Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha has writer’s block, which doesn’t help with the selective MFA program she was lucky enough to get into. Struggling and repulsed by her classmates, she finds herself in an awkward situation when invited to their “Smut Salon”, yet against the warning from her only friend, she walks right into their clutches.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bunny is one of those books that comes along and challenges you – everything from the reliability of the narrator, to your own understanding and interpretation of events. Samantha Mackey attends the exclusive Warren University on a scholarship, yet she’s the outsider of her program, her cohort consisting of a clique of twee rich girls who refer to each other as “Bunny”. When invited to one of their gatherings, Samantha gets a chance to get an up close and personal look into their extracurricular activities, and soon regrets it. I’d heard it was bizarre prior to jumping in, and yes, I can now confirm for myself that it was just so weird. The style of writing didn’t entirely appeal to me – the amount of rambling in the narrative was staggering – but it no doubt had a certain allure to it, one that kept me thinking about it over the days. Even despite the chaos of her inner dialogue, I quite liked Sam and her snarky attitude. She filled the outcast role, her loneliness leading her toward a lifestyle she despised yet somehow still yearned for.

Now, considering how disorienting it became when things progressed, reality was put into question – yeah, it was one of those books. After scanning several reviews, it’s clear that each reader had their own theory, and even now I’m still processing mine. There were magical elements that depicted an almost fairy-tale quality, and certain details seemed to hint at something peculiar at play, yet I couldn’t detect if they were red herrings or not. In fact, it kept on surprising me by throwing such absurd twists that I never saw coming, and if I value anything, it’s unpredictability. The cultish side also amused because it made parallels to the very real cliques of today, where it’s nothing but echo chambers and to fit in you have to mould yourself a specific way. Add to that the pretentious nonsense of the school itself and how writers were depicted, well, it definitely poked fun. This satire blended so perfectly into the already strange premise and made me laugh more than once.

In conclusion: Bunny was bonkers, and understandably it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. A journey into the mind of Samantha as she gets involved with an inseparable group of women, it touched on what it’s like to feel lonely and resentful of life. I enjoyed it a lot, the entertainment level at a constant high. Even though at some points I felt a bit tired with Samantha’s tendency to yammer on, I was still excited by her journey into the unusual world of bunnies. By the end I had to sit back and think for a while, even scratch my head, but boy, was it worth it.

Notable Quote:

Kira pats my back, the handle of the bloodied ax still in her little fist.

“Welcome to Workshop, Bunny.”

© Red Lace 2022

Goodreads ~ Twitter

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