Today I am going to be sharing my review for the book Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz. This was the first book that I've read written by this author. It was a new release this year and it was one of the books on my winter TBR list for upcoming new releases that I was excited about. I'm going to post the summary from Goodreads below and then jump right into my review!
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.
So this book is about Rudy, who moves to a remote island with his family because his younger brother, Dylan, has Cystic Fibrosis and this island has these 'magic' fish that are suppose to heal sickness. Since Rudy left his home, school, and all of his friends he is really lonely here on this island. All he does is sit and worry about his brother and listen to the rough ocean at night. He meets a girl named Diana, and a boy named Teeth. And by boy, I really mean Fishboy. Teeth is a mermaid (merman?) and he befriends him. Teeth and Diana are both very lonely people as well.
This book was very, very strange. It was definitely not like I expected it to be at all. It's one of those book I can't decide if I love it, or I hated it. A lot of the time I was thinking 'wtf' while reading it because things were so messed up. The fishboy/mermaid thing totally threw me off and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. The writing style in this book was very different, but it was also very engaging and I liked it a lot. The first chapter had my attention right away and it drew me in. It had a very eerie feel to it and it was really intriguing. This book is very dark, and there is not much (if not any) happiness in it at all. So much that even while I was reading it I couldn't even picture the weather being sunny or nice, or the ocean being beautiful. The whole time I was reading I just pictured the days being dark, cloudy, and cold. I pictured the water being gross, sandy, and murky much like a lake rather than the ocean. Rudy describes the water as freezing.
I'm not sure if I liked Rudy's character. His thoughts are really random, scattered and don't make much sense. I didn't really understand him a lot of the time and I found that I couldn't connect with him, either. He seems kind of negative, and he drops the 'f bomb' on every single page (I'm not kidding, usually at least 3 times a page) which I found to be annoying. I usually don't mind this kind of language in books, but this was a little excessive. I do like how he cares about his little brother though. I really enjoyed the parts where he talked about his brother a lot. I liked Diana okay but I didn't find her role in the book as big as I thought it should have been. I didn't understand her relationship with Rudy. They didn't seem to get to know each other and it was really annoying how they were all over each other with in the first 5 minutes of them hanging out for the first time. I do like how they both love books, and both talk about books with each other. I really loved that they put references to Harry Potter and Looking for Alaska in this book. After Rudy and Teeth become friends, they are really loyal to each other and have a connection that is great. You can tell Rudy really cares about him.
At first I wasn't sure if I liked Teeth or not. He had an attitude but as the story progressed he really warmed up and I began to like him. This weird, fish boy of a character, really began to grow on me and touch my emotions. I had a really hard time picturing what he looked like though, and it drove me crazy the whole book. He's a mermaid, with a tail, webbed hands, and a million crazy long teeth that look like pine needles. Rudy described him as: "His tail is skinny and silver, the same colors as Dylan's fish. All his scales, especially the ones on his chest, look dry, like they're about to flake off. His hair is short and uneven. Mermaids in fairy tales were never this ugly. Mermen." OK I can picture that just fine, seems like a normal person but his teeth? I cannot picture those teeth on a normal person's face. Ugh. I really like how much Teeth cares about the other fish in the ocean. He calls them his family and there were parts in the book when he cuddles them and such. This sounds weird but I found it strangely cute. There's a part on page 79 when he talks about saving the fish that says "I don't usually see them get caught in the current, I've only rescued three today. The others I just say hi to." That is too freaking cute. I also love how Teeth uses the word 'whatever' in place of using a word that he doesn't know. He doesn't have the biggest vocabulary since he doesn't have anyone to talk to.
The storyline behind how Teeth came about (being half fish, half human) is really strange and messed up. I was totally not expecting this book to be about a mermaid, let alone how the mermaid was made. My heart was constantly breaking for him as we learn more about him and the situation, especially when Rudy describes his screams at night time. All of the horrible things he goes through and all of the abuse was just heart breaking, even more so towards the end.
The ending was bittersweet, but I personally that everything happened for the best. There's freedom for both Rudy and Teeth and I feel like they can both grow a lot more as a person/character after what happened. I gave this book 3/5 stars on goodreads, but not looking back I might change my rating to 4 stars. It's the kind of book you have to read and then let your thoughts process before rating/reviewing it. Non the less, I am happy I read this book and I can't wait to read more books by Hannah Moskowitz. I hope you all enjoyed and thank you for reading!