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From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love If she's being honest, Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love If she's being honest, Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, unknowable boy who resists her every attempt to bond with him. Uncertain in her own feelings about motherhood, she tries her best--driving, cleaning, cooking, prodding him to finish projects for school--while growing increasingly resentful of Monika, her confident but absent wife. As Samson grows from feral toddler to surly teenager, Sammie's life begins to deteriorate into a mess of unruly behavior, and her struggle to create a picture-perfect queer family unravels. When her son's hostility finally spills over into physical aggression, Sammie must confront her role in the mess--and the possibility that it will never be clean again. Blending the warmth and wit of Arnett's breakout hit, Mostly Dead Things, with a candid take on queer family dynamics, With Teeth is a thought-provoking portrait of the delicate fabric of family--and the many ways it can be torn apart.


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From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love If she's being honest, Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love If she's being honest, Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, unknowable boy who resists her every attempt to bond with him. Uncertain in her own feelings about motherhood, she tries her best--driving, cleaning, cooking, prodding him to finish projects for school--while growing increasingly resentful of Monika, her confident but absent wife. As Samson grows from feral toddler to surly teenager, Sammie's life begins to deteriorate into a mess of unruly behavior, and her struggle to create a picture-perfect queer family unravels. When her son's hostility finally spills over into physical aggression, Sammie must confront her role in the mess--and the possibility that it will never be clean again. Blending the warmth and wit of Arnett's breakout hit, Mostly Dead Things, with a candid take on queer family dynamics, With Teeth is a thought-provoking portrait of the delicate fabric of family--and the many ways it can be torn apart.

30 review for With Teeth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Arnett

    Leaving a review for my own book LOL! Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of you reading!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ron Charles

    Kristen Arnett’s new novel, “With Teeth,” is the perfect baby shower gift for someone you hate. Absolutely captivating and scathingly frank, it’s a story of motherhood stripped of every ribbon of sentimentality. Arnett conjures up the disturbing mixture of devotion and alienation endured by anyone raising a child they don’t understand, don’t even like. And at its heart, “With Teeth” explores the way parenthood exacerbates our own vulnerabilities and delusions. The novel opens in Orlando, with a mo Kristen Arnett’s new novel, “With Teeth,” is the perfect baby shower gift for someone you hate. Absolutely captivating and scathingly frank, it’s a story of motherhood stripped of every ribbon of sentimentality. Arnett conjures up the disturbing mixture of devotion and alienation endured by anyone raising a child they don’t understand, don’t even like. And at its heart, “With Teeth” explores the way parenthood exacerbates our own vulnerabilities and delusions. The novel opens in Orlando, with a moment of ordinary tedium and extraordinary terror: Sammie leaves her son, Samson, alone on the swing for just a moment while she throws away his half-eaten lunch. When she turns back around, a man is walking out of the playground holding Samson’s hand. She runs, she jumps a fence, she screams, but no one seems to hear her — not even her son. “Samson just stood there beside him,” Arnett writes. “She could see the man’s lips moving, but she couldn’t make out any of the words. Her son, quiet all day every day, looked up at the man and smiled. Actually smiled. Full-on toothy grin.” That smile hurts because the boy never smiles at Sammie. Indeed, her only reward for saving her son from abduction is. . . . To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    Though it starts with a lot of action, this isn't a plot book. It's a character study and a very good one, which also makes it hard to read a lot of the time. But by the end of the book you know Sammie so well that you can see her situation clearly. Maybe not all that much about Sammie has changed by the time the book is over, but as a reader your view of everything in Sammie's life changes a lot. This change in perspective actually makes it hard to write about! The story I would have told you e Though it starts with a lot of action, this isn't a plot book. It's a character study and a very good one, which also makes it hard to read a lot of the time. But by the end of the book you know Sammie so well that you can see her situation clearly. Maybe not all that much about Sammie has changed by the time the book is over, but as a reader your view of everything in Sammie's life changes a lot. This change in perspective actually makes it hard to write about! The story I would have told you early on about what this book is and the story I would tell you now are quite different and I wonder which one is more useful to someone who hasn't read it yet. Sammie is unhappy, that's true no matter how you look at it. She's married to a woman, Monika, but they have that relationship structure common to a lot of strained straight marriages where Monika is the breadwinner and Sammie has stayed home and put her career aside to care for their son Samson. Sammie has lost herself in this caretaker role, which is a problem for many reasons, chief among them that Sammie is not much of a caretaker. She finds herself more and more alienated from Monika and more and more baffled by her son. We jump through time, from when Samson is quite young to when he's a teenager, and even though problems arise and Sammie tries to deal with them, you start to realize that nothing ever actually seems to change. Sammie is absolutely frustrating in basically every scenario. As a reader all you want her to do is just tell people how she feels, be honest and open, to make a little effort, but Sammie is very determined not to do any of these things. The parenting scenes in particular made me cringe nonstop. Is Samson a messed up kid, maybe even sociopathic? Perhaps. But does Sammie handle any situation well? That's a no. And yet, you cringe because it's familiar. Because people get stuck in their marriage and stuck in their parenting and Sammie is someone you recognize. This is a very queer novel that is not about being queer and does not have much by way of queer suffering. (There are references to Sammie's evangelical childhood and her estranged relationships with her parents.) While Monika and Sammie's marriage flounders in a way that's familiar, the way they deal with it is very queer, and that rings true for me. For me, Sammie was very relatable, as I am also a technically femme queer pushing middle age who doesn't fit into any of the categories femme queers are supposed to fit into. I admit to being frustrated with this book sometimes because I just wanted Sammie to get herself together. But once you have that full picture, especially with its little gutpunch of an ending, you see that Arnett has been doing more than you realized all along. The longer I sit with it, the more I like it. Though it's so stressful to read that it's a lot easier to enjoy it when it's no longer stressing you out. No real content warnings here though at one point Sammie responds to her child with not just force but (mild) violence. For parents or would-be parents, this can feel like a horror novel sometimes, a vision of your kid becoming a possibly terrible person you do not recognize at all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mitch Loflin

