Cover Image: What Big Teeth

What Big Teeth

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Eleanor runs away from her boarding school after an incident and returns to her family after not seeing them for 10 years. Her family lives in a small town, where there’s magic, wolves, and bizarre things happen. Eleanor struggles to find her place among her family after being away for so long, all while a mystery unfolds at her family’s residence. 

The story was a perfect fall Halloween read. It’s got creepy scenery, witches and wolves, gothic themes. The book depicts complicated family relationships and feeling like you belong. The atmospheric writing elevates the book and makes the character dynamics that much more real.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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What a crazy fun ride this story is! I was drawn in by the cover and then the blurb and I was hooked from page one. The story is full of mysterious actions, strange characters, and a bizarre intermingling of supernatural. The story was shocking in the best of ways, interesting and strange enough that I couldn't put id down. I was enthralled in the development and was determined to find out the families secrets. There is no way I could have ever guessed the outcome and that is what makes this story that much more fun to read. I was addicted to the twists and turns and had the most amazing time reading this story. I would highly recommended this to all readers, not just YA, who love strange, odd, gothic mystery and fun.  I received an ARC via NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and I am leaving my honest review.
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Talk about total book hangover! I was completely transported while reading this. I read it from start to finish in one day, just about one sitting and it is easily in my top three reads of 2020.

Reading this felt like luscious indulgence. It was gauzy and dreamlike and so hauntingly beautiful. In the beginning, I felt like I was on shaky, uneven ground. There were things just out of my grasp of understanding like I didn't have all the pieces to a complex puzzle. But, Szabo unveils all their mastery page by page, drawing you in and spitting you back out.

Eleanor is a young girl on the run from her all girls school. She did a bad thing and she is not running back home to the family that cast her out so long ago. Only now, she no longer fells like she belongs to these people or like they belong to her. They all belong to each other and she belongs nowhere. She had never been able to find her wolf, something that had come easily to her sister and cousin. And now that she is back, she is starting to remember more bits and pieces of her childhood with them... and how she was never really like them. She was different.

When a sudden death rocks the entire family soon after her return, Eleanor is tasked with looking after the family, but she is unsure how. She enlists the help of her Grandmere in France, but nobody else in the house is happy with the woman's company. Now, the house full of wolves are pushing back against Grandmere's assistance, believing her to be a very bad presence. But what is Eleanor supposed to do?

This was an absolutely stunning piece of writing. The Zarrin family is this incredible force to be reckoned with. They are all such strong presences and joining Eleanor in her journey to get to know them all again was truly a wonder. The creatures that Rose Szabo has created are some of the most marvelous characters I have ever encountered and I will definitely never forget them. These individual family members are so unique and so fascinating, but the family as a whole is this dynamic that is terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

Eleanor has to maneuver through what is the best and worst for her family, through secrets and hidden things she was never allowed to be privy to. And, she is also to learn her own strengths and the powers she beholds along the way. This book is truly magnificent and I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to read and early copy of it.
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An atmospheric, absorbing novel that will have readers turning page after page in anticipation! I found this title to be excellent for young readers who aren’t ready for Mexican Gothic-type stories. Highly recommended!
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Right up my alley! If you're a fan of dark YA titles this book is for you. We all are a little monstrous deep down and learning to tame ourselves can be complicated. Also, the cover is fantastic!
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First off I love this cover!!! Also I love the premise anc creepy vibe it gave off. I would have liked it to have went a different direction in certain parts because I found myself turned around and had to reread sections in order to make it flesh out better. Overall fun, spooky read.
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This is a strange and utterly fascinating little book. 

“What Big Teeth” finds Eleanor returning home from school following a vicious encounter with a classmate and she finds her family less than thrilled about the reunion. Feeling like an outsider in more ways than one she hopes to reconnect with the grandmother who sent her away and find a family that accepts her but soon she finds that should should be careful what she wishes for as too much love and attention can consume you. 

I have to start by saying for the first half I had no idea what was going on and for the back half I made sense of it while also still being very confused but in a way that left me wanting to read and find out more rather than being frustrated. 

This book almost has like a creature horror novel Seanan McGuire feel to it which I absolutely loved. We are given wolves and witches and something darker all in the backdrop of something to the tune of We Have Always Lived in the Castle and it worked together beautifully. The dynamics between the family and the few outsiders allowed within the walls was so complicated and twisted and you could see how the town would fear them and at the same time be willing to accept an invitation for dinner and I think balancing the strangeness and Eleanors real struggle to belong was managed perfectly. 

There’s so much I would love to say about this book but it would be like unraveling thread and spoiling absolutely everything but I absolutely recommend this book and I look forward to anything and everything the author chooses to write next!

