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The River Has Teeth

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Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it wi Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it will take more than simple potions to help her. But Della has her own secrets to hide. Because Della thinks she knows the beast who’s responsible for the disappearance — her own mother, who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong. Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. They are each other’s only hope.


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Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it wi Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it will take more than simple potions to help her. But Della has her own secrets to hide. Because Della thinks she knows the beast who’s responsible for the disappearance — her own mother, who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong. Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. They are each other’s only hope.

30 review for The River Has Teeth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.50 Stars. This book sure got my attention. It was dark, emotional, a bit creepy, but it was also magical with a bunch of badassery. Three words: angry, sapphic, and witches, is why this book was on my list of most anticipated reads of 2021. I’m happy to say that it was the kind of read I was hoping for and a book that really clicked with my personal tastes. It’s the kind of book I can’t stop thinking about and I know I won’t soon forget. This is quite the mix of genres being Southern Gothic, pa 4.50 Stars. This book sure got my attention. It was dark, emotional, a bit creepy, but it was also magical with a bunch of badassery. Three words: angry, sapphic, and witches, is why this book was on my list of most anticipated reads of 2021. I’m happy to say that it was the kind of read I was hoping for and a book that really clicked with my personal tastes. It’s the kind of book I can’t stop thinking about and I know I won’t soon forget. This is quite the mix of genres being Southern Gothic, paranormal, mystery, and YA with a light WLW romance. This is a book that won’t appeal to everyone, but if you like that dark and angry feel mixed with magic, murder and mayhem, then this is the book for you. While this is YA, I honestly kept forgetting that it was. I missed the part that might have said if the characters had just finished high school or were still in it, but this felt much more like a New Adult story to me. Therefore, if you are not a big YA fan, I would not let it put you off in this instance. I love mystery and crime books and when you put in some paranormal elements it just takes it to another level for me. I loved the feel of the mystery. A young woman is missing. Is she alive? Is there a monster out there human or the non-human kind? I just thought it all worked really well. My only real complaint is that I was able to solve the mystery too early for my tastes. I could have used another red herring or something to throw me off balance a bit more. It may be because I read so many crime books that I picked it up so early so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that other readers don’t. What impressed me the most was the pace and readability of this book. Once you get a few chapters in, you just become completely hooked. This is one of those books I would highly recommend reading when you have a large chunk of time to yourself. I started reading this last night thinking I would read half and finish today. No way! Thank goodness I’m on my vacation because I read this until 3am because I could not put the book down. Just one more chapter, one more, I had to know what was going to happen. The entertainment value of this book was through the roof for me. As I mentioned before there is a light WLW romance. While it was on the lighter side, I liked it quite a bit and I thought it fit the story very well. These two young women are not going to go on a romantic date together, but they might just steal a kiss over learning a spell. These characters both have a lot of anger, so their relationship starts out angry too, but their sweeter moments together gave the story a little lightness that it needed. This story has a great mix of this darkness and anger, but it is also about two young women -both a little morally gray- who want to take their power back. This story was tough to read in places, but it wasn’t too depressing so you can see a way out of that anger towards some sort of hope. This was my kind of book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would read a book by Waters again in a heartbeat. An ARC was given to me for a review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    After adoring Ghost Wood Song earlier this year, I had to read this one immediately. I also listened to it on audio (same as I did for GWS) and really adored the narration. The whole book is easily compelling, all earthy and witchy, and full of monsters. A lot of it felt like a metaphor about how society treats missing women, how monstrous men get away with it, how women are not allowed to rage in response to mistreatment. So the themes were powerful and wielded with sharp precision. I also just After adoring Ghost Wood Song earlier this year, I had to read this one immediately. I also listened to it on audio (same as I did for GWS) and really adored the narration. The whole book is easily compelling, all earthy and witchy, and full of monsters. A lot of it felt like a metaphor about how society treats missing women, how monstrous men get away with it, how women are not allowed to rage in response to mistreatment. So the themes were powerful and wielded with sharp precision. I also just loved the aesthetic of the book; the Lloyds, as a reclusive family of witches, just trying to keep everything together after their mother turned into a river monster. The magic of The Bend, and how Della could push her hands into soil and grow things. The humid, dense and vividly alive descriptions of the woods. There's also that monstrous undercurrent of twisted magic that hooks you in. Della was amazing too. She's sharp and battered, cautious of outsiders, but with this soft and tender heart. The absolute embodiment of a grumpy burned marshmallow. I also loved her cousin Miles. And omg I had SUCH complex feelings about her mum, the monster, but she was so well written. The book is duel narrated though, and I did struggle more with Natasha. She was adopted from abusive addict birth parents to an extremely rich and privileged couple who love her dearly. Their relationship is lovely, of course, and Natasha has this complexity of being SEEN as a privileged snooty white girl when in truth she has a lot of trauma. With her older sister murdered as the premise of the book, ALL Natasha wants is revenge. To get answers. Her grief is palpable, her rage warranted. But here's the thing: Natasha spent the whole book acknowledging her privilege.....and then proceeded to do the very most White Privileged Thing she could think of. (To the point of profiling loner boys who are poor as killers and sending the police after them?!) She constantly calls Della a bitch and asshole, because Della doesn't allow herself to be pushed around. And I just-- I could understand Natasha's trauma making her lash out, but she seemed to treat everyone else like shit and it didn't seem a new thing for her. I LOVED Della's love for Natasha, but I think Della deserved better ;_; Especially when both girls were hurting each other but only Della had to apologise. Natasha had a shittonne to apologise for too. (And I don't understand the book going out of its way to acknowledge BIPOC and trans women are abused and go missing without police investigations which is great and needed to be said; but then the next chapter dropped a Harry Potter reference. Not in 2021. There are no longer excuses.) A few mixed feelings, but I couldn't love the premise and aesthetic of the book more. And I could guess the killer immediately but I've read too much 😂 It had a satisfying and circular ending. The whole book was very thematic and beautifully written.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maëlys

    🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 Youtube ☆ Twitter 🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 magical angry sapphics 🥰 Youtube ☆ Twitter

  4. 4 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    "Women spend so much time trying to make ourselves small so we won't get hurt, or we make ourselves so visible our visibility becomes a shield." 3.5 stars Angry Girl x Exhausted Witch Sapphic Romance This book was very atmospheric, had eerie writing, and a twist I didn't see coming until it was too late. I also loved the feminist undertone to the entire novel, the story of how women go missing and no one gives a crap. That women have so much power but men try and take it away any chance they get. "Women spend so much time trying to make ourselves small so we won't get hurt, or we make ourselves so visible our visibility becomes a shield." 3.5 stars Angry Girl x Exhausted Witch Sapphic Romance This book was very atmospheric, had eerie writing, and a twist I didn't see coming until it was too late. I also loved the feminist undertone to the entire novel, the story of how women go missing and no one gives a crap. That women have so much power but men try and take it away any chance they get. There was a lot of female badassary in this book. But I just couldn't connect to Natasha. When you have two POVs and one of them is subpar compared to the other, it hurts the book. I would've been more happy to of just had Della's POV because she was so interesting to follow and I loved learning about her world and the magic of the Bend. The way Della's magic is written is beyond beautiful, I felt myself immersed in the Bend and the raw power it exudes. Honestly, Della's entire family was interesting to me and I loved whenever we got her POV. She was snarky and tired and loyal to fault, I loved her. I know Natasha was supposed to be angry at the world, but she was blinded by her anger for the entire book that I just lost interest. I am sure there will be people out there who adore her and relate to her, but that person isn't me. I just couldn't let go of the fact that at no point Natasha saw the lack of rational in her thinking, it wasn't until death was staring her in the face that she realised she was wrong. I would have to say I prefer Waters' freshman novel over this one, but she is still an author I want to read more from and one I will keep on my radar.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MZ

    4.25 stars. Dark and gloomy and an interesting mystery. It took me some time to get really invested in this book, but once I was I couldn’t stop listening. The mystery is what did it for me, it brings everything together. The two mains of this book are both in the middle of a family crisis. Della’s family is involved in witchcraft, but their magic has gone wrong and turned her mother into a monster and now the only thing she and her family can do is damage control and a lot of that falls on Della 4.25 stars. Dark and gloomy and an interesting mystery. It took me some time to get really invested in this book, but once I was I couldn’t stop listening. The mystery is what did it for me, it brings everything together. The two mains of this book are both in the middle of a family crisis. Della’s family is involved in witchcraft, but their magic has gone wrong and turned her mother into a monster and now the only thing she and her family can do is damage control and a lot of that falls on Della’s shoulders. Natasha’s sister is missing and she’s determined to find answers, which brings the Natasha to Della’s doorstep. Two girls that would, under normal circumstances, never mingle. This is a YA book, but it feels as a NA book due to the dark content and the maturity of the mains. They both have not lived the easiest or average lives and the recent events leave them angry and also a bit hopeless, but they refuse to let the hopelessness overtake them. There is a small romance between Natasha and Della, which is not particularly sweet due to the circumstances and their emotional state, but it fits the story and I liked it. As I mentioned, the mystery is what did it for me, that is what brings Della and Natasha together and there were some unexpected twists. I also liked how it was combined with magic, it gives the book its dark, Southern atmosphere. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Katherine Littrell (Della) and Sura Siu (Natasha) and the narration was a good fit for the characters. I had to get used to the voice of Della, but the southern drawl worked well for this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    After Ghost Wood Song, I will read anything Erica Waters writes. Anything, ever, forever and ever. Amen. 🖤🖤 💗💜💙 🖤🖤 After Ghost Wood Song, I will read anything Erica Waters writes. Anything, ever, forever and ever. Amen. 🖤🖤 💗💜💙 🖤🖤

