BBAW: Forgotten Treasure
Contrary to what you might expect, I actually don't buy a lot of books these days. I used to be a serial book-buyer, but in the past few years I've really reined myself in due to dwindling bookshelf space and increasing financial responsibilities. When I do buy books, I tend to buy things that I've read and loved and want to eventually read again. But a few weeks ago, I went to Barnes & Noble with the intention of buying Alexa's book. I was feeling uncharacteristically flush since I'd found a leftover Christmas gift card in my purse, and on the way out, Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow caught my eye (the power of a flashy cover!). I was feeling fond of werewolves, having just finished Maggie Stiefvater's Linger, and the back-cover writeup was promising. I had Nico with me and he was rapidly turning into a pumpkin, so I bought it and then set it aside for a couple of weeks while I read other things.
When I did pick it up, I flipped it open and stopped to stare, stomach sinking. It's a free verse novel, as in poetry. And I don't do poetry, in general. I considered returning it, but I was on my way to work and didn't have another book handy to take to read on my breaks, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. The text reads as smoothly as prose, with an interesting crispness to it. The story takes place in LA and is populated with werewolves who can (and do) pass for dogs and can transform at will. The characters range from sweet dogcatcher Anthony and the girl werewolf he unwittingly falls in love with to calculating pack leader Lark to bridge cardsharks Cutter and Blue to surfer girl/wolf Annie to mysterious Mr. Venable and his associate Goyo (who reminded me strongly of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere). The story is sharp and at times violent, but ultimately I really enjoyed it. I must say, sometimes it can be satisfying to have one's first impression of a book proved so very wrong.
Don't forget to leave comments on my Monday and Tuesday posts for a chance to win Half Baked by Alexa Stevenson or Angels, Vampires & Douche Bags by Carla Collins!