I know that we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but really? When I saw this cover, I knew this was a book that I was going to want to read. And so I am very pleased to bring you my review of What Big Teeth by, Rose Szabo as part of the official blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
What Big Teeth
by, Rose Szabo
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: February 2nd 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Young Adult
Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut What Big Teeth is a dark, gothic fantasy YA novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.
Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.
Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together. In order to save them all Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.
Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce paranormal fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.
Rose Szabo is a nonbinary writer from Richmond, VA, where they live with an assortment of people and animals and teach writing at VCU. They have an MA in English from the University of Maine and an MFA in creative writing from VCU. Their work has been published in See the Elephant and Quaint magazines. What Big Teeth is their first novel.
What Big Teeth is a creepy book. And it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. From the initial description, I thought it would have more of a Munsters feel with Eleanor playing the part of Marylin Munster (the “normal” niece of the family) with a bit of a twist. There was SO much more to this story!
There is a lot going on in the Zarrin family. Everyone has some sort of paranormal-special-ness to them. (Yes, I’m not sure if that is a word, but I’m going with it anyway. Read the book and you will understand.) The townspeople know that there is something strange about the family and avoid them at any chance they get. And so the family has been in their big house at the edge of town all alone, getting weirder and wilder.
The only member of the family to leave is Eleanor and she’s not even really sure why she was sent away. She just knows that she is different from the rest of her family. When she is finally forced to come home, the story kicks in but the pace is slow, so settle in for a wild and sometimes confusing ride. It does all come together at the end, but you will be asking lots of questions along the way. Just stick with it. If you enjoy strange characters and horror-filled plots, What Big Teeth is for you.
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