*This review contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read this novel and plans to*
What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
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.
What Big Teeth was a truly thrilling novel that had me trying to figure out every possible answer to the mysteries of Eleanor’s family. At first I was trying to sort out who in her family seemed to truly be “on her side”, but eventually I was thinking about who in her family didn’t have some small grudge against her. It was interesting to see how Eleanor would win some battles and then lose others in how she was trying to fit into this family that did not have a normal view on “what fitting in” generally means. I love how Rose Szabo incorporated Persephone’s pov when she was a ghost/spirit into the story instead of just showing things from Eleanor’s pov. Persephone’s pov provided a lot of insight on things Eleanor’s pov could not and seeing Persephone reminisce about her past cleared up a lot of otherwise open ends in the story. One thing that I really liked was how instead of making this novel about a love-struck girl trying to get the hot, misunderstood guy, the author made this about a girl truly trying to find herself while trying to keep her family intact.
Another thing I liked about this novel was how the author didn’t make Arthur and Eleanor end up together as a couple. That seemed like something an author could’ve potentially done to this story and it honestly would’ve ruined the novel. Eleanor did have feelings for Arthur and it did seem like Arthur had other feelings for her too, but in the end the author made it that the two of them went their separate ways so they could truly live the lives they wanted and needed. Maybe, if there ends up being another book, Arthur and Eleanor see each other again, but for now, I’m glad that did not happen in this particular novel.
Go Arthur, honestly. He’s going out in the world and actually experiencing life. He’s probably my favorite character out of everyone in this novel just because of this fact. He chose the path that was best for himself and his mental health and I honestly don’t think he would’ve been able to handle staying with the Zarrin’s after everything they did to him. So, once again, go Arthur.
In the end I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend this to anyone and everyone. It’s mysterious, engrossing, and creates the perfect eerie mood. I honestly think this is one of the books I would go back and reread to get out of a reading slump or just for fun.
Cover Art and Design:
Let’s take some time to also truly appreciate this cover art. I mean wow. This amazing cover art is by Corey Brickley and the design is by Aurora Parlagreco. I normally don’t talk about the cover art/design of the books that I read and I really want to change that.
- Hi 😀