Bad Apple, Zoje Stage: Book Review

There isn’t one thing in Bad Apple by Zoje Stage that I would change. From start to finish, I was engrossed.

The plot:

Seven-year-old Hanna has never spoken a word. She is a sweet and 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?

It’s just described so vividly

All in all, this book:

  • made me cringe, my jaw drop and shed a tear;
  • is up in my top 15 favourite books and probably justifies a re-read once a year;
  • fills a hole in my soul that I didn’t even know needed filling (okay, maybe this is a bit exaggerated but it’s hard to portray just how good this book is).

Each chapter jumps between Hanna and Suzette, which I found was a really great way to read. It honestly amazes me so much how an author can jump between and get the voices of a character so correct, but Stage has done it superbly well. I would have loved an entry from Alex (the husband/father) near the end, in his own voice, but it doesn’t alter my feelings in any way towards the story as a whole.

I was a bit dubious a few chapters in, as something happens (not telling you what, sorry), and that’s not really my cup of tea, but I can see what Stage was doing and just want to pat her on the back for how well thought-through it was.

I read Bad Apple twice before writing a review, as it was just too darn good, and knowing what happens just makes the re-read more and more intense, and I still cringed at exactly the same parts because it’s just described so vividly.

Some of you that follow me on Instagram may have seen some snippets on my story, with the caption “well that escalated quickly” – this. is. the. book.

This will become a film soon (mark my words), and it will be one of the best psychological thrillers e v e r.

Bookmark That approved? YES YES YES.

Read or reading Bad Apple? WOO! I would love to hear what you think of it! Let me know on Twitter, and hashtag #TeamSuzette or #TeamHanna and #BadAppleBook.

Bad Apple, Zoje Stage, RRP £7.99/£12.99  (paperback/hardback); Book Depository 

Pages: 320

Publisher: Bantam Press

Genre: Psychological Thriller

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