The River Has Teeth- and it can bite if you are not careful

The River Has Teeth is a super catchy title, and it also has a book cover that compels you to pick it up. Every element on it represents a part of the story, and the cover itself hints at the dark theme. If that is not intriguing enough, maybe the synopsis will drag you further in. While the genre is young adult and LGBTQ, the whole story is around growing up as the odd one out. We have two girls, raised differently, and come together because of a terrible event.

Short Summary of the book

Della lives with her parents in a reserve called The Bend. The house is deep in the woods and Della does not go to school. From her point of view, you see her struggling with her mother and the secrets in the bend. She has to keep her mother confined in an abandoned building while trying to fix the problem. Her dad is too afraid to do anything drastic, or even face his own wife. Her path is uncertain, stories told in hints and interrupted thoughts.

Natasha is everything Della is not. She’s in school and has normal parents, but her older sister is missing, one of many that is around the area of the creepy reserve and The Bend. Desperate to find her sister, she finds Della. Natasha is also an angry child, mad at the world for not doing more. When Natasha meets Della, she suspects Della immediately. But when Della agrees to help, Natasha enters a foreign territory.

The River Has Teeth and It will Bite

If I have a complaint, it is the lack of excitement until after the middle part of the story. The starting dragged on as Erica Waters (the author) introduces Della and Natasha to the readers. The characters start out needing something more, but they slowly grow into you and grips you by the shoulder. Then they shake you until your teeth rattles before pushing you in a heart-rate- spiking climax. I’m not saying that is boring, but the first part takes some patience to wade through.


I enjoyed it. It may be “young adult” and “LGBTQ” but the themes adorn the book. Della and Natasha might love each other, but separately, they are still strong girls who can do much. Despite it being Young Adult, the author doesn’t sugarcoat the fears and scary things that happen in the dark. For that, it’s more for the older end of young (if you get what I mean). The River Has Teeth is not a romance story, but a tale of find self and love in during a tough time, and having the ability to accept it. Totally recommend it.

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