Cover Image: What Big Teeth

What Big Teeth

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book is perfect for spooky season. There is a big house full of secrets, a strange family, and foggy memories. It was such a wonderful read and a world that I would gladly return to.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed elements of this story and seeing where it led but found it a little confusing to navigate. Would want to read more from the author though!
Was this review helpful?
I wasn't able to finish this book, so I hate to give it stars.  I got as far as the grandmother arriving at the mansion before stopping.   It was hard for to get into and none of the characters were particularly appealing.  It was also very confusing as to what was going on in places.
Was this review helpful?
The Zarins are an interesting family; a mystery to the town they live in, and also a mystery to Eleanor, their youngest daughter. Eleanor doesn’t fit in with her family; her grandfather, sister, and cousin are werewolves, her mother is a mermaid, and their butler is a vampire. The rest of her family are witches, warlocks, wraiths, etc…so Eleanor was sent away to boarding school to escape them. Or, perhaps, for them to escape her. Eleanor comes home unannounced on a train after a brutal accident at school, only to realize her family already knew she was coming. A tragedy keeps her home, as she struggles to see where she fits in to the family, and then makes a fatal mistake. 

I really enjoyed the way the characters were written in this book, because you could tell they were “monsters” but maybe not the usual description of what you might think. I got modern Addams Family vibes, but instead of feeling lots of familial love, it’s almost like the Zarins tolerate each other out of necessity. I was hoping for that feeling of togetherness, but it never came. The way the narrative comes together is a bit disorienting, which I liked, because it adds to the spookiness and the unease. I think this title would be liked by monster movie purists and horror indies alike.
Was this review helpful?
Welcome Back!

We are almost to September and I have slowly started to bring out some small fall and Halloween decorations! Fall and winter are my two favorite seasons and I love decorating for both of them! However, decorating definitely provides lots of audio book time! So I pulled another audio book from my potential stack! I recently borrowed a bunch of audio books from Libby and Hoopla so I was all ready for lots of listening while I worked on various tasks. So this time around, I decided to pick up the audio book of What Big Teeth! I have been so excited about this book for a very long time. I have a psychical copy in my nightstand stack and the cover is absolutely amazing!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Eleanor is leaving boarding school and by leaving I mean fleeing. There was an incident and now she is leaving and going back home. However, she has not been home in years and her family is not typical. Eleanor’s hopes she can go back home and that everything will be okay somehow. However, that is not the case, she is not fitting in at home and everything is so weird and the opposite of the things she is used to at school. With everything being so weird at home and Eleanor’s family not exactly accepting her just coming home it is a comfort when her grandmother is nice to her. However, her grandmother passes away shortly into Eleanor being home and as she was dying she tells Eleanor to take care of the family but of course no one is taking her seriously. Now she is really not sure what to do other than try to follow her grandmother’s wishes!

First, I want to admit, I enjoyed my time with the audio book for this story. The narrator was excellent. However, at points in the story despite getting out my psychical copy it felt like I got a little lost. Now things did come back around but it was a little rocky there for a bit. Also the end of the book was when I really wanted things to continue. Without spoiling anything it felt like things were really heating up with the major event that just happened and now Eleanor was going to be making some major progress. One other thing I do want to mention is my love for each and every single character in this story. Each character had their own unique traits, talents, motives, etc.. They were really craved out and I loved it! I believe this is a stand alone but I would love to read whatever Rose writes next!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Was this review helpful?
What big teeth was a strange book. I enjoyed it and found it to be creepy, since there was a lot of moments where Elanor would witness some weird stuff. Overall the setting was goth esthetic. Won my copy via a giveaway.
Was this review helpful?
This fits squarely in the vein of body-creepy fairytale YA alongside people like Rory Powers and Melissa Albert, though it doesn't particularly stand out from the pack.
Was this review helpful?
This reads way more like an adult novel. I did not like the casual mention of all of the family members using one person as a love slave, nor that person's horrible acts prior to this.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for the arc!  This was a beautifully written story that will stay with me!  Had to order my own physical copy!
Was this review helpful?
A weird twist of southern gothic but with a fairytale mixed into one?? I think the characters can confuse someone but overall it was a nice story though confusing. I think the details and descriptions give more to the characters plot line but they were still unlikeable. The plot theme of family will always be with you is kind of terrible since Eleanor was treated so bad throughout it. I have a love hate towards this book.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book! It was not what I was expecting, which made it all the more fun to devour... no pun intended.
Was this review helpful?
Eerie and atmospheric, Rose Szabo's debut What Big Teeth immerses you in a world of intrigue and monsters. Eleanor Zarrin comes home after an incident at boarding school to find her family much the same but also vastly different from the memories she's had of them. Not sure whether to trust her family or her memories Eleanor begins to uncover the secrets of the Zarrin clan going back generations. Even with the guidance of a ghost and scrying in animal guts, Eleanor isn't sure she or the family can survive the reckoning coming their way.
Was this review helpful?
What Big Teeth is a Young Adult paranormal story that follows Eleanor, a girl who has spent the past several years separated from her family because her grandmother thought it was best to send her to school far away. She returns home without notice, needing to escape her school, and must try to find a way to fit together with her family again, who are not simply human, before everything falls apart.

