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 he lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.
The 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.
When it comes to Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, I have really only three words: Magic. Gay. Fish.
I think by this point I’m a Hannah fan for life. I loved the previous two books I’ve read from her and this one was no exception to that love. I will say that this book will most likely not be for everyone, but if you’ve read and liked any of Hannah Moskowitz’s other books or think the synopsis sounds great, then definitely pick it up. Not only is Hannah’s writing amazing, but the characters and plot are wonderful. And guys, when I say the writing is amazing I mean it. The way words and sentences are strung together and flow is beautiful, and you can easily feel the desperation, loneliness, love, friendship and fear that is present in the story. The writing easily lets the characters come alive.
Rudy’s family has moved to a remote island in order to save his sick brother. Why? Because this island is home to a species of fish that has magic properties and can cure any sickness. Rudy hears screams at night that he’s told is just the ocean – but he meets Teeth and realizes that he was hearing screams all along. Rudy jumps off the pages. He’s so smart, loving and caring, both selfless and selfish at the same time, and though he makes lots of good choices he makes some bad ones too. And Teeth – half boy, half fish, Teeth is endearing. He tries so hard to protect the fish from being eaten and likes to pretend things are fine when in reality the fisherman catch him every night and do reprehensible things to him. Honestly, throughout the book I just wanted to give him a hug. He desperately just needs a hug. He’s so innocent but world-weary.
There’s a lot of emotion and depth to this story, with questions of what you would give up or do to keep a loved one safe and what happens when it comes down to family or friends. There are tough situations involving rape, and when to know what’s Right or wrong. Teeth has had such a difficult and undeserved life – it’s heartbreaking. The relationships here are all so different as well. It’s interesting to see and explore the dynamics of them. Teeth is an engrossing read and the ending of the book comes quickly and is so resigned and sad. There is a moment that is so abrupt it’s jarring, but fits the situation.
Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz is an impressive, heartbreaking, page-gripping, emotional book. It’s almost hard to place it in a specific genre. I would go with magical contemporary. It is such a showcase of intense important issues twisted with a merman element in Teeth. You will cry with and for these characters and if you’re looking for a perfect happy ending, it’s not to be found. It’s difficult to explain how Teeth reaches out and pulls you in. So many feels to be had in one book and I loved it.
ARC received from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!