In an unsettling story with elements of magical realism, Rudy's younger brother is dying from cystic fibrosis, so his family moves to an island hoping he can be cured by eating the "magic fish" that swim there. But the island hosts another enigma: lonely Rudy meets a half human, half fish. This "fishboy" calls himself Teeth, likes to bite, and pulls stunts to protect the fish that he considers his "siblings." Rudy feels deeply for Teeth, but their uneasy friendship causes complications, too, especially when Teeth's fish-saving missions endanger Rudy's brother and push the island's brutal fishermen to seek revenge. The moody setting and singular premise are captivating, but Rudy's sometimes overwrought narration ("I wish we would all just fall apart so I wouldn't have to listen to the downfall happen, so slowly, so painfully") and the book's pervasive sense of dread can be taxing. Moskowitz (Gone, Gone, Gone) addresses challenging themes about family, loyalty, and human isolation, but readers may be too drained by the troubling events to fully explore them. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, FinePrint Literary Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013 Release date: 01/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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