YA Review: My Teeth in Your Heart

Title: My Teeth in Your Heart
Author: Joanna Nadin
Kindle ARC

My Teeth in Your Heart

Another Netgalley ARC from UCLan Publishing, and another surprising, smart YA romance with compelling characters and plenty of emotional depth. I was hooked from the first page, and the story only became more gripping as the author built up the stories of Billy and Anna, two women in the same family, finding first love fifty years apart.

But there’s so much more to the story. The book opens in 1975 with Anna, 17 and accidentally pregnant. She had been aiming for good A-level results and a place at Cambridge, but instead she’s dealing with her mother’s disapproval – and there’s no way she can go to university now.

In 2024, Anna’s granddaughter Billy is studying for her A-levels, but spending time when she should be in class hooking up with a boy she can’t tell anyone about, because he has a girlfriend, and because her best friend has a crush on him.

Their stories are told in parallel, with alternating chapters. We learn that, until the summer of 1974, Anna had lived in Cyprus – a good, academic girl in the ex-pat community. She spent her time studying, swimming with her fashionable friend Nancy, and at her secret job in a bookshop. Her parents wouldn’t approve of her working – and certainly not alongside the Cypriot boy she’s falling in love with. With the threat of invasion growing, Anna is torn between her safe ex-pat life, and the lives of the local families who have nowhere to escape to. We follow Anna through the summer of 1974 as she discovers her independence and makes choices that will transform her life, and the lives of the people around her.

Meanwhile, Billy’s discovery of her grandmother’s diary gives her an insight into her grandparents’ lives, and a family history she hadn’t suspected. Anna had lost contact with her Cypriot friends after the Turkish invasion, and a 2024 trip to Cyprus gives Billy and her mother the chance to piece together the events of 1974, and to discover their own shared history.

This is a truly wonderful story. The characters are beautifully drawn and absolutely real as they live through terrifying events and face impossible choices in 1974, and follow in those footsteps in 2024. The dual narration is brilliantly handled, and provides a framework for the author to reveal the full story slowly, with maximum impact for the characters and the reader.

I adored this book. Emotional, relatable, intriguing and unpredictable – absolutely a five-star read.

My Teeth in Your Heart will be published on July 4th. Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read My Teeth in Your Heart? What did you love about it – the characters, the story, the settings? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

YA review: My Teeth in Your Heart cross-posted to GoodReads.

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