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.
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.