Book Reviews

Review: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet is one of those books I’ve heard so much about. And never read. We all have those books right? That make it onto our radar, but then suddenly disappear? But for Black History Month this year, I joined Hannah in buddy reading Pet. FINALLY! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Pet is here to hunt a monster.

Are you brave enough to look?

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, and the answer to the question — How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?


TW: child abuse

Pet was not what I expected in the best of ways. It’s a book about monsters hiding in plain sight. About searching for angels and realizing the world isn’t so cut and dry. That it’s not easy to tell the monsters from the angels. Featuring a trans main character, Jam’s supportive parents, and family, in general, made my heart ache. The ways in which we have the power to realize reality. To turn dreams into potential. At the same time, Pet has almost a whimsical simplicity paired with a fantastical situation with an undercurrent of fear.

Jam is searching for monsters among men, shadows in the dark of the night on the cusp of dawn. Full of gorgeous turns of phrase, Pet is about monsters who hide in plain sight. In people with whom we celebrate birthdays, the ones who reach across empty spaces. It’s a book that delivers emotional revelations not only about how in a moment reality can shift beneath our feet, but also about how uncomfortable the truth can be. How painful and destructive it can be. But how necessary it is.

If you, like me, have seen Pet around and haven’t picked it up. Now is a perfect time. It’s a story about complex families, searching for justice, and witnessing the ways angels are turned into monsters. Find Pet on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is a book that’s been staring at you from your TBR?

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