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Rose Szabo

Author of What Big Teeth

2 Works 607 Members 36 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: via goodreads


Works by Rose Szabo

What Big Teeth (2021) 378 copies
We All Fall Down (2022) 229 copies


Common Knowledge




The cover of this book is what caught my eye as well as the description. As much as it pains me to say I was unable to finish this book. This isn’t a reflection on the author or the book itself as there are going to be many readers who will love this story. The prologue was amazing and I was drawn in and wanted to know more; however, the story wasn’t moving fast enough for my particular attention span. By the time I hit chapter 4 I was still confused by what was going on and rather than getting answers I was getting more and more confused. As previously mentioned there will be many readers who will enjoy this level of mystery and darkness it just ended up not being for me.

*Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the advanced reader copy.
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stephthebookish | 24 other reviews | Jul 28, 2023 |
Not so much review as notes:

This book feels like a good effort that needs a bit of experience. It lives way too much in its influences, and the desired gothic vibe gets bogged down in details. I did appreciate the exploration of siblings and the weight of family.

Too obvious, which makes it extra annoying when it's slow. Falls into the unfortunate trap of the narrator having to notice things to tell the reader, but then disregarding them. That's very hard to read. Imagine coming to an important realization that scares you, about the people around you, and then just deciding to have a bath because it's been a long day.

The metaphor of selves and true natures is pretty clunky.

I got the point early on and it was a slog to finish and see if anything unexpected developed. I guess what developed was... some homophobia, some plot holes, and unaddressed consent issues. Cool. I've been writing this review as I go and in the end I found this just frustrating and poorly written. Listen, I read some YA in middle school that wasn't well written, and I enjoyed it, so I guess I just should let the newer ones go.
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Kiramke | 24 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
My issue with the book is that I think it had too many sensitivity readers. I mean, if the author is really a racist transphobe than they should have doubled down on that and written a novel with their whole heart in it. I'm sure it would have been terrible for being a racist transphobic rant, but it probably would have been more interesting to read. BTW, I don't think the author is a racist transphobe. Reading the book, I got the impression that the author was one of those people that tried to think through everything in eight different ways without even questioning why they were trying to think through everything so much or question the ways they were thinking/were being told to think. Books are about feelings. Including the feelings of racist people. Yeah, a white woman, who goes by the name of Jack, who murdered her father for repeatedly raping her sister when she was a child, whose job is to act as muscle for a monster mob, falsely accuses a Black man of murder, only feels bad about it when she's caught doing it, and gets away with it. This happens in "real" life all the time. Well, a white woman falsely accusing a black man, feeling no guilt about it, and getting away with it does. Why shouldn't a book portray this reality? It certainly isn't held up as a "noble act." Yeah, Jack is the "hero" and she does get to have feelings, along with the monster, the maiden, and the king, and the witch, and random minor characters, but they are all reactive. She is a character devoid of thought about her own actions. She's a cop. Then there's this whole set of accomplice characters who do things and have things happen to them, like Jack's sister, who aren't portrayed as having feelings at all. And the weirdness about who has feelings and who thinks about/reacts to their feelings or has an emotional story outside of the fairytale story they're trapped in is just so uneven and, well, thoughtless, that I found it difficult to care about any of the characters.

Writer can write, though; real technical prowess in switching gender pronouns without causing confusion about which character is being referred to.

TLDR review: Writing is didactic but lesson is lost in performance of confused virtue signaling.
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claire.rivers | 10 other reviews | Apr 4, 2023 |
Betheblue | 24 other reviews | Jan 11, 2023 |



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