Mini Review: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

Title:  Sharp Teeth
Author:  Toby Barlow
Series:  None
Publisher:  Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  January 29, 2008
Pages:  308
Format/Source:  Hardback/Borrowed from library
Age Group/Genre:  Adult/Fantasy, Paranormal, Free Verse

An ancient race of lycanthropes has survived to the present day, and its numbers are growing. Bent on dominance, rival factions are initiating the down-and-out of L.A. into their ranks. Caught in the middle are Anthony, a kindhearted, lovesick dogcatcher, and the object of his affection: a female werewolf who has abandoned her pack. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Sharp Teeth was my book club’s July selection, and for some reason I didn’t write down a lot of notes.  Well, I take that back.  I wrote down a lot, but the vast majority of my notes were just quotes that I really liked.  So I’ve decided to do a mini review of this one, just stating some of my notes and listing a few of those quotes I loved.

My Notes…

  • I’m pretty sure this is the first novel I’ve ever read in free verse.  At first, I was a little confused and I thought I was missing things, simply because of the writing style.  So I had to go back and reread a lot at the beginning.  But after a while I got used to it, and I actually enjoyed the writing style quite a bit!
  • I did end up getting confused a bit throughout the book, because there are a lot of characters, and because the POV switches in the middle of chapters sometimes.  One publication of the book has a list of the characters, which would have been helpful, but my copy didn’t include that.
  • There was a nice twist near the end that, for some reason, I didn’t see coming, although looking back it seems completely obvious.  But I really enjoyed the twist nonetheless!
  • This book really reminded me of Fight Club at times.
  • Two of the characters in this book, Venable and Goyo, reminded me of Mr. O’Hare and one of his henchmen from The Lorax.  Maybe I watch too many cartoons.  
Great Quotes…

Like I said above, most of my notes for this book were great lines that I really just wanted to jot down.  So here are a few of my favorite lines from Sharp Teeth:

“But nobody seems to recall / the sublime form of a dog as she lies / curled up like a comma / in the cool forgiving summer shade / there beneath the bed.”

“That’s what love does. / It chases the dragons away / before their claws can sink in.”

“As she stared at the ceiling that first night / her body softly falling back into itself, / she thought of how we dream of journeying / on spaceships to other universes, other worlds, / but really, for the forever, / we’re stuck here on the dirt and / the only time we will travel anywhere truly unknowable / is when we slip into the skin of another, / venturing into their mysteries, / always hoping for / a safe landing.”

My rating for Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow:

More like 3.75 stars, almost 4. I enjoyed the book, I liked the writing style, and there were definitely a lot of beautiful lines throughout the book, but the story wasn’t enough for me to really give 4 stars.  
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins

Disclaimer:  I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.  I was in no way compensated for this review.


  1. Brandi Kosiner

    July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I don't do novels in verse but so glad to hear that you enjoyed

  2. fakesteph

    July 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    This actually sounds great. I've been known to enjoy a free verse novel and I love the quotes you shared! Maybe I'll check this one out of the library.

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