Category Archives: Zoje Stage

Review: Getaway by Zoje Stage

Title: Getaway by Zoje Stage
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


n this terrifying novel from the bestselling “master of the psychological thriller” and author of Baby Teeth (Entertainment Weekly), three friends set off on a hike into the Grand Canyon—only to discover it’s not so easy to leave the world behind.

It was supposed to be the perfect week away . . . 

Imogen and Beck, two sisters who couldn’t be more different, have been friends with Tilda since high school. Once inseparable, over two decades the women have grown apart. But after Imogen survives a traumatic attack, Beck suggests they all reunite to hike deep into the Grand Canyon’s backcountry. A week away, secluded in nature . . . surely it’s just what they need.

But as the terrain grows tougher, tensions from their shared past bubble up. And when supplies begin to disappear, it becomes clear secrets aren’t the only thing they’re being stalked by. As friendship and survival collide with an unspeakable evil, Getaway becomes another riveting thriller from a growing master of suspense and a “literary horror writer on the rise” (BookPage).


Getaway by Zoje Stage is a thrilling adventure set in the Grand Canyon.

Thirty-four-year-old author Imogen Blum has recently experienced a traumatic experience. In the aftermath, she is suffering from anxiety and she is unable to concentrate on writing. Her older sister Beck lives in Flagstaff and she suggests a hike into the Grand Canyon with their childhood friend Tilda Jimenez would be the prefect distraction. Although reluctant, Imogen’s fond memories of hiking with her family and sister persuade her to agree. While Imogen remains uncertain she is making the right decision, the three women soon set off on their weeklong hiking trip.

Initially, Imogen’s worries follow her on the trip. She also brings her resentment toward Tilda for something that happened when they were in college. However, the fresh air and physical activity soon begin working their magic on her. That is until someone steals some of their food. Stealing from fellow hikers is virtually unheard of, but they push aside their uneasiness. Then Imogen makes an even more troubling discovery. Unfortunately, Beck convinces her it is nothing to worry about so they do not mention it to Tilda.  Imogen is not as relaxed their second night of camping and she has a valid reason to worry. But Beck’s explanation soothes her fears. The next day is fraught as Beck brings the issues between Tilda and Imogen into the open. She has high expectations the two friends will work through their differences.

Their arrival back at their camp sets the stage for the series of events they endure over the next few days. Their nerves are stretched to the limit and tempers flare as they are soon in a fight for their very survival. Their individual strengths and weaknesses guide their decision-making (for better or worse) as they try to save themselves from what could be a horrible fate.

Getaway is a fast-paced and engrossing thriller. The characters are well-developed with realistic life experiences. Vibrant descriptions bring the Grand Canyon vividly to life and highlight how the elements factor into the on-going struggle Imogen, Beck and Tilda are facing. With breathtaking twists and chilling turns, Zoje Stage brings this suspense-laden novel to an unexpected but completely satisfying conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Getaway, Mulholland Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, Thriller, Zoje Stage

Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Title: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Horror, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In the tradition of ROOM comes a debut about a mom desperate to find help for her young daughter, whose disturbing behavior grows increasingly dangerous.

Suzette is unable to form a bond with her seven-year-old daughter, who cannot—or will not—speak. Ever since Hanna was a baby, she felt rejected by her. It’s as if the child hates her, leaving Suzette very frightened.

Alex wants to believe his wife’s accounts of their daughter’s cruel and unusual behavior, but he’s never seen anything but her love. Is Hanna just a naughty girl whose antics reveal intelligence, creativity, maybe even charm? Or is she actually trying to kill her mother?

A powerhouse, razor-sharp novel of psychological suspense from blazing new talent Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth raises more questions than it answers—and will leave you guessing until its shocking conclusion.


Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage is a suspenseful novel that centers around a fiendish seven year old who is plotting to kill her mother.

Suzette Jensen is a stay at home mom who home-schools her mute seven year old daughter, Hanna. After exhaustive testing that rules out a physical cause for Hanna’s mutism, the doctor refers her to a psychologist to try to get to the root her speech issues. Suzette’s husband, Alex, adores Hanna and he is quite reluctant to put their daughter in therapy. Suzette is frustrated and exhausted as she struggles with her own health issues in addition to dealing with Hanna’s alarming behavior. Alex refuses to believe there is anything wrong with Hanna despite the disturbing reports from caregivers and school officials.  He has also never witnessed any of Hanna’s disconcerting actions because when Hanna is with Alex, she is a loving, well-behaved young girl.  After an escalation in Hanna’s frightening behavior, Suzette is certain her daughter is trying to kill her, but can she convince Alex before it is too late?

Suzette’s childhood was quite dysfunctional so she works hard to be a good mother. However, Suzette’s sweet daughter has morphed into a willful, destructive girl whom she cannot seem to connect with. She is emotionally exhausted and struggling to decide what to do next with her increasingly disturbed child. Suzette cannot help but wonder if she at fault for Hanna’s problems and she becomes progressively more ambivalent about motherhood as her daughter’s behavior worsens.

Hanna is an intelligent child whose thought processes and actions are more typical of a much older child. She positively adores her father so she is quite careful to conceal her antipathy and anger towards her mother.  Convinced her mother is “stealing” her father away from her, Hanna carries out her diabolical plans to rid herself of Suzette permanently.

With chapters alternating between Hanna and Suzette’s points of view, Baby Teeth is a chilling and somewhat disturbing novel. The plot is interesting but a little repetitive and the pacing is slow. Alex is the only “normal” character in the story but his inability to accept the truth about his daughter is wearisome. Suzette is difficult to relate to since readers meet her when she is at the end of her rope with Hanna. Hanna is sly and manipulative and she is genuinely shocked when things do not go her way.  Zoje Stage brings the novel to a somewhat ambiguous conclusion that will leave readers wondering what the future holds for the Jensen family.

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Filed under Baby Teeth, Contemporary, Fiction, Horror, Rated C, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, Zoje Stage