Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published: January 1st, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary
My Rating: ★★★★★
A gritty, romantic modern fairy tale from the author of Break and Gone, Gone, Gone.
Be careful what you believe in.
Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.
Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.
I don't recall how I found out about this book, but I do remember how positively it was talked about. I don't think I would've picked it up otherwise. Actually, I was ready to remove it from my TBR list/pile but decided to give it ago. Even then ..... the first few chapters were a bit boring and it felt like the plot was going nowhere, but then it quickly drew me in and I couldn't help but fly through it in a few hours. I now know that I'll be thinking about the story and it's characters for a very long time. This is kind of hard to review since it's so good and I don't know where to start or even how to express myself.
Things I Liked:
1. The Plot. The Goodreads synopsis sums up the plot pretty clearly and nicely. Even though the sick-dying-children-plot is a bit overdone these days. The story wasn't really about the sick boy, Dylan, but this what got Rudy to the island.
1. The Theme. The theme is definitely my favorite part. It always is. When reading a book I always like to feel like I'm not only being entertained, but also learning at the same time,, whether I'm seeing myself in other characters, or just exploring human beings and their emotions and outlook on life in general. I really enjoy how Hannah Moskowitz can realistically discuss family, trust, compassion, sacrifice, and love all in a fantasy novel. I also greatly respect the author for successfully writing a young adult book that's almost completely romance-free.
2. The Characters.
Rudy: The main character.
Dylan (Rudy's brother) and his parents: They were probably my least favorite characters.
Teeth: The island's lonely (and quite angry) merman (mermaid man?).
Diana (the only other teenager on the island) and (her mother) Ms. Delaney: Islanders whose family discovered the magical healing fish. Diana is housebound by her over-protective mysterious mother. Her mother wasn't my favorite but I would've liked to have known what ran through her head. To describe the characters in just one word I'd say RAW. They can't get any more real than the perfect way in which they're portrayed. They were original and interesting.
3. The Setting. The book is set on an island, but the author didn't really describe the setting in too much depth. However, it seemed to be a sparsely populated, slightly desolate place. (The perfect place for me).
4. The Feels. Overall, it was a sweet and sour read. It gently broke my heart (not a bad thing), but all the other happy moments definitely made up for it.
Who Do I Recommend This To: Everyone, but mostly to mature teenagers, since it has a lot of hidden messages that make the book worthwhile.