Tuma Book Rant: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Middle Grade Fantasy)
"Forgetting is how monsters come back." (Pg. 20)
"What do you want, what will you do, who are you?" (Pg. 69)
Jam was a fascinating character. They were possibly selectively mute? I'm not sure, but using sign language. Jam was also Transgender, transitioning as a child with completely accepting parents. The representation feels authentic and I loved it, but can't fully speak on it as I'm not a member of the Trans community.
I really enjoyed the use of dialect in the dialogue. It was poignant despite it's simplicity and directness.
Unique character names that I think might have been symbolic but I couldn't figure out. LOL But still enjoyed--Redemption, Willow, Bitter, Aloe.
Despite the eccentric storyline, the ending was unexpectedly touching. My heart went "thwung."
At first read, Pet seems like just a story. An engaging dystopian. But really, it's an allegory. Forces you to see our own world within the frame that Emezi creates. Who are the monsters hidden in plain sight? Who are the angels? Not who we think they are but regular people like Jam & Redemption.
This is definitely a necessary re-read. This is the kind of novel where each subsequent read allows you to pull back another layer of meaning. And I love that.
Another winner from Emezi!!! Run, don't walk to grab a copy of Pet. (Might as well grab Dear Senthuran, Freshwater, and The Death of Vivek Oji while you're at it. Thank me later!)
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