    One, this book is so fucking stressful (not a criticism, just a thought), two, why did no one ever tell me they made spicy Funyuns? How long have they made spicy Funyuns???

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book tells the story of a woman's journey as a mother and partner in central Florida. Neither her son nor her marriage have turned out how she expected them. The first person narrative has a strong voice and is punctuated by occasional glimpses into the perspectives of strangers which, without fail, completely diverge from the narrator's assumptions of how others see her or the situations. At times this book was frustrating. The chardonnay-loving mom cliche and climatic screaming match were This book tells the story of a woman's journey as a mother and partner in central Florida. Neither her son nor her marriage have turned out how she expected them. The first person narrative has a strong voice and is punctuated by occasional glimpses into the perspectives of strangers which, without fail, completely diverge from the narrator's assumptions of how others see her or the situations. At times this book was frustrating. The chardonnay-loving mom cliche and climatic screaming match were especially eyeroll inducing, and occasionally while reading I just wanted to scream do better. Superficially this book presents as a story of a woman who is dissatisfied with her life. However, this dissatisfaction isn't accompanied by any critical analysis of the world or thoughtful introspection. She is simply tired and wants everything to be easier. This book would have benefited from some widening of context while decreasing scope. The story takes place over 18 years with few meaningful encounters beyond the familial unit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liv

