Unique and Gothic

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“I’ve been alone for so long that I can’t remember what it feels like to belong,”

What Big Teeth is YA gothic fantasy perfection. It’s dark and dreary and full of metaphors for love, loneliness, self worth, and relationships. I love how Eleanor and the Zarrin family are sort of revealed to us slowly and layer by layer. We meet werewolves, witches, and others surface level, but eventually learn a deeper story for most.

Eleanor is the main character for sure, and we follow her journey from fleeing her boarding school to trying to relearn her own family. She’s terrified of them, but she has nowhere else to go. It’s been years since she’s seen them, and they are monsters! “She’s nothing like them,” or is she?

This book for sure nails that spooky kooky gothic vibe. A gothic old house, a cast of monsters, ghosts, wary townspeople, and other things. There’s nothing light about this book in my opinion. It’s dark and sort of sad, and has its own unique vibe even if it’s reminiscent of other fictional monster families. Eleanor is trying to fit in with and have meaning in her family, and while doing so she’s putting them in boxes in her head that aren’t right. Eleanor sort of discovers who she is and what is right and what is wrong. I kind of wanted to shake her for most of the book, and tell her to open her eyes, but in the end I understood her and her journey a bit better.

There’s some mystery and some thrills, but simply put this story is just an entertaining YA gothic fantasy following a sort of creepy teen girl, trying to understand and fit into her seemingly mismatched family. I think that there are plenty of messages and deeper meanings in this story that people will be able to pull out and feel a connection to. I know I highlighted so many lines that just felt like they had deeper meaning than the context they were said in.

I’d say if you enjoyed the Addams Family films, and wish they were a little more emo, then you’ll LOVE this book. I did. Can’t wait to read more from this author.