“‘I love you, Bunny.’
I quietly prayed for the hug implosion all year last year. That their ardent squeezing might cause the flesh to ooze from the sleeves, neckholes, and A-line hems of their cupcake dresses like so much inane frosting…That they would choke on each other’s blandly grassy perfume.”
Bunny has been on my TBR list for a long while and after my last few disappointing reads I’m happy to say that Bunny was worth the wait. Following MFA scholarship student Samantha Heather Mackey, she is an outsider as outsider can be at the elusive Warren University. From her dark stories and darker imagination, she can’t stand the other girls in her fiction course, the Bunnies until one night she is invited into their secretive Smut Salon. Abandoning her only friend Ava for the sweet and sinister world of the Bunnies, Samantha travels down a rabbit hole where fiction and reality blur and Samantha must come to terms with her own creative process and herself as a person.
Awad has such a talent with words. Her descriptions were so beautiful with such a subtle horror to them that they got under my skin and crept straight to my heart. She balanced the juxtaposition of beauty and horror so expertly and anything that combines and balances the sweet with the dark is something I’m sure to love.
The theme of loneliness and friendship, especially in terms of art and artist that was so incredibly relatable and real which in itself is a triumph because I find many books that try to balance these themes usually come off as pretentious. I love how Awad brought commentary to this while also managing to make readers relate to Samantha and feel like an outsider as well. Awad reminds readers of the dangers of loneliness and the choices that can be made in that mindset.
Overall, Bunny is a sweet and scary and powerful novel perfect for artists and for anyone who’s felt like they’re on the outside and craved attention, even if it comes from the wrong crowd. It’s a perfect metaphor for the loneliness of the artist and keeping your identity when others try to shape it into something that is not yours. It’s a magnificent novel that deserves all the hype, one of the best I’ve read in a long while.
Publication: June 11th 2019
Pages: 307 pages
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Horror
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤
“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.”