    I've been holding off on this review for a week because I do not know how to talk about this book!!!! So here's a bulleted list of my thoughts-- - I couldn't stop reading it. - I still don't know if I liked it? - But as soon as I finished I immediately wanted to reread. - So then I was like, I guess that means I liked it. - But is it really necessary to like a book? I mean, why is that the most important question here? Why am I boiling the messiness of this novel down into a question with a simple I've been holding off on this review for a week because I do not know how to talk about this book!!!! So here's a bulleted list of my thoughts-- - I couldn't stop reading it. - I still don't know if I liked it? - But as soon as I finished I immediately wanted to reread. - So then I was like, I guess that means I liked it. - But is it really necessary to like a book? I mean, why is that the most important question here? Why am I boiling the messiness of this novel down into a question with a simple yes/no answer? - Like I said, it's compulsively readable. It's nothing like I expected it to be -- it's way darker and fast-paced and covers a lot more ground than I anticipated. I think I expected this to be about two moms and their kid over the course of like, a month or two. But it's so much more than that. - I'm kind of furious at how well that Flannery epigraph works. It's not even what the epigraph SAYS, it's just that it's Flannery O'Connor and no one but Kristen Arnett has made me feel as squirmy and ambiguous as Flannery makes me feel. Quoting her at the start should have told me everything I needed to know about this book. The only book I've had a harder time parsing my thoughts/feelings for is Wise Blood. - I loved the introspection Sammie gets into re: evangelicalism and queerness. And evangelicalism and parenting. I'm queer and exvangelical, but I'm not a parent, but I am dating a queer exvangelical parent, so it was really interesting to read that specific take on it. I've said it once and I'll say it again: I am desperate for a book of KA nonfiction. [Edit after 2nd read] - Still do not know what to do with Samson!!!! Sammie's thinking is super ableist in a lot of places, that was difficult to read, but this time through I was able to lean into the characters a little better than the first time, and I just...really appreciate how fucked-up they are. They made me so goddamn uncomfortable, and I'm trying to sit in that discomfort. - TL;DR -- this book tied me in knots and I really fckin enjoyed it. Thank you, Kristen Arnett, for the domestic horror novel I didn't know I needed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Alonso

    Kristen Arnett's sophomore novel doesn't disappoint. While both are excellent, On a personal note I loved With Teeth more. I think there's sometimes an impulse to make queer characters 'good,' by which I mean boring and performing good, like they're upstanding citizens. I'm thrilled this story is concerned with messy characters and how complicit they own problems. It's a character study about loneliness and personal failure and how complicated relationships between loved ones can be. Kristen Arnett's sophomore novel doesn't disappoint. While both are excellent, On a personal note I loved With Teeth more. I think there's sometimes an impulse to make queer characters 'good,' by which I mean boring and performing good, like they're upstanding citizens. I'm thrilled this story is concerned with messy characters and how complicit they own problems. It's a character study about loneliness and personal failure and how complicated relationships between loved ones can be.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Our narrator is Sammie, a stay-at-home mom who is married to a successful business woman. Their relationship is strained from the outset. Sammie is resentful. Resentful of the fact that she is the one stuck at home dealing with the day-to-day struggles. Resentful of her wife Monika and her ready excuses and her absence. Resentful of her son. At times she feels like she hates him. Feels like he hates her. At times she fears him. Samson is a handful and whatever the situation is it's more than jus Our narrator is Sammie, a stay-at-home mom who is married to a successful business woman. Their relationship is strained from the outset. Sammie is resentful. Resentful of the fact that she is the one stuck at home dealing with the day-to-day struggles. Resentful of her wife Monika and her ready excuses and her absence. Resentful of her son. At times she feels like she hates him. Feels like he hates her. At times she fears him. Samson is a handful and whatever the situation is it's more than just teenage angst. I don't know if Samson is on the Autistic/Asperger's scale or if he's some type of sociopath or if Sammie's instability has fed his dysfunction. Cleverly, Arnett inserts little snippets of view that allow us to see other people's perspectives of events. This way we can see the contrast between Sammie's version of events and how the rest f the world sees her. Sometimes they see her as this poor fragile woman who needs their help. Other times they just don't like her and would rather deal with Monika. But one thing is clear - Sammie is depressed and she is struggling to hang on. With Teeth is organized into sections named for the seasons. It takes place over many years so this is a metaphorical reference. But once you read the ending you realize that the book has come full circle. We are brought back to the terror of that opening scene. For those of you who have read Samanta Schweblen's Fever Dream you will be reminded of the "rescue distance". If you are compelled as I was to turn back the pages and start from the beginning again, you will realize that we readers had been forewarned. "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Connor Powerful book and stunning ending!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Weston

