This is a book that needs to be heard.
Author: Awaeke Emezi
Pet is here to hunt a monster.
Are you brave enough to look?
There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question — How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Image and description from Goodreads
Such a powerful message. Pet is the story of a young trans girl, Jam, who has to question everything she’s been taught when a creature appears in her house. It’s set in a post-rebellion world where Jam’s parents’ generation cleansed a corrupt government and she’s living in the aftermath. ie, IT WAS WRITTEN FOR 2020. The poetic nature of it all made me physically grin; I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my headcanon, but Jam’s mum is called Bitter… and she calls her daughter ‘sweetness’ sometimes… and it could be like her mother’s generation was sour, but her daughter’s generation is sweet with new beginnings… It was a good book! Just little senteces I felt I could relate to on an intermolecular level. Every other sentence was a quote I want on my wall.
I have to say, it felt like some sections were so deep that I wasn’t on the same level as it. And other times were a little too on the nose, a bit preachy. This is a personal taste, but I prefer books with correct punctuation. Some people enjoy books with no speech marks whatsoever (*shivers*) and indeed there was no speech marks when Jam talked to Pet in her head. But, I thought it was an interesting way of showing how Pet could read her thoughts (as if this wasn’t speech, it was thought-speaking). However, sometimes Pet would say words like ‘wing’ or biking’ as a verb and it felt a bit discordant to the othe fancy description. Also, I think it would have to be a bit longer to be 5 stars. Pet was only 200ish pages and you need a lot longer to fall in love with characters – and for stuff to actually happen?
And the CHARACTERS. Jam’s a trans POC, and her best friend Redeption (because why not) is a guy… and its totally platonic! This shouldn’t be something I have to point out: I need more guys and girls who can be best friends without falling in love (Cassandra Clare take notes). Redmption had three parents, there was a non-binary character… I loved the diversity. And the important message it carried throguhout. This isn’t a story about a trans girl. It’s a story about monsters in society, the ways we can deal with monsters in our lives and an thought-provoking take on how to deal with them – from the pov of a girl whose trans. Especially with news at the moment, it felt extremely prevalent.
“Am I a terrible person? she asked Pet.THIS WAS THE QUOTE THAT MADE ME UP MY RATING
There is no such thing it replied. There’s only what you do.
You know what I mean… is what I’m doing terrible?
You humans and your binaries, Pet said. It is not a good thing or a band thing it is just a thing.”
“I am made of things you have no names for,” said Pet.ITS SHORT BUT I REALLY LIKE IT (like my friends ha)