review

ARC Review: What Big Teeth

WHAT BIG TEETH

ROSE SZABO

SERIES: Standalone

REPRESENTATION: bi/pan MC

GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Paranormal Horror

GOODREADS

WHAT BIG TEETH is a great new take on the monstrous family trope. A little like a queer, modernised The Addams Family. There’s lots of family secrets waiting to be unearthed and a nice gothic, outcast, out-of-time aesthetic.

The one thing I will say off the bat, is that I’m not sure I’d go so far as to label it horror, as it seems to be getting called. I’d say something more along the lines a darker paranormal? It’s definetly spooky with eerie Gothic aesthetics, but it just didn’t feel like capital H horror to me… But that’s getting a bit sematic. My point is, if you don’t like ‘scary’ horror, this could still be a good choice for you.

I particularly liked mysterious, handsome Arthur, and Eleanor’s not-so-warm-and-cuddly grandmother Persephone. The two both have secrets tied to the house and Eleanor’s present-day problems, and I really enjoyed watching Eleanor gradually chip away at the mysteries. No-one in the family is quite who you think they’ll be, and it’s interesting to uncover all the deeper purposes and hidden motivations.

There’s a lot going on in Eleanor’s family, and in her past. There are a lot of characters with a lot of secrets, and I found it a touch muddled in places (most likely my own fault, to be honest). Things came together towards the end, and I found it had a lot more emotional heart than I had initially expected.

I had one or two issues with pacing and resolution, but overall I really liked WHAT BIG TEETH and loved its Addams Family vibes. Dark family history meets haunted house mystery. Fab for spooky season, this deserves to be a Halloween hit.


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.

Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce gothic fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

6 thoughts on “ARC Review: What Big Teeth”

    1. I don’t think so. I think it’s far too dark for a cozy. It’s a hard one to pin down, but maybe closer to a YA True Blood? Maybe the darker side of supernatural, just not quite fully hitting horror?

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      1. Said “cozy horror” is A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, and so far I would have to agree with this genre label. It’s organized where each of its 31 chapters is a day in October, so I am reading one chapter per day this month so that I’m reading the chapter for the day. It’s really amusing so far—plus it has a dog protagonist, which is always fun.

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