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Alluring Reads

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Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.Over the last couple of months I have heard lots of raving about Hannah Moskowitz’s writing. Most of my Goodreads friends have read and highly recommend Gone, Gone, Gone as one of their favorite reads of 2012. But my first foray into Mokowitz territory was with Teeth. Now, I went into this novel expecting a gritty, raw contemporary that would punch me in the gut and send me home to cry and it feels weird to sit down after having read it and say that I did get exactly what I wanted, but in a way I could have never imagined.Rudy and his family move to a remote island for the sake of his little brother who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Rumor has it that the Enki fish, which roam the water in plenty, are magic fish that keep even the sickest person alive. Once on the island Rudy becomes incredibly lonely as he is the only person living on this island who is 16, or even close too. He takes to running and doing errands for his mother every week, and one day while out and about he stops an attack on what appears to be a half fish/half boy being. Now, at this point I was pretty shocked (looking back I probably shouldn’t have been, going by the scale riddled cover… oh and the ever predominant fish hooks) but I had no idea there would be a paranormal element at work here. I was completely lost in this tale and I still came out feeling like I had read one of the rawest contemporaries ever. This story didn’t feel fantastical to me at all, and I fully attribute that to how awesome Rudy and Teeth were as characters.Rudy was a sixteen-year-old boy and he felt like just that. He had dirty thoughts and he cussed… a lot. Not only was his dialogue chalk full of f-bombs but his inner dialogue was riddled with it as well. And that felt incredibly real to me, and it brought him to life in my mind and made him into someone that I felt I could know personally. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of swearing in novels, but to me that’s how teenagers talk and I want realism in the stories I read. Rudy starts off as someone who is lost in his new life on the island; he has thrown himself into his drawing, running and just generally being there for his brother but he really has nothing else going on. After he meets Teeth he really opened up about how he was feeling and he let himself go. Teeth was a strange entity for me. He annoyed the hell out of me and so often I wanted to reach into the novel and shake him as he threw himself in harms way, but by the end I loved him. He had the ultimate shit hand dealt to him and he was doing his best to take the lemons that were thrown at him and make lemonade. His territorial need to protect the Enki fish on the island was admirable and it led to him also feeling incredibly real to me (even though he was a fishboy.)That was the most surprising thing to me; it had one of the most fantastical characters I have come across and yet it still felt as if I was reading a contemporary novel. It dealt with things that were ugly, painful and scary and it didn’t shy from them at all. It embraced the ugliness, not glossing over the most painful of details, and it came out beautifully. I think Moskowitz’s writing is definitely deserving of the resounding raving it has received and I will be devouring anything by her that I can get my hands on. A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.