STARRED REVIEW
June 2019

Bunny

By Mona Awad

“Bunny” is the cloyingly sweet pet name shared by four young women in Samantha’s MFA program. They even look sweet. Samantha has her own names for the Bunnies: She calls one “Cupcake” because “she looks like a cupcake. Dresses like a cupcake. Gives off the scent of baked lemony sugar. Pretty in a way that reminds you of frosting flourishes. She looks so much like a cupcake that when I first met her at orientation, I had a very real desire to eat her.”

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“Bunny” is the cloyingly sweet pet name shared by four young women in Samantha’s MFA program. They even look sweet. Samantha has her own names for the Bunnies: She calls one “Cupcake” because “she looks like a cupcake. Dresses like a cupcake. Gives off the scent of baked lemony sugar. Pretty in a way that reminds you of frosting flourishes. She looks so much like a cupcake that when I first met her at orientation, I had a very real desire to eat her.”

They are the worst kind of friend group: cliquish, self-obsessed, prim, moneyed, privileged. But when they invite tall, awkward Samantha to a “smut salon,” she is curious despite herself. What could these cardigan-clad ladies—whose idea of a helpful fiction critique is clasping hands while proclaiming, Can I just say I loved living in your lines and that’s where I want to live forever now?—possibly know about smut? When Samantha arrives at a Bunny’s apartment for the event, she finds herself in the middle of a fever dream of an evening, with drinks and visits from her past and more drinks. As Samantha gets drawn into their circle, she learns that sometimes sweet is just a cover for something much more sinister.

Mona Awad made her mark with her acclaimed debut novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, a striking, at times heartbreaking examination of how body image affects modern life. Bunny is an astonishingly self-assured next step, a surreal journey into the depths of a nightmare. Awad’s writing is somehow both gorgeous and gritty as she explores creativity, art and the universal desire to belong.

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Bunny

Bunny

By Mona Awad
Viking
ISBN 9780525559733

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