Book Review – The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

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Title: The River Has Teeth

Author: Erica Waters

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication date: July 27th, 2021

400 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads 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.


Told in alternating POVs, The River Has Teeth is magical realism meets mystery novel. Natasha’s sister goes missing in a string of missing women. Della’s mom turned into a beast that she thinks is eating the missing sisters. Together, they are a very unlikely pair – but their interests align and sparks fly. But can they stop whatever force is attacking the Bend? And can they learn to trust each other along the way?

I read this during spooky season and it was the perfect time to pick up this book. The setting is a magical, creepy wood and there’s monsters and mystery – definitely the right time to pick it up. The magic was very interesting throughout the book, but this is not a magic system that gets explained in detail. You just have to go with it and not ask too many questions. Also, there’s a lot of LGBTQ rep in this book, which I love to see and I’ve been focused on reading more of as I recently came out as bisexual myself.

My main issue with this book is how Natasha was portrayed and the emphasis on her being privileged. It really didn’t have any bearing on the plot of the story, but she kept thinking it over and over again, unprompted. It just seemed like wasted words and that difference between Della and Natasha really didn’t play that much of a role. It was just weird after the first 5 times it was brought up.

Happy reading, folks!

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