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Reading Under the Willow Tree

Environmental Science student, book reader, big dreamer, Sailing/Kayak/Surf instructor, Film buff, Adventurer, Girl.

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Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz For this review and more visit my blog

I heard a lot about this book before I read it, I was told that it was painful, gut-wrenching and would make me cry. I have seen reviewers consoling each other because this book tore their heart out. Yet again I find myself outside the party looking in. Was this book touching? Yes in parts. Was it full of sadness? It wasn’t the happiest book I have ever read but not the saddest. Did it make me cry? No, not even close. I did not find this book gut wrenching or heart breaking. That’s not to say I didn’t like it because I did like it quite a lot.

I can almost guarantee that you have never read anything like this before. To say this book was odd would be an understatement; you have this physically hideous merman who exists because his mum was raped by a fish. An island that heals sick people (because they eat the rapey fish) and a boy who is so darn confused about everything he made me dizzy. Let’s be honest so far this is not sounding great…but the truth is it kind of is great.
Firstly, this book is beautifully written, Hannah Moskowitz is known for her stunning prose and this is no exception. Also this is probably one of the best accounts of the confused and often bewildered teenage mind that I have come across. Those teen years are not easy ones and Moskowitz does a great job showing that.

I loved the relationship between Rudy and Teeth. Was it romantic? Almost but not quite I think there is room for debate on that. There was love between them but whether that love came from deep friendship, neediness or actual romance I am not sure. What I didn’t like about the relationship was the effect it had on Rudy’s relationship with other people, mainly his extremely sick little brother who often took the backseat to Teeth which bugged me.

I also really liked the ending which is where I think a lot of people found emotionally difficult to handle. For me this book ended the way it should have done, sometimes what you want is not good for you. I think in its own way this book ended with freedom for everybody which I liked.

The characters were good. Rudy’s POV was awesome (but full of sex and swearing, so much swearing that even someone with a potty mouth like me was shocked, so if you don’t like swearing in your YA or just generally stay away from this book.)

I had a love hate relationship with Teeth sometimes he was sweet sometimes he was horrible but mostly I just felt sorry for him.
Teeth is not going to be for everyone, it is a little too odd for that. I thought it was smart, (I am pretty sure the whole thing is a metaphor for something but I haven’t figured it out yet) imaginative and beautifully written. It didn’t manage to engage me like it has others but I enjoyed it all the same.

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review