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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Rudy┬┐s little brother has cystic fibrosis and is steadily going

    Rudy’s little brother has cystic fibrosis and is steadily going downhill. His parents find out about this remote island with fish that heal the sick so they up and move the family there. The island is full of mostly elderly people who must stay on the island in order to remain healthy. With only his little brother to keep him company, Rudy quickly grows bored. Things start to look up when he meets Diana, a reclusive girl about his age. Then he meets Teeth and suddenly, he has all the excitement he can take.

    Umm… I just… Where do I…? Okay, here goes: this book was weird. Not good weird, or even bad weird. Just weird. The characters were … unusual. Rudy was a typical older brother; he cared about his little brother and wanted to help him, but he was also angry over everything he’d lost in order for his brother to get better. The boy’s parents were singularly focused on making Dylan healthy, to the exclusion of their other son. Diana was reclusive because both she and her mother were hiding something from the island. She was very naiive and coy, but also very trusting. I think she was just lonely. Teeth, well, he was Teeth. Teeth was a half-fish/half-man who was targeted by the island’s fishermen because he tried to protect the fish that the islanders needed to eat. He was angry and shy and curious and protective.

    The plot was interesting enough. I liked the idea of the magical fish that could heal anyone. The fact that anyone who was sick must stay on the island as long as they wanted to stay healthy, effectively trapping them there for life, was creepy and interesting. The story of Teeth’s early life was sad and interesting. There were some definite high points in the book, like the friendship between Teeth and Rudy. It bordered on a romantic relationship, but it was never defined as one or the other. I felt that was realistic and honest, just like Rudy’s pseudo-relationship with Diana. Was it or wasn’t it? Did it really have to be named? The writing was easy enough to follow. The sentences followed more of a train-of-thought approach, as opposed to standard sentences. It worked in this story, though; it matched Rudy’s attitude perfectly.

    I was able to go along with the idea of magic fish and even a fish boy, until one point in the novel, about 2/3 of the way in. Something happened then that was so far out of left field, it pulled me right out of the story. It was the very definition of jumping the shark. From that point on, I had a hard time staying in the story. It just ruined the whole thing for me. If you’re curious about the particular scene, it is mentioned in several Goodreads reviews, feel free to seek those out.

    There is a lot of cussing and you see the aftermath of rape. Descripitvely.

    So many people praise this book on their blogs and on Goodreads, so I was surprised with my feelings for it. Perhaps I’m not cerebral or abstract enough to appreciate the writing? Either way, though I felt it was okay, I will not actively seek out any of Hannah Moskowitz’s other works.

    The sum up: While I appreciate the story telling and dialogue, I don’t think this author and I clicked.

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