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Book Sheenanigans

    Rochelle, Natasha’s older sister, is missing and when her vehicle is found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger (that is just about borderline psychotic) when the case goes cold. She takes it upon herself to play detective (cue the eyeroll people) and appears at the door of Della, a witch whose family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate and vengeful. Unbeknownst to Natasha, Rochelle, Natasha’s older sister, is missing and when her vehicle is found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger (that is just about borderline psychotic) when the case goes cold. She takes it upon herself to play detective (cue the eyeroll people) and appears at the door of Della, a witch whose family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate and vengeful. Unbeknownst to Natasha, the witch thinks she knows the beast who’s responsible for the disappearance—mommy dearest, who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong that also led to the gruesome murder of her Aunt Sage. Now with a synopsis such as that, you would think I would love this instantaneous, right? Eh'nt! You're wrong. Natasha ruined this for me. She was aggressive, confrontational, entitled and fixated on her missing sister's boyfriend who she believed was responsible for Rochelle's disappearance. Characters like her usually lures me away and destroy most to all books for me. She didn't have any redeemable qualities and she was a down right bitch. I just couldn't find anything remotely likable about her which is a shame because when I read the blurb I was more than excited to read about queer witches, magic, and monsters with a mystery thriller twist. And spoiler alert: can we talk about how when dumb dumb went to Della to ask if she can teach her how to become a witch so she could force Jake to admit he killed her sister and was a serial killer (far-fetched idea she claimed was true), why did Natasha 'magical powers' come out of the woodwork at that very moment when we reached the halfway point? There was no hint at all she could wield magic nor did Della pick up on it. That whole scenario had me scratching my head and at that very moment, I came to realize I just didn't have the willpower to read this anymore. Della, Miles and Ruby (mother) even her father (not mentioned as far as I recall) were the only standouts of this YA novel and I really like their dysfunctional family dynamic and background story as to what led Della's mother to be locked away. Unfortunately as the story progressed and the more Natasha appeared, I found it difficult to immerse myself in this novel because she is everything I hate in a character and since she is one of the main two, the enjoyment I once had for this started to slowly shimmer. All in all, if Natasha wasn't there I would have been all over this book. Plus I know for a fact that if I had reached the romance portion of this, I would have surely been gagging. Della and Natasha were total opposites and there was a huge huge lack of chemistry and a strong connection. Their relationship would've been unbelievable and lackluster at best. Nonetheless the build up and the author's writing style was up my alley so I will definitely read more from her again as long as there aren't any more Natashas or characters similar to her in any of her future works.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ OH MY GOD. This book. I don't even have words for how absolutely, completely, AMAZING THIS IS! This book truly has it all & I am just... it SUCKED. ME. IN. Like I was an absolute goner. I am just SPEECHLESS! READ THIS BOOK! I promise, you will NOT be disappointed! This was just FANTASTIC! Ahhhh! Star Rating: —> 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ OH MY GOD. This book. I don't even have words for how absolutely, completely, AMAZING THIS IS! This book truly has it all & I am just... it SUCKED. ME. IN. Like I was an absolute goner. I am just SPEECHLESS! READ THIS BOOK! I promise, you will NOT be disappointed! This was just FANTASTIC! Ahhhh!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    The River Has Teeth was such a fun and unique murder mystery to dive into. The reason why it was unique definitely had to deal with the magic. It just felt like I was always wanting more information about it and I was never satisfied with the little crumbs of information. Then there's the characters, Della and Natasha, and I was hooked after meeting them. Their relationship was pretty cute but I did find it annoying how often people were trying to tear them apart. It was pretty obvious that they The River Has Teeth was such a fun and unique murder mystery to dive into. The reason why it was unique definitely had to deal with the magic. It just felt like I was always wanting more information about it and I was never satisfied with the little crumbs of information. Then there's the characters, Della and Natasha, and I was hooked after meeting them. Their relationship was pretty cute but I did find it annoying how often people were trying to tear them apart. It was pretty obvious that they had feelings for one another and I just wanted them to be happy. Especially with the murders going around and Natasha wanting to find out what actually happened to her sister. Each twist, turn, and secret that came out kept me wanting more. I had feelings that the true monster wasn't who we thought it was going to be. Which, yes, I was very happy that I was correct but I still ended up surprised with the big reveal. In the end, I'm really happy that I took the chance on this book and I will definitely be looking out for another one of Erica's books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Renee Godding

    3.5/5 stars This cover deserves some awards though...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Landice (Manic Femme)

    4.5 stars, rounded up to 5! I haven't read a ton of Southern Gothic/Gothic Horror and also don't gravitate towards mysteries that often, but in my inexperienced opinion, this one was excellent! I was gripped from start to finish, and the narration of the audiobook was top tier. Also, just to ensure expectations are accurate: there was an f/f romance subplot, but it was just that - a subplot. Read this book for the atmospheric setting, murder mystery, Southern gothic witchery, complex family dynam 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5! I haven't read a ton of Southern Gothic/Gothic Horror and also don't gravitate towards mysteries that often, but in my inexperienced opinion, this one was excellent! I was gripped from start to finish, and the narration of the audiobook was top tier. Also, just to ensure expectations are accurate: there was an f/f romance subplot, but it was just that - a subplot. Read this book for the atmospheric setting, murder mystery, Southern gothic witchery, complex family dynamics, and magic - the romantic subplot is just an added bonus to an already great read! That being said, The River Has Teeth delves deeply into some heavy and potentially triggering topics, so definitely check CWs, but highly recommend! An incomplete list of potential CWs (check other reviews too, these are just the big ones I can remember - I listened to the audiobook while driving & couldn't take notes): murder, intimate partner violence (past, towards one MC's sister), violence/body horror, parental neglect (past and kinda present), parental drug addiction (past), misogyny (graphic). I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting, so read with care! Love sapphic books, too? Let's be friends! Booktok | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube

  12. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Corgel

    This book is angry. The tone, though feeling slightly angsty is this mix of sadness, despair, and most of all, this over arching anger at everything. Natasha is angry and lost without her missing sister, and her grief at the loss manifests itself in this almost overwhelming drive to do something, anything to get her back. When she meets Della Boyd, the youngest member of a family living in a lonely part of a national park in North Carolina, they butt heads. Because Della is angry, too. The magic This book is angry. The tone, though feeling slightly angsty is this mix of sadness, despair, and most of all, this over arching anger at everything. Natasha is angry and lost without her missing sister, and her grief at the loss manifests itself in this almost overwhelming drive to do something, anything to get her back. When she meets Della Boyd, the youngest member of a family living in a lonely part of a national park in North Carolina, they butt heads. Because Della is angry, too. The magic in the forest is wrong, and it twisted her mother so much that she changed into something terrible and uncontrollable. They then are pulled together into the mystery of the dead girls in the forest, and Natasha's sister. I'll have to say this, it is not a subtle book. Natasha and Della are allowed to spiral into unhealthy feelings and are allowed to work through their grief. Because both girls are mourning the loss of family members. Now, both the family members in question aren't presumed dead, but either because their missing, or transformed, it doesn't matter, they're both not there. I wouldn't say this is a heavy book, but the girls are in the middle of an emotional ringer. Then there's the magic, and supernatural beings. I loved their journey to falling for each other, mostly because they don't necessarily change, they just soften. I love the magic and mystery of the book. Della's family has a very natural magic, that is derived from their land. Each power is manifested differently, with Della being able to grow things, her mom a siren, her late aunt a healer, and her cousin a sort of tracker. And that it got twisted into something wilder and darker is amazing. There are some other aspects of the magic that assist the girls as they solve their perspective mysteries, that are beautiful and terrifying. Della and Natasha each have very strong personalities that are very much alike. They each are very angry and lonely, because they are terrified of being left alone. Natasha is because she and her sister were fostered at a young age, and Della was super close to her mother. Now that both of their rocks are gone, the girls are adrift. Their family and friends feel farther apart; Della's dad is broken, while Natasha kind of blames her friends for her sister's disappearance. Once they realize they can have each other, the girls become unstoppable. There are some minor things that bug me about the book, but I think I understand where she's coming from ( like carefully making sure to say the white characters are white), so it is a little distracting. Most of the male characters are inept or broken people. Even though Della's father is sympathetic, because he is seen through Della's eyes, the narrative doesn't give him much slack. Della's cousin is a nice counter balance to her, but he's not in the story enough. I wish he was, because he was a good calming presence. I wouldn't say this is an uncomfortable read, but it is a beautifully written paranormal mystery about female anger. I wasn't expecting this, especially in a young adult novel, so this was a nice surprise. Other than a few things that bothered me here and there, this is a great novel to read. Like Sorrowland the magic is heavy with metaphor, and is dark. But unlike that book, it gives some hope while still managing to stay angry. *I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma (book.jargon)

    ♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♡︎/♡︎♡︎♡︎♡︎♡︎ 𝙸𝚗 𝚊 𝚗𝚞𝚝𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚕: A southern gothic tale with magic and mystery between every page 𝚃𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛 𝚆𝚊𝚛𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜: mentions of abuse/alcoholism, hitting, murder, kidnapping, dead body description 𝚁𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠: Natasha’s sister is missing, and the case is slowly falling apart- much to Natasha’s anger. She will do whatever she can to find answers, even turning to the resident witch, who supposedly deals in dark magic. Della knows that Natasha is going to need her help, and she won’t take no for an answe ♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♡︎/♡︎♡︎♡︎♡︎♡︎ 𝙸𝚗 𝚊 𝚗𝚞𝚝𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚕: A southern gothic tale with magic and mystery between every page 𝚃𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚛 𝚆𝚊𝚛𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜: mentions of abuse/alcoholism, hitting, murder, kidnapping, dead body description 𝚁𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠: Natasha’s sister is missing, and the case is slowly falling apart- much to Natasha’s anger. She will do whatever she can to find answers, even turning to the resident witch, who supposedly deals in dark magic. Della knows that Natasha is going to need her help, and she won’t take no for an answer. But as she starts to help Natasha, she starts to realize that she just may know who the monster is...Della’s own mother. This is a dark and sinister tale about the horror of not knowing where your loved one is, and just how far you are willing to go to try and figure it out. Natasha was FILLED with pain and anger, it radiated from the pages as you dived into the story. And sometimes, it seemed a bit too much, making her chapters hard to read since she couldn’t see past her initial opinions and anger. Della was easier to enjoy. She was so wrapped in her own mystery and drama, that each one of her chapters balanced her own struggle with Natasha’s struggles. The whole story was just full of mystery, magic, and dark vibes and I loved it. It can sometimes be somewhat confusing at certain points, but each point just matches up so great that it ends up in a wonderfully written story. 𝚁𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚘: If you’re looking for a dark and magical tale, full of anger and plans for revenge- then you’re gonna love this!

