April Book Club: Bunny
Welcome to our June choice for the Well Read Company Book Club!
Our book club choice for April is Bunny by Mona Awad. This horror-comedy has gathered plenty of acclaim online, for its genre-warped approach and dismantling of the ‘popular girl’ trope. It follows Samantha Heather Mackey, who feels like a complete misfit in her small, elite MFA program at New England's prestigious Warren University. As a scholarship student, she often finds solace in her dark imagination rather than in the company of others. She is particularly repulsed by her fellow fiction writing classmates, a group of insufferable wealthy girls who address each other as "Bunny" and appear to function as a single entity.
However, Samantha's life takes a turn when she receives an invitation to the Bunnies' notorious "Smut Salon." Despite her initial reluctance, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to their gathering, even abandoning her only friend, Ava, in the process. As she delves deeper into the Bunnies' unsettling yet alluring world, participating in their mysterious off-campus "Workshop" where they bring their monstrous creations to life, the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur. Soon, Samantha's relationships with both Ava and the Bunnies will collide with deadly consequences.
“She was a great girl-shaped forest. She was a thing on fire. Her hand was leaves and smoke and snow and flesh all at once.”
‘Unique’ is definitely a word that springs to mind when describing this novel! It starts with a tongue-in-cheek critique of elite writing programmes and the kind of jargon that writing tutors are apt to use: ‘I appreciate the uncertainty the piece gestures toward…I just think she could go further into the dream space.’ It then transforms into a hallucinatory, creepy unravelling of the Bunny’s perfect exteriors and Samantha’s mental state. The writing is rich with startling imagery and unusual word choices which I definitely appreciated, Awad has a very unique writing style. She manages to blend startling, beautiful turns of phrase with TikTok-generation colloquialisms. The result is that Samantha feels like a very real character, we occupy her strange world which straddles the line between a life devoted to literature and the everyday, menial struggles between young women.
In this mesmerising novel from a daring chronicler of the female experience, Bunny takes readers on a surreal journey of isolation and connection, desire and friendship, and the extraordinary and terrifying power of the imagination.
We loved reading this novel this month and are so excited to discuss it with you - please tell us what you thought via social media or by commenting on this post!