Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review: Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

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Hannah Moskowitz
Genre: YA Fantasy/Magical Realism
Publication date: January 1st 2013
by Simon Pulse

A gritty, romantic modern fairy tale from the author of Break and Gone, Gone, Gone.

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.

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review*


This has to be one of the oddest books I’ve ever read, ever! Having read Gone Gone Gone by Hannah, I knew her writing was brilliant, her words are some that will enrapture you one hundred percent, and her stories are filled with genuine emotion. Teeth is no exception. We embark on an extraordinary tale of love and loneliness, with characters that are both fantastically bizarre, and incredibly charismatic.

Having moved on this island to help heal his brother’s illness, Rudy is being crushed by the isolation, eventually finding solace in a new friend he meets at the beach. This new friend is quite… strange, and in more ways that what’s made immediately obvious. His character and personality reflect his unorthodox upbringing and lack of education, but his heart is as big as ever. These two develop a connection that is the heart and soul of this story. Their friendship truly radiates as something very unique and special. Though like in real life, it’s not always easy, it’s sometimes frustrating, it’s also something of a need more than anything. I thought this was especially well written; from their conversations to their confusing feelings, it would flow so freely off the pages like something you could touch. This wasn’t only manifested between these two, but also between Rudy and his family–especially his little brother who is only trying to get well enough to enjoy his life. The family dynamics emit the emotional consequence of having to struggle every single day with death around the corner. I found this as equally poignant as the Rudy/Teeth story, throwing my emotions around at every turn. I found myself caring so very deeply for this family’s well-being, praying for his brother to get better, and missing his energy during outbreaks. It’s safe to say the character development here is commendable.

The plot surrounds mostly Rudy’s friendship with Teeth, as well as his acceptance of the whole isolated island situation. Being one of the only teenagers, he’s struggling with loneliness and missing his friends from back home, craving normality, even the slightest human touch. When he finds Teeth, his whole way of thinking completely changes, and for many reasons. This is one of those books that are especially hard to review as its plot contains spoilers from very early on. So for fear of revealing any, I will only comment on my promise that it’s like nothing you’ve read before. It’s weird, it’s bizarre, it’s eccentric… it’s unique! Its originality is unreal, with secrets that will leave you stunned, a little sad, sometimes even grossed out; if it is anything, fascinating is what it is. I was a big fan of its ambiguity as well. Not a lot of reason is given other than it simply existing. This is not a book that contains detailed history or even deep speculation of its “magic”, it’s just something you have to accept without question. You may be thinking this is something you’re sure you would dislike–I would be too upon reading this–however, never did I wish anything more. It was perfect for what the story is trying to be. I might even say more specifics might have ruined the book’s enchantment.

If you’re already a fan of Hannah Moskowitz, you know her way of writing is one that will compel you deeper at every word. If you’re new to this author, especially fans of contemporary fiction, I urge you to jump on this exquisite, emotion-filled bandwagon, you will not regret it! 

4 Hot Espressos


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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23 Responses to “Review: Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz”

  1. Kristin@BloodSweatandBooks

    I’m glad you liked it. This book truly is a love it or hate it type. It just never meshed with me but I do have to agree with you on several points the book is unique &bizarre and the writing is wonderful. Lovely review Giselle.

  2. Jasprit

    I was always a little unsure about picking up Teeth as the reviews I’d read were a really mixed bunch, but lately I’ve become really tiresome of predictable plots, so the ambiguity you’ve mentioned regarding Teeth is something I would gladly welcome right now. Also being a huge fan of contemporary fiction, this sounds more and more like the perfect book for me! Wonderful review Giselle! 🙂

  3. Sam

    Well it definitely does sound like an original story! I don’t think I have come across a premise quite like this before, and that in itself makes me incredibly curious about this book. I haven’t tried anything by this author before but I know how well-received her books are. Lovely review, Giselle!

  4. Mary @ BookSwarm

    This sounds like a seriously odd book…but in a completely good way. I’ve heard great things about Hannah Moskowitz but haven’t yet read her (bad, bad blogger!). Teeth sounds like someone I’d like to get to know (maybe…a bit weird, perhaps!).

  5. Nick

    I have never read anything by Hannah Moskowitz, but I’ve heard really good things about her mesmerizing writing. I’m glad that it’s the same with this book too. I’m intrigued by the fact that this book is “eccentric”. It sounds very mysterious. I need to check it out soon! Lovely review, Giselle! 🙂

  6. Kat Balcombe

    I completely agree about the degree of ‘revelation’ – I liked that not everything was explained, it left so much open to imagination and interpretation!

    I need to read Gone Gone Gone for sure. Great review 😀

  7. Amy

    This sounds so awesome!! The only book from her I have read was a MG graphic novel, but I did enjoy it. The lack of explanation about anything in this book makes me even more intrigued. I definitely will have to read this one at some point.

  8. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Right? This book is so weird! I loved every second of it because it was just full of WTF! What about how Rudy came to be? Wow, right? So happy you ended up liking this one after all of your headaches trying to read it. Totally worth the wait, right?

  9. Becky

    I have been considering this for a little while now but I still haven’t decided whether to buy it or now. I am glad that you enjoyed it. I think I need to read something orginal at the moment so I probably will get it at some point when my physical pile of books to be read reduces.

  10. Janeal Falor

    I haven’t heard of Hannah Moskowitz before, but now I’m really curious. And the fact that teeth is a name only makes me more so. I’ll have to give it a try.

  11. Eileen

    AWW this one sounds so emotional and poignant! Her writing sounds amazing and beautiful! And unique plots are definitely an amazing plus! A lot of YA novels are really repetitive and dry-cut nowadays and it’s comforting to know there’s “new meat” out there! 😉

    Awesome review as always!

  12. Danny

    Oh wow!!! That sounds awesome!!! and I’m all for weird! Now, I’m dying to know more! Plus I haven’t read anything by Hannah M. yet so I think now it’s time 🙂

  13. Megan K.

    This book was weird, all right! But I enjoyed it so much, especially Hannah’s writing style, which was seriously beautiful and poetic. I kind of wish she had created more chemistry between Judy and Teeth, though, because I never really felt the connection.

    Anyway, great review! Glad that you enjoyed this. 🙂

  14. Alexa Y.

    This does sound pretty unique, but I’m still unsure as to whether I’d actually read it or not. I do want to find out more about Rudy and Teeth (who both sound REALLY interesting), but I still think it might not work for me.

  15. Katelyn

    I just got done reading the book, and it was flat out amazing. I loved it, I Never wanted the book to end. I am having trouble figuring out the theme of the book.. does any one have an idea of what it is ?