    This is a brutal book. Hard to read if your life is remotely stressful. It will raise your blood pressure. The protagonist Sammie's life is so terrible, and it just hits her while she's down over and over and over for nearly 300 pages. You think it can't get any worse. She's this completely lost person, and to me, there's no arc or redemption or anything, which maybe that's fine, but there's nothing different from the first page to the last, no growth. I read 123 pages and then skimmed the rest, This is a brutal book. Hard to read if your life is remotely stressful. It will raise your blood pressure. The protagonist Sammie's life is so terrible, and it just hits her while she's down over and over and over for nearly 300 pages. You think it can't get any worse. She's this completely lost person, and to me, there's no arc or redemption or anything, which maybe that's fine, but there's nothing different from the first page to the last, no growth. I read 123 pages and then skimmed the rest, and it didn't get interesting until TWENTY pages from the end. I really love Kristen Arnett so much, but I don't know the point of this book other than giving me angst. I guess it made me grateful that I don't have Sammie's life. But I sort of wish I hadn't read this one at all. I'm really disappointed. I still really love Arnett, and you should follow her on social and read her debut "Mostly Dead Things" instead.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Makenzie

    This is an absolute masterclass in writing self-delusion and unreliability. So, so good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tori Allen

    What the hell was that????

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Kumari

    This very queer and very Florida book is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying in its depiction of domestic chaos. Also the author is hot.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Sylvestre

    It’s been a while since I read a book that I truly couldn’t put down. Overall I think I enjoyed Mostly Dead Things more, but I loved reading about the messy lives of a queer family. We need more of that. Loved the ending, too.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    Sammie is trying her best, but she feels a bit insecure in her life. Her son Samson is moody and distant. Her wife Monika is beautiful and charismatic and seems less than involved in her family's life. Sammie grapples with how to be a good mother and wife and remembers her younger days when she was the pretty one. As Samson gets older, he gets more aggressive and Sammie has to reconcile what role her parenting may have played in him lashing out. This was a brilliant read. Sammie is definitely a Sammie is trying her best, but she feels a bit insecure in her life. Her son Samson is moody and distant. Her wife Monika is beautiful and charismatic and seems less than involved in her family's life. Sammie grapples with how to be a good mother and wife and remembers her younger days when she was the pretty one. As Samson gets older, he gets more aggressive and Sammie has to reconcile what role her parenting may have played in him lashing out. This was a brilliant read. Sammie is definitely a flawed character and this is a view into her life from her perspective. We get to experience her desires and insecurities. As a parent, I can relate to her concern and doubt about parenting. Who hasn't been afraid they aren't being a good enough parent?? The book explored the dynamics in a queer family and how they may differ from those of a cookie-cutter family....and then things get a little twisted... :D Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!

