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Bibliomaniac Scarlet

I came here to keep in touch with all my friends who left GR after the censorship debacle. I read a little of every genre. I co-blog at Musings of a Bibliomaniac.

Currently reading

Burial Rites
Hannah Kent
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Ana Juan, Catherynne M. Valente
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz -----Immediate Reaction-----Teeth is brilliant in many ways. I know, because I'm struggling to hold back tears even as I write this, and a part of me wishes this were a fairy-tale so that everyone could ride off or sail away into the sunset together.But Teeth is not a fairy-tale. And while I see the brilliance of this book, I simply couldn't connect with it enough to actually let the awesomeness sink in.I guess this is one of those it's-not-you-it's-me incidents. Maybe Teeth is the kind of book that gets better upon a re-read.I need to think this over.-----Full Review-----I’m pretty sure there’s never been a book like Teeth in YA, and I say that not only for the strangeness of its vision, but also for its unusual maturity. Enveloped in magic, Teeth is a story about love, responsibility and sexual identity, where even seemingly innocent things (like magic healing fish) have a dark underside to them.Rudy, a lonely boy on a mysterious island, strikes up an unusual friendship (or something more) with a merboy called Teeth, who’s just as lonely and lost as Rudy. It’s a relationship that’s precariously balanced on the cliff-edge of responsibility, because each must risk the others’ family to save his own. Rudy needs the healing Enki Fish to cure his sick brother Dylan; Teeth wants to save his fellow fish brethren from death at the hands of fishermen.You don’t have to read the book to see the potential in that concept. It’s amazing, original, full of promise – and having read Gone, Gone, Gone, I believed Moskowitz could pull it off. She does actually, for the most part. Teeth and Rudy’s relationship forms the crux of the story and while it may take some getting used to, I don’t think Moskowitz could have done it any better. It’s understated, subtle and as real as any human-fish bond could possibly get."It’s not fair, you know?”“I know.”“You’ve saved me way more times than I’ve saved you.”Oh. “You tend to get yourself in more shit than I do.”“Not a good friendship.”“Well. We’re not exactly friends.”As much as I loved the central idea of the book, there were times when I completely disconnected from it. Like when you’re talking on the phone and the network’s down so the voice at the other end keeps breaking now and again. Something like that. The whole picture was brilliant-weird and I loved it, but there were all these tiny details or ‘um, what?’ moments in between that were just weird-weird and lost on me.Teeth’s back-story was a major ‘um, what?’ moment for me. I realize that magic realism is a genre that often requires you to suspend logic and reason but the woman-raped-by-a-fish story was too whacked-out to get my head around. Another ‘um, what?’ situation was the one concerning Teeth and the fishermen. I’m not even sure what I feel about that – I’m utterly conflicted. Is humans-raping-a-fish meant to be a metaphor for something?? Rape is a serious issue even if the thing in question is a mythical half-fish person. Teeth could have gotten away but he didn’t, and I can’t quite swallow the explanation for that. The more I think about it, the more confused I get.Coming to characters, Rudy and Teeth were brilliant but I wish some of the secondary characters had a bigger role to play – especially Fiona and Ms. Delaney. Judging from the way things were in the first half, I thought these characters were all leading somewhere but they’re mainly absent in the second half.The writing is unstructured and effortless. The word-phrasing feels almost accidental and this lack of technical precision works very well in the context of the book.Overall, I feel Teeth is a very brave attempt on Moskowitz' part. Not many YA authors would dare tread on such a delicate and dark territory. My problems with this book don't have anything to do with what Moskowitz did or didn't do right - it's just that I don't love the genius of it even though I recognize it.3.5