Thursday, February 21, 2013

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
January 2013, Simon Pulse
288 pages
Good Reads + Amazon
4/5 stars

"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 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 has terrible. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother's life."

-Good Reads

* The people of Teeth move to the island in pursuit of the magical Enki fish who prolong life spans, cure incurable diseases, etc.

This book was the weirdest, strangest, most disturbing book that I've read............


Yes, ever. That is an accurate statement.

Most of the story of Teeth is about the relationship that grows between Rudy, the main character, and Teeth... a half fish, half boy... but throw out any thoughts or dreams of Ariel from The Little Mermaid because Teeth is not a cute merman... He is literally half of a human fused to a fish - specifically, the magical kind of fish that heals the sick on the island. 

Born from a rather... disturbing (how many times am I going to use this adjective? I need a thesaurus...) encounter between his mother and one of the Enki fish, Teeth is one of a kind. He hangs on the fringes of the human world - a young boy who has sentient thoughts, emotions, a sense of humor and anger - but has no true place in the world. Teeth is either exploited in the most terrible of ways by a few of the people on the island or completely ignored, written off as an urban legend of sorts. 

And when I say exploited, I mean to say raped. Repeatedly. The screams that Rudy hears during the nights? Those are Teeth's screams while he is being raped. 

Hannah Moskowitz really explores the dark side of humanity in Teeth. Nearly everyone on the island knows of Teeth's existence and can probably guess that it is him screaming in the night... but no one attempts to help him, much less care to figure out why he is screaming insistently. Even Rudy, Teeth's only friend, who knows what is happening to his friend, chooses to ignore the screaming night after night... Moskowitz really called into question where we as humans draw the line between right and wrong, action and inaction. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely dark, haunting and made me feel physically ill at some points... but it was unique. I do not think that I will ever forget this book. Teeth is definitely not for everyone - classifying it as young adult  is a serious stretch. There is some serious language (totally inappropriate for young readers) and recurring sexual violence. Proceed with caution, you've been warned!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review! This book does sound super weird xD

    -Brad @ BookYAReview