Pet

Featured
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
908 0
Pet
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 10, 2019
ISBN
9780525647072
Buy This Book
      

The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist? Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi makes their riveting and timely young adult debut with a book that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Remember what the monsters look like
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Recently recognized as a National Book Award finalist and a Stonewall Honor book, Pet is also Akwaeke Emezi’s YA debut and the first title from Random House’s Make Me a World imprint. This short novel has been a bit of a Big Book with a good reputation that precedes it well in advance and good lord, I’ve been excited to read it. It’s well worth that reputation too!

The city of Lucille is set up as a near-future utopia where Jam’s generation is the first to be born after all the monsters were vanquished by the angels and everything is good even though older generations like Jam’s parents still remember what a world full of monsters what like. And what were the monsters? Just like the angels, they were equal parts people and ideas, so one monster might be a corrupt politician and another might be the entire idea of transphobia. However, the angels still walk the earth. One of them is Hibiscus, the uncle of Jam’s best friend Redemption and a martial artist who teaches people how to fight.

Emezi’s portrait of Lucille is beautiful and makes me feel hopeful for a better future we can all fight to reach, but the thing is that there is a monster in Lucille no matter how badly the adults want to believe there isn’t. If there weren’t a monster, Jam wouldn’t have been able to summon Pet from one of her mother’s paintings the way her mother once did during the war against the monsters. Pet is there to hunt down the monster with Jam–and that monster is in Redemption’s house.

Pet is a novel dominated by florid language and highly relevant themes, not the plot. If you step back and think about the sequence of events, the hunt for Lucille’s monster is actually over with very quickly. With some of the prose trimmed down, the book would be solidly in novella territory. While that prose is often gorgeous, it’s sometimes overwritten in such a way that it pads out the book count and just plain bad on rare occasions. One line that stood out to me is “Jam straightened herself and tried to inject calm under the skin of her face” from page 114.

Injecting calm under the skin of one’s face. I just. My intense fear of needles makes that imagery particularly horrifying in a way it isn’t meant to be.

FINAL VERDICT:
In my opinion, Pet should have won the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Maybe the nonfiction book about 1919 that won it this year is great–I don’t know, I haven’t read it and don’t plan to–but I can’t imagine it’s as good as Pet. This is a novel I adore as an adult and needed as a child who encountered her own monster and didn’t know what to do about it. It’s a reminder that we must never forget what the monsters look like because even when we think we’ve beaten them, they’ll be back the instant we forget them.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Instant Karma
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer's young adult...
Put Yourself in My Shoes
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Cricket goes for a walk, he finds Ladybug searching...
Selma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Selma is asked: What is happiness? ...
Benjamin's Blue Feet
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young bird with a flair for discovery and invention...
Pocket Piggies: I Love You!
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
What’s the best thing in the world? I...
Everything Under the Sun
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sun’s Reach is in dire peril. The last...
Lizzy Albright and the Attic Window
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lizzy Albright, a red-headed, freckle-faced girl from Overland Park, Kansas,...
Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...

Latest Member Reviews

Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
"Earth-Shattering Events by Robin Jacobs is a wonderfully thought-out book that details different natural disasters: what they are, how we..."
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
"Gut Garden by Katie Brosnan is a well-thought out journey through our digestive system, introducing kids to the bacteria and..."
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
"National Geographic Kids is always sure to be a winner at my house. Their newest release has been deemed the..."
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
"Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct by Drew Sheneman is a short, illustrated nonfiction book introducing children to one of the more..."
Space Maps
 
5.0
"SPACE MAPS is a seriously cool oversized book with tons of information about the universe, planets, stars, our exploration, and..."
Curious About Mammals
 
4.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT MAMMALS is a board book that presents some basic facts about mammals alongside realistic illustrations. It starts with..."
Our Dogs, Ourselves
 
4.7
"Ms. Horowitz is a scientist who studies dogs and who has written several books about dogs and their behavior, including..."
Blood and Germs: The Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease (Medical Fiascoes)
 
5.0
"One of the enduring conundrums of readers advisory I have is this: how do I get books about war to..."
What Can You See? At Night
 
5.0
"WHAT CAN YOU SEE? AT NIGHT is a delightful die-cut board book that peeks through to show all sorts of..."
I Can Code: If/Then
 
3.7
"I CAN CODE: IF/THEN is a book that tries to distill coding concepts to a toddler level. The book takes..."
I Promise You
 
3.5
"I PROMISE YOU is a lovely picture book read of a message between caregiver and child. The book promises the..."
Pocket Piggies: Christmas!
 
4.0
"POCKET PIGGIES: CHRISTMAS! is an adorable photo collection of miniature pigs in Christmas scenes. The text creates some rhymes, but..."