I’m sure you’ve heard about this very odd and very wicked book by now (it has over 80,000 Goodreads reviews!!) As 2022 drew to a close, was anxious to get to some of the books on my TBR, and this one was at the top of my list.
The first half of the book was everything I hoped for. Sarcastic, funny and so, so smart. Mona Awad is an extremely gifted writer.
I highlighted so many memorable passages. When the main character Samantha is observing her all-female creative writing cohort: “Their cheeks are plump and pink and shining like they’ve been eating too much sugar, but actually it’s Gossip Glow, the flushed look that comes from throwing another woman under the bus.”
Ms. Awad delightfully skewers graduate fiction programs and I loved that part of the book. I also loved the wordplay on the name of the college: Warren. Samantha struggles mightily to get along with not only her pretentious professor, but also the other members of the highly-coveted creative writing program. (“My smile is fixed on my face, nailed there, though it jerks under the pins.”)
When I reached the halfway mark, I thought to myself, oh okay, now I see where all the 1 and 2-star ratings came from. The story just gets WEIRD. But push though. I promise the payoff is worth it!
This book is reminiscent of ‘Mean Girls’ but on acid. I couldn’t even get angry at what seemed to be cruelty to animals because I think (?) some was fantasy. I was frustrated at Samantha being such a docile participant in the “Bunny” clique, but she really pulled it together in the end.
“I’ve never really not written, never not had another world of my own making to escape to, never known how to be in this world without most of my soul dreaming up and living in another. Until I came here.”
I really loved the conclusion and felt like it tied the whole story together. Overall I recommend this very inventive and strange book!
About the Book:
“We were just these innocent girls in the night trying to make something beautiful. We nearly died. We very nearly did, didn’t we?”
Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and seem to move and speak as one.
But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door–ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies’ sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.
The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.