Be careful what you believe in.
Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.
Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.
I have written and rewritten this review so many times in order to try and capture every feeling and thought floating around in my head but I can’t. I don’t think it’s possible to convey these feelings to anyone until mankind finds out how to do Vulcan mind melds or something of the like.
Hannah Moskowitz is an author whose books I usually love if I can get through them. But, I only very rarely get through them. It’s definitely an “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of situation. I usually pick her books up when I’m not in the mood for angsty teenage feels. However, thanks to Twitter, she’s one of my all-time favorite people so I pick her books up every time I see them.
I have never loved Twitter more.
I don’t think that anyone else could’ve written this book or will ever write a book like this. TEETH is startlingly beautiful with wonderful, flawed characters. It’s not perfect and it will definitely not appeal to everyone.
Even though the book is very different from the rest of her work, I think that many Moskowitz lovers will enjoy the book as it feels like a contemporary even though TEETH is set on an island with magical fish and fishboys.
TEETH is an emotional roller-coaster. It has its ups where everything everywhere is absolutely perfect. But then there are the downs where you don’t know if you’ll be able to continue reading for fear for the characters and your own heart that is on the brink of shattering into a million and two pieces.
TEETH is a extremely depressing book. I would advise you to not go into the book and expect a happy
book ending. If soul-crushing endings aren’t your thing, I wouldn’t read the book.
The real magic of TEETH lies in its prose. Its magical, wonderful prose has the power to, within a few pages, suck you in with its characters and setting till before you know it, you’re sitting right next to Rudy, falling in love with Teeth along with Rudy.
The use of magical realism was one of the best parts of the prose. TEETH could very well be a contemporary as it reads and feels like one. The magical fish and adorable fishboys fit right in, not feeling out of place or odd in this otherwise contemporary novel.
The lore surrounding the Enki is both disturbing and fabulous. Christina from A Reader Of Fictions compared the lore behind the Enki to Greek/Roman mythology which is spot on. I enjoyed the gritty, messed up take on mer. In YA fiction, it’s common for Mer to be blood thirsty but this back story is something I’ve never seen before.
If John Green is obsessed with Maniac Pixie Dream Girls, Hannah Moskowitz is obsessed with filling her books with angsty gay boys and sick little brothers. Not that there’s a problem with that. I know a lot of people don’t like JG’s Maniac Pixie Dream Girls, but personally, I adore them just like I adore Moskowitz’s gay boys and sick little brothers.
Our resident gay boy is Rudy. Rudy is a solemn, very angsty kid who moved along with his family to a little fishing island filled with weird, magical fish and even weirder people.
Rudy’s little brother Dylan is sick so Rudy spends his entire day watching over him to make sure Dylan doesn’t die. Rudy loves his brother but no one wants to spend their entire life watching over a sick little kid.
What I absolutely adored about TEETH was that much of the story is Rudy’s internal conflict about whether his brother’s health and life was more important than his own happiness. Is one’s family more important than an animal’s life?
Teeth is the ugly fishboy who
I Rudy fell in love with. He is flawed yet strangely wonderful character. He’s self-deprecating and occasionally annoying but he’s also loyal and sweet at the same time. He’s not a character that I usually would like but Moskowitz made him feel so real with his flaws and strengths that it was nearly impossible to hate him.
The side characters like Diana were very underdeveloped. Diana was Rudy’s sort of love interest who had mysterious connections to Teeth. She was a very one layered character – something I can’t say for many of Moskowitz’s characters. Her reasons for doing what she does are very plain and could have used a lot of fleshing out to make her seem more real. Likewise for the other characters like Dylan.
TEETH is a book that I would recommend to everyone, even though some people may not enjoy it as much as others. It’s gritty and romantic, but most of all it’s real, which is a bit weird considering the fact that TEETH is about a fishboy. TEETH is definitely one of the easiest five star books in a long time!