  15. 5 out of 5

    reading is my hustle

    this is one of those novels where it's hard to say i liked it but i wouldn't have wanted to stop reading it. it's a stunner. (view spoiler)[ as an aside, the title is brilliant & refers to a biting incident that will leave many readers reeling. it's the first of many shocking scenes in the book between samson & sammie (hide spoiler)] . it's always difficult to watch someone flailing & doing a spectacular job at it (but) family life can be complicated & arnett highlights it here in devastating det this is one of those novels where it's hard to say i liked it but i wouldn't have wanted to stop reading it. it's a stunner. (view spoiler)[ as an aside, the title is brilliant & refers to a biting incident that will leave many readers reeling. it's the first of many shocking scenes in the book between samson & sammie (hide spoiler)] . it's always difficult to watch someone flailing & doing a spectacular job at it (but) family life can be complicated & arnett highlights it here in devastating detail. though much of with teeth is uncomfortable & disturbing it depicts the ambivalence towards marriage & motherhood: the loss of identity, the tedium of family life, & the evolution or iterations of family relationships over the years. gird. your. loins.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    Coming from someone parenting a son who can be extremely difficult and is very in favor of not sugarcoating the struggles of motherhood, I should be the target audience here. The positives of the book were outweighed by the intense loathing I developed for Sammy. I viscerally HATE her helplessness and incompetence and the way she just wallows in it over two full decades. I feel like punching a fictional character.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I was a huge fan of Mostly Dead Things and gave that five stars. This seems like it’s written by a different person at times and all of the characters are so incredibly unlikable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zoë J

    what did i just read!?!!??! this book is super weird. and super good! i would NOT read this if you are a queer person about to have a child, or strongly considering it. (i saw this book referred to as birth control, lol) with teeth centers around sammie, a lesbian parent and wife. her marriage is crumbling and her relationship with her son is a mess, if not downright scary at times. sammie is under a lot of pressure to be perfect, because who she is is already considered 'wrong' by a lot of strai what did i just read!?!!??! this book is super weird. and super good! i would NOT read this if you are a queer person about to have a child, or strongly considering it. (i saw this book referred to as birth control, lol) with teeth centers around sammie, a lesbian parent and wife. her marriage is crumbling and her relationship with her son is a mess, if not downright scary at times. sammie is under a lot of pressure to be perfect, because who she is is already considered 'wrong' by a lot of straight parents. plus, her queer community is nonexistent since she had her baby. arnett writes about things that a lot of people would never say, like that they dislike their kid, that they wished they had a different child etc, because of their very difficult relationship. its heartbreaking, but really well done especially as the novel progresses and you learn more about sammie. i wish we would've learned more about samson, especially in the end. highly recommend this! thank you riverhead books for the review copy :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC! this was a special book and i'll be thinking about it for some time to come. i loved Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth was one of my most anticipated books for 2021. luckily, it did not disappoint! this is a book about queer people who make mistakes as partners, mothers, and individuals. it's VERY messy and dark and it follows Sammie through the private and hidden pieces of her life. Kristen Arnett understands the south and its hau thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC! this was a special book and i'll be thinking about it for some time to come. i loved Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth was one of my most anticipated books for 2021. luckily, it did not disappoint! this is a book about queer people who make mistakes as partners, mothers, and individuals. it's VERY messy and dark and it follows Sammie through the private and hidden pieces of her life. Kristen Arnett understands the south and its haunted feelings and each time i read something she writes, i feel completely immersed in the mundane and twisted aspects of her settings. i loved how introspective and real this story felt, especially with the blurbs from secondary characters reflecting on Sammie. this book flew by and i'll definitely need to reread to satisfy my longing for more content from Kristen!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    what a great motherfucking ending JESUS CHRIST kristen arnett is bonkers and I’ll follow her anywhere

  21. 5 out of 5

    matthew

    As much as I liked Arnett's first novel, this is an improvement in every way. The same things that made "Mostly Dead Things" so good—the physical details so well described as to be sensual, the feeling of things falling apart, the dizziness—are refined. The dinner scene near the end had my stomach clenched, and that's just one of a few examples. But what takes this from good to great is Arnett's insistence on no easy answers. Unlike "Detransition, Baby," another LGBTQ-focused novel on parenthood As much as I liked Arnett's first novel, this is an improvement in every way. The same things that made "Mostly Dead Things" so good—the physical details so well described as to be sensual, the feeling of things falling apart, the dizziness—are refined. The dinner scene near the end had my stomach clenched, and that's just one of a few examples. But what takes this from good to great is Arnett's insistence on no easy answers. Unlike "Detransition, Baby," another LGBTQ-focused novel on parenthood, which cuts just before the resolution, "With Teeth" opts for a far more insidious and unsettling ending that is both, paradoxically, resolution and ambiguity par excellence. If this is the career path Arnett is on, I will follow her until the ends of the earth.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Afton Montgomery

