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What Big Teeth


[A quick note: I am starting to realize that I need to read more gothic dark fantasy. Iโ€™ve never been one for the spooky stuff but both books Iโ€™ve read recently have got me rethinking my preferences. This debut was fantastic. And even cooler, the author lives in the same city as my older sister. Plus, isnโ€™t this cover just so cool?!]


โ€œ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐š ๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ, ๐ฐ๐จ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ. ๐Ž๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ž: ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ, ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ซ, ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ฒ.โ€


Tim burton meets Adamโ€™s Family in this gothic fantasy about confronting the darkness within. Estranged for years, Eleanor Zarrin flees her boarding school to return to her family home. She must face her monstrous relatives who prowl the woods at night and read fortunes from the guts of dead birds. When her grandmother suddenly dies, she is the only one who can hold them together. Especially when a threatening arrival wants to swallow them whole.


A gothic haunted manor, ghosts, the undead, werewolves, and a girl who wants to understand what she is. Thereโ€™s so much to love! This creepy book was exactly what I needed. It was fun, weird, and soaked with mystery. Rose Szabo writes to creates questions. Her style was perfect for this setting. Perfect for a story of discovery. I devoured this book in two sittings. I didnโ€™t want to put the book down.


I knew I was going to love this story from the first pages of the prologue. Iโ€™m not generally a gothic dark fantasy reader. I hate scary movies. Theyโ€™re too jumpy for me. I donโ€™t read horror or scary books either. But this book reminded me a lot of Horrid, which I read back in October. It has just the right level of creep factor. It wasnโ€™t as spooky-give-you-goosebumps as Horrid. But it still had that overall New England creepy gothic manor feel.


โ€œ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฅ๐. ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ž๐ณ๐ž๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ฎ๐ญ, ๐ก๐จ๐ฉ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ˆโ€™๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ข๐ง ๐›๐ž๐, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ˆโ€™๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐ฆ ๐š๐ญ ๐’๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ข๐โ€™๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฌ๐ก๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐š ๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง, ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐ง๐ž, ๐›๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆโ€™๐ ๐›๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฒ.โ€


I related with Eleanorโ€™s character immediately. When she arrives home, itโ€™s clear that the family is keeping secrets from her. She immediately feels like an outcast. She feels like no one wants her there. How many of us have had those feelings? The family dynamic, her internal conflict, and quest for answers about herself and those around her are all things that allowed me to connect with the story. Moreover, sheโ€™s struggling to confront something ghastly sheโ€™s responsible. The reason she fled the boarding school in the first place. This mistake follows her and she must face it to conquer her darkness. Her biggest struggle is wanting to be loved. She doesnโ€™t feel loved by anyone.


โ€œ๐ˆ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ข๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ข๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ: ๐ข๐ง ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ, ๐ข๐ง ๐š๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง, ๐ข๐ง ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐ซ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฎ๐ฉ.โ€

The plot was fast paced, well structured, and full of twists and turns. I had so much fun reading this story. It wasnโ€™t quite a five star for me, just because it doesnโ€™t have that complexity and layers. But it was absolutely enjoyable and I recommend it. Perfect for fans of Horrid, Tim Burton, Stephen King, and Adams Family. MY RATING: 4/5โญ๏ธ

A big thank you to Bookish First and Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan Publishing) for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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