Published on December 1, 2018
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About Metal Mouth
Mahlorie hates her braces. And who cares what she looks like anyway? Her parents sure do. Dad, a traveling magician, and Mom, a famous erotica author, constantly harp on the importance of appearance. Her best friend Shai is the epitome of pop-culture, crushing on every boy with a cute smile. But when Mal has a near-death experience and can suddenly hear a boy’s voice in her head, life takes a turn for the weird. He can hear her too. How did her braces become transmitters? And who is this boy she just might be falling in love with?
Metal Mouth narrator Mahlorie has a spunky, fierce voice that drew me into the story right away. She doesn’t mince words, so she’s pretty frank about the difficulties in her relationships with her parents and even her best friend, Shai. But beneath that prickly exterior is a girl hungering for love and connection with others, even if sometimes her biggest obstacle to them is herself.
In terms of the story, I thought I pretty much had the plot pegged pretty early on, but I was wrong. Lots of things happened that I simply didn’t expect—in a good way. I knew I was hooked when I panicked over her getting into the water where there are alligators, because OMG I live in Florida, and just NO! Don’t do it, Mahlorie!!!
As I turned pages of Metal Mouth, I found myself laughing at Mahlorie’s take on things and jokes between herself and Dyson (he’s a pretty funny guy). Mahlorie’s comments about dentists were also pretty comical. A couple parts had me crying, too, so be warned. Here there be emotions.
Something about the Mahlorie’s way to relating things reminded me a bit of Forever for a Year by B. T. Gottfred (Metal Mouth doesn’t have any explicit sex). I liked that at fourteen, she’s a younger narrator than you often see in YA. All in all, I’d say Metal Mouth has solid storytelling and a fun cast of characters.
Major characters are white. One character is in a wheelchair.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used twice.
References to kissing or making out. Mahlorie’s mom writes erotic romance, so there are some vague references to that. Mahlorie recalls trying to read one of her books once and being confused at first and then grossed out once she figured out what the descriptions meant. At one point a boy makes unwanted advances at Mahlorie. She fights him off and escapes.
When Mahlorie gets scared, sometimes she cries out in a prayer-like way, asking for help. Dyson says of their meeting that perhaps the Universe means some good to come from it.
Mahlorie gets struck by lightning (or nearly) and winds up in the hospital. She’s outdoors in more than one violent storm. An alligator threatens her twice.
A boy pins Mahlorie down and tries to kiss her. She hits him in the head with a trophy and escapes.
Teens get involved in a drunk driving accident. Mahlorie isn’t there, but she’s affected by the outcome.
A couple scenes show teens drinking alcohol and smoking a joint. Mahlorie describes her babysitter as a wino and notes that she drinks a couple bottles of wine in one evening.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.