When I saw the cover of What Big Teeth, I was instantly intrigued. Giving me Wilder Girls vibes, I was searching for something with that similar creepy atmosphere. What Big Teeth delivers a story about truth, trust, and treachery. Keep reading this book review to find out my full thoughts!
Eleanor Zarrin has been distanceed from her wild family for years. When she returns home after a violent incident at boarding school, trying to fit back into the space she left is harder than she thought. Eleanor is left to fend for herself within her family of monsters. But when a mysterious figure arrives at their family estate, she must find a way to overcome the monster invading her home or risk becoming a monster herself.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: miscarriage, homophobia
What Big Teeth was a book that captivated me with its dangerous and simmering atmosphere. It’s a world of death and betrayal and the necessity to be strong, because the weak don’t have a tendency to survive. From the very beginning, Eleanor threatens to unravel a family history that will test what she will do to protect herself and the family to the brink. What does it mean when we return home? When we have to reconcile why we left. What Big Teeth is populated with characters who have an edge to them. But just because they might be dangerous, does that mean they’re a danger to the family?
What Big Teeth explores our ideas of loyalty, family, and control. It’s hard to trust anyone in the book because even the reader can sense in their gut that no one is who they seem. That there are secrets lurking around corners, beneath the ground, and in the air. Sometimes we don’t want to question what we cannot believe is true. But other times the only way we will ever find closure, peace, or our future is to probe those sore spots. The theme that I enjoyed the most in What Big Teeth is the intersection between love and control.
We can believe that love is possession. That love is protection. That our love transforms into limitations we impose not for their good, but for our security. Control is not love. This had to be my favorite element of What Big Teeth that was so fantastically done in this book – in a way I cannot remember another book exploring. At the same time, What Big Teeth explores the ways that we can be different than what we expect, what our past suggests.