  14. 4 out of 5

    afternoonsunjeans

    THE RIVER HAS TEETH AND I AM GAY WHAT EVEN IS THIS COVER

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    CAN I GET A HELL YEAH FOR THESE ANGRY, AVENGING GAY GALS?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    I adored the atmospheric, Southern gothic gorgeousness of Waters' debut, Ghost Wood Song, so I couldn't wait to read her sophomore novel. The magic of the Bend did not disappoint. I adored every chapter that featured the woods and river and its magic that is somehow twisting and creating monsters. And speaking of twists, I did not see the one at the end. I thought it was awesome but I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'm not going to say anything else but READ IT. I loved how Della's witch I adored the atmospheric, Southern gothic gorgeousness of Waters' debut, Ghost Wood Song, so I couldn't wait to read her sophomore novel. The magic of the Bend did not disappoint. I adored every chapter that featured the woods and river and its magic that is somehow twisting and creating monsters. And speaking of twists, I did not see the one at the end. I thought it was awesome but I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'm not going to say anything else but READ IT. I loved how Della's witchy specialty worked with the hidden, underground network of roots, seeds, & fungal webs. That fascinates me so I absorbed every bit of those chapters that I could. I also loved the call to action to amplify lost girls' voices. It made me tear up when mentions of sex trade victims, especially from marginalized communities, wove into the story. Sometimes Natasha's rage made it hard for me to read her chapters, but by the end, I loved how she learned to hone it for good.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Beverly

    The River Has Teeth is a creepy, propulsive dark magic thriller that gave me goosebumps all while reading. When Natasha’s sister goes missing, she enlists the help of a local witch, Della, to help find her. What Natasha doesn’t know is that Della suspects her own mother of being responsible. Both girls desperately try to keep their secrets from one another, all while trying to also find Natasha’s sister. This book is lushly written and gorgeous, which was a perfect match to the creepiness of the The River Has Teeth is a creepy, propulsive dark magic thriller that gave me goosebumps all while reading. When Natasha’s sister goes missing, she enlists the help of a local witch, Della, to help find her. What Natasha doesn’t know is that Della suspects her own mother of being responsible. Both girls desperately try to keep their secrets from one another, all while trying to also find Natasha’s sister. This book is lushly written and gorgeous, which was a perfect match to the creepiness of the story. I was completely wrapped up in this story and I did not want it to end. I’ll definitely be going back to read everything else that Erica Waters has written! Highly recommended for fellow lovers of young adult dark fantasy and murder mysteries.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    2021 is the year for feminist gothic books and I am HERE FOR IT. Proper review later.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Geonn Cannon

