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The Aussie Zombie

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Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz

I always thought a mermaid book would be a little too romanticised for me to actually like them. Memories of The Little Mermaid and a rash of mermaid books that were either loved or hated by the book blogging community had me feeling pretty jaded when I started reading.

It took me more than a few chapters to really get into the story and to want to know more about the characters, but once I was into it, the author's intense, almost erratic writing style really pulled me in.

Rudy is a difficult character to put into words, simply because he was so much of a contradiction. At one moment he was the doting older brother to Dylan, the next he was an aloof slightly odd teenager and I really couldn't predict where he was going next. But as the book progressed I started to like him more and more, and by the end, I really appreciated what Ms. Moskowitz was trying to do with him.

Teeth is a far more fascinating character, and his story is revealed gradually, and had me swinging from overwhelming compassion to morbid curiosity.

One character I didn't really connect with, and although I'll freely admit I may have missed something, nor see her real relevance to the story was Diana, although I enjoyed her passion for books, and the occasional bookish pop-culture reference that she bought into the story.

The plot itself is a mixture of magical realism and contemporary, and at times I almost believed that this could be a true story - an isolated, secret island where magical fish really do exist. At other times I felt like I was living in a dark fairy tale and it was a fantastic, if slightly overwhelming combination. There are some tender, poignant moments particularly towards the end of the book, where Rudy has to make some difficult decisions, and comes to realise that it's hard to balance family, friends and his own feelings.

World-building wise, I thought Ms. Moskowitz did a fairly good job in creating an isolated island community, the feeling of small-town gossip and secrets, although I did wonder how they managed to keep their secrets just so secret.

I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about this book, which I know is completely unhelpful, but I did like the intensity, the fact that it wasn't a cheesy, cliched romance and the fact that I was almost convinced the magical gay fish could actually be real. I'll definitely be checking out some more of Ms. Moskowitz's work because I enjoyed her style, and if you're looking for a unique, dark mixture of magical realism with a good dose of food-for-thought then I can certainly recommend Teeth.

Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie

Source: http://www.theaussiezombie.com/2012/12/review-teeth-by-hannah-moskowitz_22.html