cover image Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth

Meg Grehan. Little Island, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-9150-7101-9

A lonely vampire named Immy falls for compassionate flower shop employee Claudia, a human, in Grehan’s (The Deepest Breath) layered, hopeful novel in verse. Immy has lived many lives, each time reborn as a new person; the voices of her former selves, none of whom she can remember clearly, clamor in the back of her mind. She and her chosen family, fellow vampires Henry and Freddie—who, like Immy and Claudia, read as white—drink blood because it is the only thing that soothes their past iterations. The voices in Immy’s mind make it difficult for her to maintain a coherent sense of self, causing her emotional distress and leaving her feeling disconnected from her body, while Claudia makes her feel whole. But when she begins craving Claudia’s blood, Immy spirals into self-loathing, conveyed via halting free verse that clearly communicates her self-doubt and desperation. By linking vampirism to themes of queer desire and community as well as repeating personal cycles, Grehan freshens an old trope, building both a central romance and lifetimes-long connections that are by turns realistically sweet and thorny. Ages 14–up. (May)