    Wow, the lesbian part of this book really comes out of NOWHERE. Around 2/3 into the book it was like the author suddenly realized "Oh I wanted to have this be a romance," and suddenly the two main characters were aching for each other. It was literally like a switch had been flipped and "And now I love and trust her with all my being." It could have happened between any two other characters and it would've had the same build-up, I feel. I can't believe I'm docking points for the lesbian content, Wow, the lesbian part of this book really comes out of NOWHERE. Around 2/3 into the book it was like the author suddenly realized "Oh I wanted to have this be a romance," and suddenly the two main characters were aching for each other. It was literally like a switch had been flipped and "And now I love and trust her with all my being." It could have happened between any two other characters and it would've had the same build-up, I feel. I can't believe I'm docking points for the lesbian content, which is the only reason I started it in the first place, but the story was actually strong (if incredibly predictable) and then out of nowhere the two leads are soulmates. I don't know, I have whiplash from the insta-love. Three stars because two feels too low given the quality of the writing. It's fine. I don't regret reading it, but I'm definitely not going to revisit it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    It's a shame, but I didn't connect with this one. I wasn't a fan of Natasha, and considering the fact that half of the story is told through her...well, it didn't make things easy. That romance was so sudden, magic abilities that are awoken then conveniently wielded with near perfection by a novice never works for me, and the antagonist was obvious from the first moment they stepped onto the scene. It's nonetheless good writing, and Della alone makes it a worthy read (loved her), but the magic w It's a shame, but I didn't connect with this one. I wasn't a fan of Natasha, and considering the fact that half of the story is told through her...well, it didn't make things easy. That romance was so sudden, magic abilities that are awoken then conveniently wielded with near perfection by a novice never works for me, and the antagonist was obvious from the first moment they stepped onto the scene. It's nonetheless good writing, and Della alone makes it a worthy read (loved her), but the magic was missing for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    4.5! This was soooo good!! Exactly what I was in the mood for while camping. A hauntingly atmospheric story about two teen girls who come together while dealing with unique challenges. Full of magic, witches, monsters, queer love and bad ass women - I couldn’t put this down! Della comes from a family of witches but recently the magic hasn’t been working properly with horrible side effects. To make matters worse her mother has turned into a monster and she fears she may be responsible for something 4.5! This was soooo good!! Exactly what I was in the mood for while camping. A hauntingly atmospheric story about two teen girls who come together while dealing with unique challenges. Full of magic, witches, monsters, queer love and bad ass women - I couldn’t put this down! Della comes from a family of witches but recently the magic hasn’t been working properly with horrible side effects. To make matters worse her mother has turned into a monster and she fears she may be responsible for something tragic. Natasha is searching for her missing sister and runs into Della who she quickly learns has magical powers. Full of rage and seeking justice for her sister Natasha convinces Della to help teach her to harness the magic of the river. Told in alternating perspectives from Della and Natasha with two narrators, this book was a mix of Dark roads and A good girl’s guide to murder. I loved how Della and Natasha teamed up to help fight for all the Black and Indigenous girls and women who go missing without justice. This was an entertaining YA fantasy with important real life connections. Highly recommend!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    This one was a super interesting mix of magic, myth and mystery and it certainly grabs your attention. This is definitely not a light read, there is real darkness here, and it takes many forms. There is a lot of anger in this book; our main characters are all emotionally charged, they are seeking answers, they are keeping secrets, they are demanding vengeance... its what brings people together and what pushes them apart, and that was cleverly woven between the layers of plot. There is a lot of g This one was a super interesting mix of magic, myth and mystery and it certainly grabs your attention. This is definitely not a light read, there is real darkness here, and it takes many forms. There is a lot of anger in this book; our main characters are all emotionally charged, they are seeking answers, they are keeping secrets, they are demanding vengeance... its what brings people together and what pushes them apart, and that was cleverly woven between the layers of plot. There is a lot of grief and mourning to unpack here too, and there is certainly need for plenty of trigger warnings. This was a fun, fast-paced read, and although I didn't completely vibe with the main characters (this one is a dual perspective and, as is usual, I got on with one better than the other) and I did find the mystery all to obvious, I stayed for the eerie atmosphere which this has in abundance. If you want a dark myth-based YA fantasy full of angst then this is a solid choice. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 dark and twisted stars (rounded up to 4) 🦉

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    4.25 Stars This book was very atmospheric and dark and I loved the vibes. It was a little too slow paced for me and I felt a bit like it was covering too much or trying to, but overall I really enjoyed it. The relationship is cute and I liked the way things turned out in the end! Content Warnings Graphic: Death, Grief, Violence, Blood, and Murder Moderate: Sexual assault, Body horror, Drug use, Drug abuse, Alcohol, and Emotional abuse

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Sokulski

    Amazing, I credible, brilliant, showstopping, queer and atmospheric. Go read it rn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: domestic abuse, substance abuse, child neglect, kleptomania, mentioned pet death, drugging & kidnapping 4.5 Natasha's sister is missing, and she's determined to find her. Della's heard the news about the missing girls and is trying not to get involved- because she's terrified she'll find out her mother is one who killed them. But Della's family has a reputation and a need for cash, so when Natasha's willing to pay plenty for some magical help she can't turn I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: domestic abuse, substance abuse, child neglect, kleptomania, mentioned pet death, drugging & kidnapping 4.5 Natasha's sister is missing, and she's determined to find her. Della's heard the news about the missing girls and is trying not to get involved- because she's terrified she'll find out her mother is one who killed them. But Della's family has a reputation and a need for cash, so when Natasha's willing to pay plenty for some magical help she can't turn her down. Tangling together, and Della's mother seeming to get closer and closer to monster, it seems impossible to end in anything but pain, and possibly blood. I love reading Waters writing- her aesthetics are great and well written, and this is book is no exception. This is a fantastic follow up to her debut novel, with the same creepy vibes and murder ballads, but in a whole new direction that feels entirely fresh. This concept is great. The idea of a magical forest with a monster in it and a girl determined to care for and save the monster immediately grabs me by the heart, but when you add in an increasingly more desperate and furious girl willing to set the world on fire and the secrets both of them keep, you've got a wildly imaginative and compelling plot. Really, I loved Della and Natasha so much. Della, a bit more, because her rough-and-tumble Southern witch who masks their vulnerabilities thing worked so, so well. But both of them are well written, given depth, and grow so well on the page. They also work together really well! Which brings me to the romance- exceptional. I wasn't sure how it would work with so much of the focus elsewhere, but Waters manages to integrate it easily without it taking up spotlight or showing up suddenly like instalove. Their dynamic is fabulous because they're both powerful and from "trashy" backgrounds but given a certain higher up position in society now (Natasha from her adoption, Della from their potions) and completely committed to family, and yet they're incredibly different characters. They push and pull immediately, and the chemistry is there from the first page they interact. I mean, there's a dramaticscene where one of them almost accidentally drowns the other that goes immediately into bantering and it works. This book is written well, over all. The tension is there throughout, the two (three?) mysteries intertwine well, and there's never really a dull moment. But Waters also does well injecting casual moments of social justice and education without it feeling out of place. The only problems I had were really based in Natasha's half of things. For one, the tension itself does get a little thrown with her more petty squabbles. I wish that had been cut down a little. But, more worryingly, there's a point where Natasha, spiraling, decides that all men are to blame for what happened to her sister. While I get where she was coming from in her headspace, and this could have been examined in a feminist lens of "society makes this easy/men quiet us" or something more specific like that, it's pretty much just left that way, which makes me really uncomfortable. I love that Natasha spent this whole book getting pushed further and further and got to this really horrific place, but I wish we had gotten to see Natasha cool down a little after her ramping up to this point and had a little more social justice or just a conversation there. I liked this book a lot! This was exactly the creepy, swampy, monster-based, sapphic horror I wanted! Pre-review comments below oooh my god I'm so excited I got an arc for this! update 6/8 Erica Waters knows my brain, I swear to God. So good!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Greco

