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In a world that claims to have eradicated monsters, how do you protect yourself from them? A compelling and thoughtful read.
Jam lives in Lucille with her mother, Bitter, and her father Aloe. Her best friend is named Redemption. The town of Lucille has been rid of monsters for a long time, but when Jam accidentally bleeds on one of Bitter's paintings, Pet, comes out of it to hunt a new monster in Lucille. Pet says the new monster is in Redemption's house, and Jam must help him figure out who it is.
Pet is a unique story about people who harm others; they are described as monsters. There is a great deal of symbolism and societal commentary in the story that most young people reading it wouldn't pick up on right away. Overall, a simplistic story with a deeper message, but not really my type of story.
I absolutely LOVE this book. I would hand it to any and every parent and young person who is interested in reading a work unlike any other. There are moments of complete acceptance and affirmation, and there are moments when this book really challenges the reader. This book is especially relevant right now, when forgetting really is dangerous.
Pet takes place in the near future in a city named Lucille, where the revolutionary movements of today have succeeding in establishing a kinder, stronger society. Jam grew up knowing that the monsters with human faces, once prolific and powerful, have all been slain. The systems that created these monsters and brought them to power have all been dismantled and rebuilt. She knows this to be true- until one night an inhuman beast crawls out of her mother’s painting to hunt just such an adversary.
Despite the serious subject matter, this book offers hope and strength at a time when many of us desperately need both. Akwaeke Emezi weaves humor and love throughout their novel, showing the utmost compassion for their characters and inviting us to do the same. Emezi offers us a glimpse into a utopian society built on collaboration and care, where every member of a community is nurtured so they might flourish together. It’s a beautiful vision, but it’s marred by complacency. People choose to forget the past in favor of this bright new world, and this willful ignorance has consequences. At its core, this book is an unconventional exploration of humanity’s potential balanced against the dangers of believing in something as impossible as perfection.
I honestly loved this book from start to finish. It’s a haunting, strange fable that feels perfect for this strange time in history. It’s comforting and optimistic, exploring difficult topics with a gentleness that doesn’t take diminish their gravity. As surreal and fantastic as it is, Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet feels true in the way that all the best fairy tales do. It’s a story about a young girl, a beast, and a monster- and of course, it’s also much more than that.
A cool thing about this book is that the fantasy elements of the story are metaphors for things in today's world that make the reader look and think about these things in a different way.
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS Well-written story with a great title character but I was ultimately disappointed. SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT: Undeniable and unquestioned justice is swiftly meted out to the bad guy in a way that is impossible in real life. I realize this is a fable, but I suspect this story is a potential trigger to victims of systemic physical or sexual abuse whose "angel" never arrived to mete out justice.
It was amazing and beautiful and a good way to talk about good and evil, helping and abuse. Also good for highly sensitive kids. If any other adults had to put down Freshwater, maybe it would be easier to go back to it after reading this. Still hesitant about that step, but totally recommend this book for interested teens and adults.
Sometime in the future, a revolution has taken place in which monsters have all been neutralized by human angels. Before the revolution, monsters harmed people because of the color of their skin or their gender identity among many other things, but that is all past. People can now be who they are without fear of discrimination or harm. But when Jam accidentally summons a creature from a painting her mother created, Jam faces the fact that monsters may not actually be gone after all. And when she learns that her best friend may be in the presence of this monster, she realizes that she must take action.
I must admit I had a hard time with the author’s style in the beginning, but I am so glad I persevered past the first chapter, because it was worth it.
Jam just so happens to be a black trans girl, and I believe this may be the first book I have ever read with a trans protagonist where the story is not ABOUT them being trans. We need more everyday diversity books with trans characters, and this is a great start. Written by #ownvoices black and non-binary author.
Beautifully written fable featuring a main character who is transgender.
What a wonderful unique book! If you're a fan of speculative fiction with compelling characters and fast-paced action, I highly recommend this one.
A quoteable, fable-like story about angels and monsters, justice and community, following a trans girl who accidentally brings forth a creature from a painting. As the professional reviews would say, timely, yet timeless. I'll be thinking about this one for awhile, and I'm sure it would create good discussions.
An engaging . . . not-quite-fable . . . about what makes people angels, what makes them monsters, how hard it can be to see them for what they are, and how to react when we are able to identify them. It makes you think.
"The first step to seeing is seeing that there are things you do not see."
Gods above, this book was a good one. It was a super quick read but what a whopper. Emezi takes magical realism to a whole new level and dimension and she doesn't shirk from discussing hard topics/truths about the nature of humans.
The cast of characters is diverse, with rich development for the three main characters as the story progresses. Jam, our protagonist, is a curious teen who trying to handle an unknown situation as best as she can without having any support from her parents. Redemption deals with a monstrous situation without the help of his parents but doesn't let his fear or disbelief keep him from acting. And Pet. Well, I love Pet. It is the objective character that reflects the foibles of the people and the town of Lucille and keeps the truth very ... present. Regardless of it's good or bad nature.
This book will leave you thinking and aching and just a little stunned and also kind of in love with the characters by the end of it. But Emezi's writing style is a little off-putting at first, but it's well worth the adjustment.
Not for everyone, but for those who can embrace quirky stories, this one is worth reading! Also: loved the fact that the main character is trans but it's not critical to the plot.