What Big Teeth
by Rose Szabo
🛁🛁🛁🛁🛁 (five stars as rated in Eleanor’s mother’s bathtub)
What exactly is Eleanor Zarrin? Born into a family of *mostly* werewolves, one would think she’d follow suit. And yet, she has no fur or snout or shape-shifting ability to speak of. She is no witch like her aunt. Nor is she water dweller like her mother. In fact, no one at all seems sure of exactly what Eleanor is, least of all Eleanor herself. But she’s about to find out.
And my, oh my,
what big teeth she has…
What’s this, a Gothic horror novel with a twist on popular folk monsters?? Be still my beating heart because this is the book of my DREAMS! Y‘all, this book really goes places. The premise is completely brilliant and the execution of it was just….*chefs kiss.* When I finally put things together at the end… when I realized WHAT (or should I say whom?) Eleanor is supposed to be I felt so dang foolish for having overlooked it. But the pieces are laid out so brilliantly that the answer just isn’t terribly obvious! Bah. I loved it.
“My love is a haunted house, a ghost possessing his own body, a fire that burns itself alive. A light almost too bright to look at, but I forced myself to look as long as I could.“-Rose Szabo, What Big Teeth
✨ Rep in this book: Gay and bisexual characters, NB author
✨ Content warnings for this book: physical abuse, absent parent, death of an animal, arson, blood, gore, graphic depictions, bullying, murder, death of a child, homophobia, manipulation, toxic relationship, mind control, violence, mob mentality
About the Author: Rose Szabo
[Rose Szabo is a] Queer writer from Richmond, Virginia. Obsessed with horror, tabletop games, and material culture, particularly fashion. I’ve written some short stories about monsters and some essays about the intersection of gender, sexuality, and clothes. (Copied from the author’s personal website.)
Personal note: girl on gothic novels
I think the reason I loved this book so much is that it was a lot of what I wanted from Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia, but didn’t feel like I got. The two stories are unique and valuable, of course, in their own rights. Still, I found myself more satisfied by the end of What Big Teeth. And the “reveal” was a bit less expected. Then again, perhaps it is woefully unfair for me to go about comparing all contemporary Gothic novels like this? IN ANY CASE, I loved this book and would really like to see it get some attention.