Review Bunny A Novel by Mona Awad
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[ BOOK BUNNY: A NOVEL by MONA AWAD OVERVIEW ]
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“Jon Swift + Witches of Eastwick + Kelly ‘Get In Trouble’ Link + Mean Girls + Creative Writing Degree Hell! No punches pulled, no hilarities dodged, no meme unmangled! O Bunny you are sooo genius!” — Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
“A wild, audacious and ultimately unforgettable novel.” — Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times
“Awad is a stone-cold genius.” — Ann Bauer,
In other words, this book is more “literary” and less conventional than Donna Tartt, but don’t take that to mean it’s a slog. I’m one of those readers who wished she loved Angela Carter, Carmen Maria Machado and other feminist examinations of our fairy tales and fever dreams, but I usually find more to admire than to enjoy. Awad, though, has all that brilliant re-invention of our cultural mythology while also making the story fun, the references not archetypal but bulls-eye contemporary. I didn’t know I needed a Zombie Tim Riggins until I met one. If the phrase “Pink Sabbath” sounds like a party worth attending, you’ll enjoy this book.
Name: S. Wiggins
Rating: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Title: I have no idea what happens in the book
Date: Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2019
Review: I love angsty fiction about academia and was excited about reading this after I read the description of it. The first part was ok — the descriptions of the Bunnies was a little over the top but I knew it was leading somewhere so I stayed with it. But it never went anywhere. The rest of the book was comprised of long rambling sequences that left me feeling confused and annoyed.
I’m not tied to linear fiction — I understand postmodern and using varying forms of narrative but this was beyond my reach. I would up skimming the last third of the book and realized giving up on it was probably the best course of action.
Rating: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Title: I couldn’t take another description of bunny hair
Date: Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2019
Review: Beautifully written , I’m sure. But all so precious. The Lena Dunham recommendation should have been my red light. Done after 60.
Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Title: Rollercoaster of Quirk
Date: Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2019
Review: This review shares some thoughts about the nature of this book that some may consider to be spoilers because, honestly, most of us will only briefly think they know what it’s about while reading it, and as they read further, their ideas will likely shift many times.
Mona Awad’s novel, “Bunny” is a rollercoaster ride for a reader which may leave you incredulous if you already know that it’s about a student in a graduate program for writers of fiction. The main character, Samantha Heather Mackey, initially presents as outsider-chic amongst her all female cohort in that program. Alternately tender and snarky observations animate the setting, plot, and characters in vivid, and often evocative, beautiful language.
In the beginning, I was worried Ms. Awad was merely making entertaining revenge porn, having perhaps had rough times in University herself. I understand why people sometimes write books where internalized outrage pours torrentially from characters’ mouths for all that has gone unsaid or unheard in an author’s own life but… THIS IS NOT THAT (although, the surgical skewering of seemingly vacuous academics and clique-girls will be a guilty pleasure for many).
By mid-novel, magic, sex (including sub-textual lesbian eroticism) and power are all pulsed and whirled to dizzying, psychedelic effect. Here is where I was afraid Ms. Awad was going to lose control, and her wild, spun-out plot would end up being sopped up with a lame, vague “explanation” (like the TV show “Lost”). THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. Just hang on and keep reading.
I’ve come to think this novel is about a young woman who grew up as an outsider, but is not nearly as chic or self-contained as she postures. She suffers a crisis in her life and writing that is astonishingly to her, brought about by an effortlessly lampooned writing program and its feet-of-clay professors, aided by students easily caricatured as one-dimensional, malevolent insiders that she envies too much to truly hate. By the end, I think “Smackie” begins to see and release her own “Bunny-dom” and accept her sad, lonely self as well as others (like her often spurned wannabe friend, Jonah, but also the Lion (the advisor she blindly blamed for not rescuing her). She steps out of her solipsistic funk and truly graduates… so the best I can tell, that makes this a left-field coming of age story.
Woo Hoo! Enjoy the ride!
Name: VICKI HERBERT
Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Title: We call them bunnies…
Date: Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2020
Review: No spoilers. 4 1/2 stars. Caroline (Cupcake), Kira (Creepy Doll), Eleanor (Dutchess) and Victoria (Vignette)… We call them Bunnies and..
… they call themselves Bunnies: Oh Bunny I’ve missed you so… what did you do last night Bunny?… I love you Bunny… you get the idea…
…They are a cult of four women attending Warren University and they’ve taken a sudden interest in a lonely coed named Samantha Heather Mackey AKA: Smackey…
After being ignored and humiliated by the Bunnies all semester Samantha opens her locker one day and finds…
… an invitation from the Bunnies to attend one of their Smut Salons… Written on an origami-folded swan, hand-decorated with hearts, cupcakes and Bunny cooings…
Out of curiosity and a longing to belong to this exclusive clique Samantha decides to accept their invitation against her best friend Ava’s advice…
… Once there, Samantha is initiated with a vile green drink and is instructed to tell the bunnies every erotic thing, past and present, about herself… don’t leave anything out…
… and once she’s good and drunk and all of her private inner tea is spilt… and the hour is very late… they tell Samantha: Go out and bring us a bunny…
Samantha passes out and later wakes to find herself amidst dripping axes, screaming hybrid men, brain-spattered walls, and bloody Bunnies…
Although this was a very good story I would caution that it is more of a chick-flick kind of novel. I don’t believe it would appeal to very many men.
As for the horror factor… well, it was horror but of a different kind. I will say that I believe it will resonate with many women in that Janis Ian “AT SEVENTEEN” kind of way and that’s where the real horror is to be found and expounded upon.
A hint at lesbianism is alluded to but not directly spelled out as are many other layers to this multi-faceted story.
The visuals that the prose evokes are stunning and at times hard-hitting… like revisiting a memory best forgotten.