Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison

Such Sharp Teeth is a novel about a woman who returns to her hometown to help her pregnant sister, only to get bitten by a werewolf. Rory moves back from New York City to stay with her pregnant twin sister, Scarlett, even though she wishes she was far away from the past. When she runs into the guy who had a crush on her in high school, Ian, things could be looking up, but then she hits something with her car, and she’s attacked. When she wakes up, she feels different, and it starts to become clear that she is changing into someone else, someone who transforms once a month.

This is a book I’d describe as a werewolf novel, as it doesn’t really fit any other genre: there’s hints of horror, romance, and comedy, plus exploration of trauma and anger and body horror. Told from Rory’s first person perspective, it moves between a narrative of becoming a werewolf and trying to reconcile your previous life with what you can do now, and a story of returning to your hometown, facing the past, and reconnecting with people. The clever thing is that the way these are entwined, particularly around the twins’ respective experiences with werewolfism and pregnancy, works really well, focusing on what happens when your body doesn’t feel the same any more and you are facing a future very different to what you first imagined.

The characters are fun, the book combines humour with a look at trauma, anger, and relief, and it doesn’t shy away from the body horror elements of both being a werewolf and childbirth. Such Sharp Teeth shows that you can create a gripping book that’s hard to put down which explores a lot of powerful stuff whilst also being a fun werewolf comedy and love story. I love books that put supernatural creatures in a really normal setting and explore what it means to deal with that, and this book does it well.