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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3.5/5 Stars. 

I managed to read this strange and interesting YA horror novel in a single sitting. It hooked me and was such a unquie novel.
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This was an incredible, strange, Gothic, monstrous book, and I LOVED it.

Beneath all the strange is a story about family, relationships, and love. Now pump up that story with some crazy drugs, add in some old-timey Victorian Gothic themes, and pop in some of the coolest monsters, and you've got this book. Werewolves, void monsters, weird water-reliant half human folks, ghosts, witches, reading entrails -- this book literally has it all. All the while, grandmothers are very proper, manners are subjective, and not eating your family is a given. ALSO, Eleanor, the main character, can't remember what her family and home were like before she left for boarding school 8 years prior, so that's cool.

I just can't say enough good things about this read. If you enjoyed "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," you'd probably enjoy this. If you enjoyed the strangeness of "Bunny," you might enjoy this book. I found myself having dreams in this fictional world for the couple of days I'd been reading it, and I wish it wasn't over!
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This was an odd and bizarre book.  My colleague loves this cover and I was intrigued because there isn't anything else other like it. The start of it was very creepy and interesting but I lost interest about half way through it. 
I don't know whether it was because the characters didn't flesh out enough for me or the plot took so long to gel that I gave up caring, which is a shame because at the start the hair on my neck stood up and I was very intrigued by the horror feel of the story.
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Paranormal fiction. The Zarrins were to be feared; townspeople avoided them at all costs. So, when Eleanor returned unannounced from boarding school, she wasn't surprised to hear the murmurs and see the nudges around her. But she was determined to stay whether her grandmother wanted it or not. Eleanor needed to know who she really was; her family was holding all the secrets. But was she really ready for the ugly truth of it all?! Overall, a good read; a different spin on the unnatural.
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I don't know that I've read a book quite like What Big Teeth before, and I say that as an incredible compliment. Szabo provides such a unique voice for Eleanor and her family, and the gothic atmosphere lends to an eerie feeling throughout the duration of the book. I hope this is also released as an audiobook, because I would love to hear a narrator enacting the voices of the Zarrins. Part mystery, part low-key horror, and a werewolf story without falling into arguably any tropes, I was uncertain with how I would enjoy What Big Teeth, but it's one of my favorites coming out in 2021 so far!
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I loved the cover but must say I'm not a fan of the book. It was just a very confusing book, just seemed like the author was throwing in random thing in the book to try to make it interesting. It was too strange for me. Was very disappointed by this book.
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...
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... What an utterly bizarre book. Like, without a doubt, probably the oddest thing I've read all year.

I dipped into this expecting a dark horror, especially given that fabulous cover. However, while the first few pages held some absolute god-tier haunted house imagery, things got weird pretty quick. The best word that comes to mind when I think about this book: kooky. A creepy, kooky, quirky story. Once I figured out that this was more The Addams Family than anything else, things made a lot more sense. This is very much, for the first half, at least, a family of monsters going about their day to day lives in the wake of a family loss.

Zarrin family roll call! We've got Eleanor, who has come back after years away. She seems to be the normal one of the bunch, but something isn't quite right. Then we've got the wolves: dad, grandpa, sister and cousin to Eleanor. They are shapeshifters who are terribly impolite and get into more scraps than should be acceptable. Mother spends all her time in bathtubs, which keeps the polyps on her body in control. Grandma is a witch, dabbling in fortune telling and poisonous plants. Auntie is a huge, silent woman who handles the cooking and cleaning, and Arthur is a family friend. Always around when you need him and never eating or aging. 

As far as main characters go, Eleanor was a bit of a tough pill to swallow sometimes. In some instances she came across as kind of ... naïve? Of course, you have to consider her history when you judge her. Her grandmother sent her away to boarding school for eight years. She wasn't allowed to come home during holidays, and she wrote a hundred letters without receiving a single response. Then she comes back home and no one is particularly warm to her. So when you take all that in, no one can exactly blame her for believing every word of the one character with the flashing neon sign above her head saying Don't Trust Me. She has the best interests of her family at heart, and she latches onto the chance to be able to take care of them after so long away, but it often came across as too try-hard. Honestly, as far as main characters go, I am rather indifferent to her.

The plot felt like it took a long time to ground itself and get onto the right path. The inciting incident for this story is when Eleanor witnesses her grandmother's death, but the implications it has don't seem to be felt until much later. Even at the halfway mark, I still wasn't sure on where the narrative was going, since we just kept turning up more secrets that never seemed to amount to much. It was still engaging, but in hindsight it wasn't all that interesting, especially when the main character keeps being shoved aside. 