The cover of this book is absolutely stunning and is what first peaked my curiosity of this 2021 release. I enjoyed the story just fine overall, but there were times when I felt disconnected from it and lost interest in the characters. Almost every character was very unlikeable in some way or another, and while that doesn't usually bother me in books, it just felt like too much here at times. I also got very confused by the time I started reaching the final pages and was ready to just see how Eleanor's story ended.

Thank you, NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, for the ARC of What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo!
Was this review helpful?
What Big Teeth delves into werewolf mythology as it stands apart from traditional fiction, creating a story of a girl struggling to find her place in her home.

Interesting
What Big Teeth is a fascinating debut novel, but the first half of the story takes some getting used to. Personally, after such a strong opening, I found the story’s pacing to be lackluster. It was not bad, but it was a struggle because it felt like much showing instead of telling.

Now, I say felt because as I was reading, I was seeing the story play out. There is much exposition to the storytelling, but it goes with the narrative that Szabo was building. What Big Teeth is a story about a girl sent away by her grandmother at a young age seeking refuge back home. However, unfortunately, Eleanor does not feel like she fits in anymore, which is relatable to the reader.

However, there is something sinister and captivating about the story. It did give off Addam’s family vibe, it was dark, mysterious, and cooky, and that is what drew me in ultimately. Intrigue is what kept me reading, especially once What Big Teeth introduces Grand’Mere. My need to unravel the mystery behind Eleanor hooked me.

Characterization
Now, while the story did give off Addam’s family vibes, it did lack the charm. I was reading the story for the story and not the characters. The problem is that the whole family dynamic lacked heart and Eleanor herself lacked substance, which is ironic.

Honestly, I just was not a fan. Everyone was cruel to one another, and I was not too fond of Eleanor’s grandmother, who did not welcome her home at all. Her sister and Rhys were vicious bullies, constantly doubting Eleanor and undermining her. To be blunt, they were awful to her. Eleanor is flawed, she makes mistakes that put the family in danger, but it is easy to understand why. The only person kind to her is Grand’Mere; she is the only one who shows her love and kindness, whereas everyone else dismisses her.

Final Thoughts
What Big Teeth was a struggle for me. It is unique, but the characterization fell short, and ultimately, I did not care for them; I only cared for the evolution of the story.
Was this review helpful?
I had a really hard time with this one. In my opinion the story started out slow, which made it challenging to becom invested in seeing the book through. Loved the premise for the book and will probably try to reread it again in the future to reevaluate my opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This was sooo good! I loved the story and the characters. It was so unusual and full of mystery. A myst buy for YA libraries!
Was this review helpful?
I was reading this to consider it for YALSA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list and, due to its length and the complexity of the story, I think it's not a good fit for that. But it's a very cool concept and book!
Was this review helpful?
This book was gorgeous and twisty and not at all what I expected. The characters were unique and interesting, their struggles even more so. I'm always a fan of an unreliable protagonist and Eleanor did not disappoint!
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited and intrigued by this premise, and that cover! But it didn’t feel like it was fully fulfilled, though I can’t quite put my finger on why.

You can definitely get the Addams Family vibe right away. Eleanor returns home to her family and the author makes no attempt to hide what they are — we’re immediately introduced to the werewolves as they come in from a romp through the woods, changing shape as they walk. This is a very odd family, and though they don’t have the humorous and loving personalities of the Addams, their standoffish, dangerous appearance set this up perfectly as an intense thriller.

Much of the mysterious aspect of the book comes from Eleanor’s poor memory of her family and life before she left for boarding school, including why she was sent away. The reader gets to try to put the pieces together as Eleanor does the same, though I found the pacing of these reveals a bit tedious. Eleanor is continually presented with hints of her story throughout the book but she ignores them or doesn’t press people further to ask questions.

And I think this slow reveal impacted my enjoyment of the climax and resolution of the book. The story isn’t at all rushed but because we progress so slowly, all the reveals felt crammed in at the end. There are many creatures besides werewolves that were introduced to throughout but we really only get glimpses of their abilities and powers at the end and I would’ve preferred to get to know them better. This crammed feeling may also be that there was just too much for one story and it didn’t come together well to form a coherent narrative..

I still enjoyed the book but the ending wasn’t satisfactory. I’m still interested in looking into this author’s future books, as this was their debut, but unfortunately What Big Teeth wasn’t a great read for me.
Was this review helpful?
This is a dark and twisty Gothic-type novel. I enjoyed it, but wish there was a sequel or even a prequel that explained the grandmother a bit more. It was almost like 2 stories or plotlines in one that didn't quite mesh. Overall, I enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?