Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz
Book content warnings:
rape mention
physical abuse

Uffda. This book had me engrossed from start to finish. And the only reason it doesn't get five full stars from me is for two small parts that were extremely problematic. I'll talk about that later, because I want to go on about what I loved first.

Immediately, immediately, I'm sucked into this story of family, romance, and fairytale. Rudy's brother has cystic fibrosis, and his family moves to a remote island to seek a miracle cure. This island, usually a "last resort" for people, is home to magical silver-scaled fish that help those with health problems when eaten. Rudy, far removed from his friends and technology, is naturally restless and lonely until he meets a strange fishboy who climbs up on to the rocks to flirt with him . . .

The characters felt so real and carefully realized. The sibling relationship between Rudy and his little brother, Dylan, was especially well crafted. Rudy shutting down and running away when Dylan was at his worst felt very authentic, and I felt for this entire family.

Diana is also an intriguing character, introduced at exactly the right time to set up secrets and mysteries about the island and characters so that I'm dying to read more and know more. This book is one heck of a page turner, and I'm proud to say I stayed up all night to finish it.

I'm surprised to see how many reviewers thought the romance between Rudy and Teeth was unnoticeable or that - "this was supposed to be a romance???" Were we reading the same stuff? Talk about heteronormative perspective, because seeing things like "It doesn't matter what team I'm on, for a minute. For a minute it's just me and that smile." and "Oh my God. He's hugging me. [. . .] And fuck it, because that was seriously fucking fantastic." and "I don't know how to tell him that friends at home weren't anything like this, because then I'm scared he'll ask what this is. And . . . God." and the big one: "I fall for fish instead of girls." is pretty obvious. And that's just a few. I imagine if Teeth had been a merMAID, people would be singing a different tune.

What I didn't enjoy was the rape mention. The way it played out was as if it were the punchline to some big joke, and that's not . . . respectful in any way. Not to mention that there was a rape joke later in the book. Rape jokes are never funny. Never.

All the same, I enjoyed the book as a whole, even if the very bittersweet ending had me wishing for more.