12 comments on “Pet by Akwaeke Emezi | Book Review

  1. I did come here to kick your ass, but I do feel that your criticisms are legitimate so unfortunately I cannot. It didn’t occur to me that the victim was sidelined on their own story, but you’re absolutely right on that and in retrospect it feels somewhat uncomfortable. I think it would have been more powerful to have a MC who didn’t believe monsters still existed encounter one firsthand.

    • Thank you for deciding not to cancel me after all! 😂 The book has so many good things going for it, so I can totally understand why people love it; there were just a few too many choices I couldn’t gel with unfortunately

  2. Interesting review, thanks for sharing. I really liked the concept of the book but I sampled it from the e-library and wasn’t convinced that the style would keep me reading.

  3. Ooh, you definitely made me curious about this one. I like the complexity and the various themes you mention, but of course it’s a shame that it feels so rushed. At least, it gave you something to think about by the sounds of it?

    • It definitely got me thinking, and I suspect it will stay with me for a while! In a lot of respects, my rating feels harsh; I do admire a lot of what Emezi achieves here, I just couldn’t help but feel frustrated by the shortfall in the book’s massive hype and its (in my opinion) clunky execution.

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  5. Ooh, great review! I had a much better time with this one, but your criticisms make perfect sense. I hadn’t particularly considered that the POV might be wrong for the story being told, and I agree in principle, though I wonder if Emezi deliberately distances the story because of the target age range here; I think putting the POV where it really belongs would make this a much more emotional and potentially traumatizing read, which seems like the opposite to me of what they’re going for though it would also be my preference if this were an adult novel. Now I’m conflicted too, haha. The violence and disfiguration at the end sat a bit uncomfortably for me as well but I couldn’t put my finger on why- I think you’re right on about it walking about the book’s earlier messages. Even so, I was glad to have read this one, as I do think there’s a lot to appreciate, as you’ve laid out! It was very helpful reading your thoughts on this one, you’ve balanced it so well.

    • Thank you! Yeah, it’s a tricky one; part of me is glad Emezi made it so accessible for a young audience (to get vital conversations going) but there’s so much emotional and thematic potential that went untapped as a result, especially by taking away the victim’s voice. It certainly has its merits and I get why people love it, but it was a case of intention and execution not really lining up for me, sadly.

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