirds of the novel we're given enough information to believe that Hanna has developed a hatred for her mother. She is bad to the bone and should be removed from the household for Suzette's well-being. What we're not given is the why and the how behind her hatred. For a long while we're left to either accept the possession story or just take that she is somehow inherently bad.

But if you look at the the way Alex, the husband and father in this novel, is described and the way he interacts with both Hanna and Suzette when he is around, a different interpretation surfaces. Alex is the worst of them all and has probably been sexually abusing / grooming Hanna since infancy. He is the reason she has become the monster she is.

Baby Teeth could be a very scathing depiction of sexual predators in the home. But that portrayal is stymied by slow pacing and the ridiculous ghost-witch tangent.

Three stars

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