Author: Mona Awad
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Plot Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.
“Bunny” by Mona Awad is a darkly satirical and genre-bending novel that explores themes of friendship, identity, and the pressures of conformity. With its surreal and atmospheric narrative, memorable characters, and biting social commentary, this book offers a unique and thought-provoking reading experience.
The story follows Samantha Heather Mackey, a loner and outsider in the elite MFA program at Warren University. Samantha is drawn into the secretive world of a clique known as “The Bunnies,” a group of seemingly perfect and privileged women who share a disturbing obsession. As Samantha becomes more entangled with the Bunnies, the line between reality and fantasy blurs, leading to an increasingly unsettling and surreal narrative.
The novel delves into themes of identity, performance, and the pressures of societal conformity. Awad satirizes the world of academia and the cult-like nature of certain social groups, interrogating the notion of authenticity and the sacrifices individuals make to be accepted. Through the lens of the Bunnies’ world, she critiques the obsession with surface appearances and the consequences of losing oneself in pursuing external validation.
While “Bunny” is an immersive and thought-provoking novel, there are a few minor drawbacks. The nonlinear narrative and surreal elements may confuse some readers, and the pacing can sometimes be uneven. Additionally, the satirical tone and dark humor may not appeal to everyone. However, these aspects contribute to the book’s unique and challenging nature.
In conclusion, “Bunny” is a darkly humorous and unsettling novel that defies traditional genre boundaries. Mona Awad’s skillful storytelling, sharp social commentary, and memorable characters make this a compelling read. Although it may have some pacing and accessibility concerns, the book’s exploration of identity, conformity, and the complexities of female relationships leaves a lasting impression. “Bunny” is a recommended read for those seeking a surreal and thought-provoking narrative that challenges societal expectations and embraces human nature’s strange and unsettling aspects.