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Pet – Akwaeke Emezi

Trigger warning for child abuse references.

Blurb:
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.

My Thoughts:
This was the first book I have read that had a transgender person and I loved it! There should be way more representation in books and movies, especially in YA books because it’s so important for kids to learn about this stuff! What I liked about this is that the subject of her transitioning was just touched upon and the whole story wasn’t about her changing because that doesn’t define her, it’s just who she is.

Jam is a really interesting character because she chooses to sign more often than talking, it doesn’t touch on why this is, but I found it really interesting.

One day Jams mum, Bitter, finishes off her most recent painting and Jam sneaks into the studio in their house have a look at it without Bitters permission. The painting depicted what Jam thought was a monster with her mother’s hands, and she felt quite uncomfortable looking at it, but she slips and falls onto the painting, and cutting her hand because there were razors painted into the picture.

And then things get very strange for Jam. For her entire life her parents said that there were no monsters left in Lucille, but that night after Jams fall, Bitter’s picture comes to life. The thing that comes from the painting says that it is not a monster and that it’s name is Pet.

Pet tells Jam that there is a monster living amoung them and that they need to find it.

One thing that I found fascinating was that when talking about Pet the characters always refer to it as ‘it’, not as ‘he’ or ‘she’ which I really loved, because not everyone or everything needs a he/she pronoun.

The story follows Jam and Pet as they try to discover who this monster is, despite the adults in Lucille telling Jam that there are no more monsters in their town.

I really loved that this book touched on so many subjects that are so important and the way its written children would be able to understand.

Get a copy here.

23 thoughts on “Pet – Akwaeke Emezi”

  1. I wrote a story with a ‘they’ character recently and loved the feeling of how unique that person was without an assigned pronoun, so this book, while it sounds haunting and personal, interests me!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like such an interesting read! The storyline alone caught my attention but the fact that the character is transgender adds a whole other level of depth here. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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