    Kristen Arnett has such a gift for telling a story that seems straightforward and then twisting your understanding completely as she nears her conclusion. I’m coming to love the “Arnett ending” because it epitomizes really queer storytelling— it feels like the true beginning of a story that she spent a whole novel prefacing. These characters only become more and more complicated as we think we come to know them, and I spent hours trying to distract myself so that I wouldn’t have to finish this b Kristen Arnett has such a gift for telling a story that seems straightforward and then twisting your understanding completely as she nears her conclusion. I’m coming to love the “Arnett ending” because it epitomizes really queer storytelling— it feels like the true beginning of a story that she spent a whole novel prefacing. These characters only become more and more complicated as we think we come to know them, and I spent hours trying to distract myself so that I wouldn’t have to finish this book and put it back on the shelf. Would obviously cry for the sequel, but the gaping mouth we’re left with is too perfect to add onto.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    I decided to try Arnett again despite disliking her debut MOSTLY DEAD THINGS. And it seems like I probably shouldn’t have. The pacing here is messed up (what is going on with novel pacing lately?) and characters are all a bit overdone. Some readers might struggle with the protagonist Sammie but I kind of loved her. She bites her seemingly obnoxious but perhaps just misunderstood child to the point of permanent scarring, she makes the same terrible mistakes repeatedly, basically she’s a mess for I decided to try Arnett again despite disliking her debut MOSTLY DEAD THINGS. And it seems like I probably shouldn’t have. The pacing here is messed up (what is going on with novel pacing lately?) and characters are all a bit overdone. Some readers might struggle with the protagonist Sammie but I kind of loved her. She bites her seemingly obnoxious but perhaps just misunderstood child to the point of permanent scarring, she makes the same terrible mistakes repeatedly, basically she’s a mess for the eight-ish years the book spans. But Arnett fails to give the reader any kind of payoff for her awfulness and we leave her as broken as we find he, if not more so. I truly did love her until the final third of the book. The only redeeming factor was the voice of her psychiatrist, who really represents the reader at this point, interupting the narrative to discuss how awful Sammie is. A rushed ending with nothing for the reader to cling to is infuriating. This book made me think about WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN a lot (but a queer, more ambiguious version). I really loved seeing a depiction of a rainbow family. So many contemporary novels are about how hard motherhood is and queer motherhood has definitely been missing. I think though I just need to accept that Arnett is not for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    This was my MOST anticipated release of 2021 and I am so happy to say that it wrecked me. This might very well be my favorite of Kristen Arnett’s work because it pulls from all of her previous projects, especially Mostly Dead Things, her parrot story, and her Barbie essay. Stressful, jarring, and unbearably honest, With Teeth wrestles into your brain and stays there. What I found most striking about the novel was how it preyed on Sammie’s fears so intimately and chaotically, without judgement or This was my MOST anticipated release of 2021 and I am so happy to say that it wrecked me. This might very well be my favorite of Kristen Arnett’s work because it pulls from all of her previous projects, especially Mostly Dead Things, her parrot story, and her Barbie essay. Stressful, jarring, and unbearably honest, With Teeth wrestles into your brain and stays there. What I found most striking about the novel was how it preyed on Sammie’s fears so intimately and chaotically, without judgement or defense. I’m fascinated by Arnett’s handle on domesticity and normalcy, and how Monika’s biggest desire is to have a successful marriage in the eyes of heterosexuality, which in turn seems to be Sammie’s deepest fear: losing her connection to her queerness. Children are unknowable, marriage is fallible, and Florida is hot and sticky. Arnett’s novel is honest and true and deeply disturbing. Somehow it reminds me of what I love so much about writing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    kyle

