Kitty's Reviews > Teeth

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
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Or "Teeth - a love story". \8D/

Before I get really started, I feel like it's necessary to tell anyone looking to pick up this book that it has some of the most brutal rape scenes I've ever read in a teen book. EVER. While I have my own feelings and opinions about this (good that the author doesn't shy away from showing how horrible the act can be, no attempt to romanticize or subvert it) I think there needs to be a trigger warning for some readers. There is one particular scene towards the end of the book that made me cringe. The aftermath was shown in such gruesome detail I felt as if I could see, hear, smell, feel every terrible detail that was performed upon a main character.

And this isn't even your typical YA novel when it comes to consensual sex either. There's a lot of strangeness and some fierce eroticism that goes with the territory. Even taking into account that not a whole lot is shown, and nobody actually experiences any traditional coitus, there's still a sexual undercurrent that kind of soaks up unto some scenes.

That being said!

I want to preface this by saying Teeth is either a YA masterpiece that I'm too obtuse to grasp, or else it's trash, but I'll be hard pressed to say which. My threshold for the abnormal and bizarre is pretty high, but this stretched even MY boundaries into the realm of the unknown. Reading Teeth is like going for a nigh time swim in warm ocean waters. It's exhilarating to be out in the water under the stars, but at the same time you can't help but wonder what else is out there with you. I feel as if there is an audience for this - here's hoping it continues to reach it.

I've been sitting in front of my computer for the last half hour trying to describe the plot. But I can't. It's neat enough to be wrapped up in a tidy package, but there are so many different elements that invite the mind to linger and explore them upon re-visitation that I feel any attempt to summarize would not be fair.

It wouldn't be fair to the dark, gothic element that gave birth to a character like Diana. Locked away in a house with a mother who cries and drinks like clockwork, who has lived her whole life on a mysterious, fog chocked island, who has never even SEEN another young person except for pictures until Rudy arrives.

It would be unfair for a character like Rudy. Young, punk, teenage alcoholic back home, brilliant artist, world's best big brother. A young kid who comes across something improbable and horrible and wondrous on a beach one night and becomes ensnared in it's grasp.

Unfair to a construct like Teeth, who is equal parts, pathetic, wild, lonely, alien, childlike and magic. A mermaid like mermaids probably should or would be if you thought about them long enough.

There were so very, very, many things to love about this book. The tangles of human thought and emotion, of greed and desire overlapped again and again and asked many great questions and proposed no simple answers. Which is how it should be. Life gives no simple answers, so why should fiction be obligated to? If you could save someone you loved only at the expense of eradicating something rare and precious from the world, would you? If your only chance to posses love would be to descend into a kind madness - which is the ultimate selfishness - could you?

I'm not sure if the answers the characters reach at the end of the book are necessarily the *right* ones, but they are answers that hold consequence and, more importantly, feel right. There is no fantasy, fairy tale ending that wraps up most YA paranormal romances. This is paradise lost, and instead of the joyous, triumphant return to spiritual and emotional equilibrium that a lesser author would have insisted upon, here we get no such lie. Instead Moskowitz gifts us with something richer and more meaningful. Even as she thrusts her characters out into the world, and all the uncertainty that lays before them, the glimpse and the possibility of happening upon a new garden still lies before them. After all, a world than can hold something like Teeth, can surely still produce a miracle or two.
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Reading Progress

August 31, 2012 – Started Reading
August 31, 2012 – Shelved
August 31, 2012 – Shelved as: ya
August 31, 2012 –
0.0% "Blargh. I also have an ARC of Gone Gone Gone but I never got around to reading it. So I'm starting this one ASAP to compensate for the fact. It also occurs to me that this will be the second YA novel I've read this year that features siblings, magic realism and water as defining forces within its pages. Weird."
September 1, 2012 –
100.0% "4.9999 stars. But that .0001 star I'm subtracting is pretty significant, so you get 4 stars on your chart goodreads."
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: glbt
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: gods-and-monsters
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: one-hand-one-heart
September 1, 2012 – Shelved as: teenage-girls-as-hamburgers
September 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
November 22, 2012 – Shelved as: dea-syriae
February 17, 2013 – Shelved as: bump-in-the-night
February 17, 2013 – Shelved as: mind-fuck

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ella (new)

Ella Miller thanks for the warning!

Kitty Ella wrote: "thanks for the warning!"

No problem! Stay happy and safe reading.

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