Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 248 (Hardcover)
Published: January 2013
A gritty, romantic modern fairy tale from the author of Break and Gone, Gone, Gone.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 make no secret of the fact that I love Moskowitz’s work with the power of a thousand Beiber fans except I don’t need to suspend my disbelief in Moskowitz’s ability.
Teeth is a heartbreaking novel about a lonely boy and an even lonelier magic fish boy. On an island there is a secret. The fish there are magic and they can keep you alive from even the most serious illness. Rudy moves there with his family for is brother’s sake, but things aren’t as simple as they seem when he meets Teeth.
As I’ve come to expect from Moskowitz, the writing is nothing short of spectacular and the characterization, Oh! The characterization! Here is a quote from my review of her book Gone, Gone, Gone about her characterization:
“Well and truly it is the intense characterization of Craig and Lio that make this novel. Clearly Moskowitz doesn’t just do characterization. She DOES characterization. You know. Like, when she writes a character – that character has been written. That character KNOWS it’s been written. That character will probably tell all it’s friends about that time it was written really well. Then it will compare all other writings to the writing that Moskowitz gave it. Thoroughly.”
That is as true in Teeth as it was in Gone, Gone, Gone. Teeth and Rudy are incredibly complex characters – amazingly flawed and dysfunctional. Lonely, desperate, passionate, broken and utterly charming.
But the themes in Teeth are significantly darker than they were in Gone, Gone, Gone, making me hesitant to recommend it to those unable to cope with issues of serious and repetitive sexual abuse. Teeth is dark. Teeth is very, very gothic and depressing and sad. Sometimes I wondered if it was too sad, too dark, too emotive. There’s very little cheer and fun to be had in it. But it turns out it’s just the right amount of dark, sad and emotive for me because I still loved it.
And if you love Moskowitz, it is likely that her ability to make you feel, to illicit a remarkable amount of empathy for her characters, to bare their soul to you – is one of the biggest attractions. That is what you consistently get with Moskowitz – so if you’re up for another beautifully written tale with a fresh bunch of characters waiting to make your heart bleed, than this is for you. If you’re in the mood for something that will make you laugh and feel good, then maybe you’re better off movingly along.
And, people, when you do make it to the end of this book, just remember, I’m here for you.
*An ARC was provided to me by the publisher. No gifts, favours or money was exchanged for this review.
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