    Thank you, as always, to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC! I know exactly who this book is intended for and while it wasn't for me, it does justice for the intended audience and does it WELL. In this highly feministic fantasy novel, The River Has Teeth tells the dual story of Della and Natasha. Della has lived on the Bend her entire life, knowing the magic it holds as it fuels the brews they make for the locals and has turned her mother into a river siren. Natasha sees her whole world fal Thank you, as always, to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC! I know exactly who this book is intended for and while it wasn't for me, it does justice for the intended audience and does it WELL. In this highly feministic fantasy novel, The River Has Teeth tells the dual story of Della and Natasha. Della has lived on the Bend her entire life, knowing the magic it holds as it fuels the brews they make for the locals and has turned her mother into a river siren. Natasha sees her whole world fall apart when her sister goes missing and her car is found at the edge of the bend. Della knows in her heart that it has to be her mother who did, escaping the prison she locked her in to devour those who step onto the bend. Natasha is adamant it was her sister's boyfriend, especially once she find a trail that leads directly to him. Natasha begins to get desperate, pulling on Della's magic to help move things along, but as it brings them closer together and leads Natasha closer to the secrets Della's been keeping, more gets revealed that everyone would rather keep hidden. And when the ending hits and its a plot twist a more observant reader would have caught onto earlier, you begin to learn exactly who this book was intended for, even more so in its last lines. Once again, despite it not being meant for me, I know that anyone who feels the same and would love to indulge in a book that unapologetically does as well will THRIVE for this book. It builds up as you go, drawing you in with its magic systems, diverse characters, and the thrill of trying to figure who it is that's murdering all the girls who've disappeared into the Bend. Give it a chance if you enjoy heavily feminist books that touch on the "destroy all men" idea or if you just want a unique murder mystery/horror fantasy that reminded me fondly of Rory Power's novels.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 3.5 stars The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters is a dark Southern Gothic story that wraps up mystery, horror, and magic in a nice little bundle. The story follows both Natasha and Della. Natasha's sister, Rochelle, has gone missing, and Natasha has her suspicions as to who might be the reason her sister went missing. But in order to prove her accusations are true, she turns to Della, a rumored witch with a fam ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 3.5 stars The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters is a dark Southern Gothic story that wraps up mystery, horror, and magic in a nice little bundle. The story follows both Natasha and Della. Natasha's sister, Rochelle, has gone missing, and Natasha has her suspicions as to who might be the reason her sister went missing. But in order to prove her accusations are true, she turns to Della, a rumored witch with a family that has used the magic of the Bend to create spells for themselves and their customers. Della has a secret of her own, a secret that might help reveal what happened to Rochelle, but the reveal would come at a great cost. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the mystery woven in-between, and the horror magic can bring if used for ill-gotten gain. Della's story was most interesting, especially the rough and rocky terrain of her family's dynamic, and how her worked her magic. The magic system felt organic, something created naturally with what was already within the earth, and how it's not necessarily something that could be controlled but rather something to be worked with. Unfortunately, that was about it when it came to keeping my interest. Natasha was hard character to settle into because of her constant anger. While some of it felt justifiable because of her stressful and traumatic situation, it just felt as though she never truly learned to work through it or didn't have any development working with her negative emotions. Instead the anger just becomes more and more of her. Also, I won't go into details to avoid spoilers, but there was an instance of extreme convenience with Natasha that just ruined the mystery and magic. It just kind of happened, right when the thing needed to happen, with no further struggle or explanation as to why or how... after that, the story lost its spark for me. This goes with the little romance that occurs with Natasha and Della. There truly didn't feel like any chemistry was built between them because of Natasha's anger and and confrontational behavior that was constantly directed at Della, but then all of the sudden it's fine because feelings. Yeah, no, not really digging that dynamic. The villain reveal was also a bit lackluster and truly didn't make sense to me. I had suspicions, ones I feel might have made more sense, but maybe those were too obvious, which was why the villain was who they were. That all being said, Waters does have a beautiful way with words when it came to descriptions of the magic and the world of the Bend. With its world of monsters, magic, haunting ballads, and mystery, The River Has Teeth is an intriguing story, and lovers of Waters' first book, Ghost Wood Song would surely enjoy this one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colleen (Colleensreadingadventures) Scidmore

    𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝟒.𝟓⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This book came at just the right time! I was thinking maybe I was about to give up on YA because I just keep reading so many mediocre books. Then The River Has Teeth showed up at my door!! ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ It’s a Dark YA Mystery with a Southern Gothic setting infused with witchcraft, paranormality, and 2 sapphic teens that live on opposite sides of Georgia’s social-class. Della born on The Bend and into a family rich in witchcraft but poor in money, helps her family makes ends meet anyw 𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝟒.𝟓⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This book came at just the right time! I was thinking maybe I was about to give up on YA because I just keep reading so many mediocre books. Then The River Has Teeth showed up at my door!! ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ It’s a Dark YA Mystery with a Southern Gothic setting infused with witchcraft, paranormality, and 2 sapphic teens that live on opposite sides of Georgia’s social-class. Della born on The Bend and into a family rich in witchcraft but poor in money, helps her family makes ends meet anyway she can by working when necessary and selling the family’s spelled brews to customers. Natasha lives a charmed but angry life, she has 2 loving and wealthy parents and wants for nothing. But that wasn’t always the case, she grew up poor, neglected and abused by her drug addicted biological parents, along with her older sister Rochelle. Her younger childhood is where her anger stems from. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Rochelle goes missing one night, leaving her car abandoned outside of The Nature Park right in Della’s backyard. Natasha using the anger that drives her sets out to find her sister. She starts by knocking on Della’s door desperate to try anything even though she doesn’t really believe in magic. Della agrees to help Rochelle because she desperately needs the money but she also has a secret she needs to protect, her own mother might be behind Rochelle’s disappearance after a spell gone wrong turned her into a river monster. She may be the one responsible for Rochelle going missing as well as several other girls. This way she can keep an eye on Natasha and collect some cash. After spending some much time together they are attracted to each other but how can there be any type of relationship when there are lies and secrets between them.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I was hooked pretty much from the start. ⁣⁣⁣ Erica Waters writing style sucked me in completely. And the way she brought these two very different (but similar in ways as well) girls to life is phenomenal. Just be warned there will be parts that are hard to read, parts that will hurt your soul and make you want to cry. But there are also healing moments that make your heart swell and bring about a balance of sorts.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭! 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐇𝐚𝐫𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧’𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐞 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐬 𝐓𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐡 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Calliope

    Synopsis: Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it will take more than simple potions to help her. But Della has her own secrets to hide. Because Della thinks she knows th Synopsis: Natasha’s sister is missing. Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger. She’ll do anything to find answers. Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it will take more than simple potions to help her. But Della has her own secrets to hide. Because Della thinks she knows the beast who’s responsible for the disappearance — her own mother, who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong. Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. They are each other’s only hope. mild spoilers ahead!! Review: WOW!! I am very surprised with how much I loved this. I'd say that this book is perfect, aside from one thing, which I just wanted to point out now. It's a very small detail, and it probably meant no malice, but the scene where (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!) Natasha's sister's body was found did not seem particularly graceful to me. It made me a little mad that a female author decided to make the body of a young, pretty, murdered girl naked. I understand that this was a very small, less than 1 page long issue, but I just wanted to put it out there! Now that we've got that down, let's focus on the positive aspects! 1) the characters of Natasha and Della find so much strength inside of each other and themselves, it's honestly breathtaking. A girl is never just a girl. 2) The prose was razor-sharp, unflinching and incredibly atmospheric. 3) I've never been so addicted to a book in my life. I honestly couldn't stop reading, and the acclimation into the magical world was so easy. If I had to describe, 'the river has teeth' in just a couple sentences. An ephemeral and rallying battle cry that will rouse the dark-and, in the end, the light inside of you. Dark feminist magical horror at it's peak. Anticipation: 3.5: sounds interesting! could be too scary? enjoyment: 4.75: YES! just YES! --> 5 stars. Cannot recommend enough.

  30. 4 out of 5

    nerdy.bookdragon

    This book is about nature, witches, sisters and monsters. What else would anyone need for a great story? The story revolves around Natasha and Della. Two really different girl, who share that they are willing to do anything for their family. Natasha's disappeared sister's car was found abandoned next to the forest. What was she doing? Where did she go? Will Natasha get answers? Della has a great burden to live with. She believes that she knows the person who is responsible for the girls disappear This book is about nature, witches, sisters and monsters. What else would anyone need for a great story? The story revolves around Natasha and Della. Two really different girl, who share that they are willing to do anything for their family. Natasha's disappeared sister's car was found abandoned next to the forest. What was she doing? Where did she go? Will Natasha get answers? Della has a great burden to live with. She believes that she knows the person who is responsible for the girls disappearance. She suspects her mother who turned into a monster because magic gone wrong. How can these two girls life get so entwined without them even realising? This book was well built and beautifully written, the characters had so big connections and real emotions. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for some scary story with unbelievable twists.

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