    2.5 — have tried both of her books (dnfed the first) and this one was better but i really dont like the writing. like the covers tho!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ally Muterspaw

    4.5. A wonderful character study, and I’m glad I read it. Was it “enjoyable??” Idk, not a joyful book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    MINI REVIEW: With Teeth is my first venture with Kristen Arnett's writing, but I heard amazing things from her last book, Mostly Dead Things, so I knew I needed this book. The story centers around Sammie, her wife Monika, and their son Samson; throughout their journey over an 18 year period. The Lucas family deals with marriage, a difficult son, and complexities within parenthood and relationships. The story starts off with a dark and sinister story arc, but the story is mainly a family dram MINI REVIEW: With Teeth is my first venture with Kristen Arnett's writing, but I heard amazing things from her last book, Mostly Dead Things, so I knew I needed this book. The story centers around Sammie, her wife Monika, and their son Samson; throughout their journey over an 18 year period. The Lucas family deals with marriage, a difficult son, and complexities within parenthood and relationships. The story starts off with a dark and sinister story arc, but the story is mainly a family drama, with sarcastic and humorous undertones sprinkled throughout the story. Sammie has to keep focus on her family, and her son's dark behavior, for the betterment of the family. Arnett's characterization of Sammie, Monika, and Samson is utterly realistic, and they're at times very flawed and unlikable, but this story shows the tribulations of parenthood and relationships. To be honest, this book wasn't my favorite, but the writing was really *chefs kiss*, so I definitely would pick up another book by Kristen Arnett. For those who want to read about realistic social dynamics of the family unit, sprinkled through a range of time and seasons, this is your book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lyd Havens

    Here are the first two words that come to mind upon finishing this book: stressful, & engrossing. This is a very character-driven novel (which I’m coming to realize might be my favorite?), & my god, these characters are bananas in a way thats both aggravating & kind of delicious. When I was only about 50 pages in, I said “so far the vibe is Damien from The Omen if his parents were lesbians,” but what ended up surprising me is how much this isn’t a novel about Sammie’s son & his scary behavior, b Here are the first two words that come to mind upon finishing this book: stressful, & engrossing. This is a very character-driven novel (which I’m coming to realize might be my favorite?), & my god, these characters are bananas in a way thats both aggravating & kind of delicious. When I was only about 50 pages in, I said “so far the vibe is Damien from The Omen if his parents were lesbians,” but what ended up surprising me is how much this isn’t a novel about Sammie’s son & his scary behavior, but about Sammie herself. Her failures, her insecurities, her inability to take control back of her life even though she knows she’s miserable & needs a change. Arnett writes with her trademark dry humor, & in some parts a surprising yet necessary tenderness. I will say that something doesn’t sit right with me about the portrayal of Samson & his behavior, & we don’t really get a lot of answers about it. But overall, I was completely captivated by this story. If you can handle messiness & Uncut Gems-levels of stress, give this one a go. (& I just have to say on a craft level, this book is so subtly brilliant. We get these little vignettes from the POV of completely minor characters, but they drive the story forward & give some necessary perspective in a story where unreliability is basically a character in & of itself. I’ve never read a book that has something like that, & really admired it!)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bookishfolk

    I’ve never felt so stressed by a book as I did with this one. I didn’t want to put it down, but I also never wanted to pick it up for all the uncomfortableness it was bound to stir in me. I don’t even know how to rate it but MORE QUEER FAMILIES AND CHARACTERS PLEASE. But also-I’m so glad I’m not having children. I feel like there was an entire character study on this kid that is yet to be developed. Phew. Off to read something fluffy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan Brittany

    once i finally picked up the book to actually read it and not just...”read” it, i couldn’t put it down. the writing makes the book so palatable, while the content makes it so unsettling. i loved it. an unreliable narrator done perfectly, to the point where i’m sitting here wondering what i actually just read. i can’t wait to read it again.

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