The love interest situation was really just a cause for concern. Or bewilderment. We are given very little of a handle on Arthur throughout. We're unclear on his age, his height, his appearance. All we know is he has smoky glasses and half of the family is in love with him. No, I'm not kidding. On top of Eleanor being interested in Arthur, her sister, cousin and father all chase after him. It's explained later on, but it just made the weird even weirder. 

I've written this review out and I still don't know if I've given this the right words. Was it so weird it was good? Or absolutely awful? Instead, we'll land smack dab in the middle.
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Excellent creepy mystery, filled with werewolves, witches and other indescribable things. At its core, the story follows Eleanor, a young woman returning from boarding school to a family that doesn't seem to accept her return. The first third of the story pulls the reader in as Eleanor questions what her family is and her place within it, but the middle slows down just a touch. I got to the point where I was beginning to feel a bit like I was spinning my literary wheels when the story picked up and led to an action-packed conclusion. The book is filled with beautiful prose so the reader can easily recreate the setting and family in their mind's eye, but never tips over the thin line into hyperbole. Perfect book for a pre-Halloween read.
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When Eleanor flees her boarding school to go home, she starts to see how strange her family really is. And Eleanor is more than a bit weird herself. Things really get out of hand when her Grandmere comes from France to lend a hand. This book is definitely a walk on the weird side and takes a while to unfold--but weird can often mean wonderful, and this one falls into that category. At heart, it's about family and finding ones own path, no matter the obstacles. I enjoyed this book very much.
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What a wonderfully eerie and odd book.  It gives all the vibes a of Shirley Jackson novel - that feeling where you have an idea of what may be going on, while simultaneously having no idea, and then there is the big reveal.  Each of the characters are unique and nuanced.  None more than the novel's main character, Eleanor.  Her naiveté is charming and adds much to the mystery surrounding her circumstances.  In addition to Eleanor, the rest of the characters are also vividly drawn and fascinating.  You can't help but be enthralled by the dynamics of this family and each of the characteristics that makes them interesting.  Also, I love the way Szabo treats these oddities as if they're not unusual, it flows so nicely with the narrative and adds much to the storytelling.

I think this is a book that horror lovers will definitely enjoy but it also does a fantastic job of not alienating those who may be new to the genre.

A worthy purchase for all YA collections.
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I've never read a book quite like What Big Teeth, where every mystery remains mysterious even after the reader (and the narrator) has the answers. What Big Teeth is set somewhere in America, where the mysterious and dangerous Zarrins live in a house on a hill overlooking a small town. Eleanor, the family's youngest and long-estranged daughter returns home from boarding school, searching for her place in a family where she feels unwelcome. What unfolds is a combination haunted-house/werewolf/witchcraft/family drama story overflowing with mystery, tension, and genuine frights. Szabo's writing maintains a darkly poetic, almost sickening quality that especially suits her to the horror genre, while maintaining a theme of identity, family, and love. Overall, What Big Teeth is a book I would like to re-read if only to understand it further. It's a YA with depth, heart, and darkness.
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This novel is delightfully eerie, and I'm so glad that I had the chance to read this in October as this is definitely a perfect Halloween read.  Really, it's a wonderful read for any time of the year, provided you enjoy twisting tales of horror and darkness, of family and magic and change (I certainly do).

At the outset of the novel, Eleanor has not spoken to her family in years.  She has been attending a girl's boarding school, run by nuns, which immediately raises questions of why she was sent away and why she is now returning home.  Her family we very quickly learn are all quite different and much of the novel focuses on Eleanor's feeling of being different, an outsider, and abandoned.  Eleanor does the best she can with the information that she has and she tries hard to correct past mistakes and grow.  So much of the novel is about Eleanor wanting; wanting to know what she is and who she is and where she comes from.  It's easy to relate to her feelings of abandonment and casting off, and to empathize with her when she makes bad choices.  Her choices may not be the best, but she's working through incomplete information.  I loved some of the characters we were introduced to, especially Arthur and Grandma Persephone, although I would have liked to learn more about Eleanor's other family members, especially Luna and her mother.  There are times when I found myself wanting more information that never came, although I don't necessarily think that that's a bad or unintentional choice.  Some of the answers we don't get are to the most provocative questions; I need to be intentionally vague here because I actually think that the less you know going in the more you'll enjoy the story unfolding.  

This novel was one of the oddest books that I've read in a long time and I absolutely mean that in a positive way.  4.5/5 stars.
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Ugh. Too much going on. Most of it borders on incoherent. 
Plot is slooooooow which really impacts the story. It just felt like it was trying too hard. 


I might consider a 3 star rating with time but for now I’m regretting spending my reading time on it.
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