How do you tell the difference between an angel and a monster? Consider Proginoskes from, A Wind in the Door. Angel? In the future when all monsters are said to be gone how do you know for sure?
Fantasy not my thing, but this kept me engaged. Imaginative and doesn‘t shy away from its serious topical message. The two MCs who are adolescents don‘t always realistically act their age, but it wasn‘t too much of a distraction. What is the target age for this book? Honestly, I think it would disturb my 12 & 10 year olds. They are more interested in shenanigans.
Just finished this one, but I‘m going to need a night to work out my feelings about it before I review.
I will say, though, that I disagree with reviewers who see the simple language as a sign this is for younger YA readers. I think Jam reads younger than her stated 17 years, but the disturbing climax and the ethical dilemmas it presents strikes me as the kind of thing high schoolers like to debate, wrapped in the manageable package of 205 pages.
Weird, immersive and didactic. This allegorical tale for older children is about violence against young people, so parental guidance is advised. I love the imaginative premise and that queer characters are front and centre. Christopher Myers is well-chosen to narrate this #audiobook because he makes his voice delightfully deep for the monster‘s dialogue. #LGBTQ
Wow. This fantasy book is full of symbolism addressing hard issues. Though it is considered young adult, I recommend reading it first as the triggers can be tough for some. I recommend listening to the audiobook. It is read with the deep and mesmerizing of Christopher Meyers - perfect for Pet.
Wow. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to describe all that Akwaeke Emzi's Pet encompasses, which is why I defaulted to beginning with a brilliant quotation from the novel. When I first picked up this young adult book, I thought that it would be--at only 204 pages--a quick and easy read. I was so wrong. This book is thoughtful and complex and challenging, and it is haunting my brain as I type. (continued in comments)
An interesting story. Very "woke" and touches on a tough topic in a somewhat fantastical, magical realism way. It's a finalist in the 2019 National Book Awards Young People's Literature category. I definitely get the hype & can see how it would prompt important discussions in a less threatening way. It's a different take on the typical YA Contemporary, and it's a pretty quick read at around 200 pages so it's definitely worth checking out.
This was a different, magical, beautiful, quirky, and slightly-confusing-at-times story. A young adult book that tackles a myriad of topics. I don't even know how to describe it. The way it was written was unique. I'm interested in reading something else by this author. Her style is intriguing.
Did I need new books? No, I did not. Did I buy them anyway? Yes, yes I did. For the first time in years I skipped the local YA conference because I was disappointed in the diversity of their keynote speakers so I consoled myself with a trip to Barnes and Noble. Cost less than the conference would have at least! #bookhaul
I read this book quickly, but think it is one that will stay with me for a long time. Through dialogue and description, the story was vivid. A reminder that as adults we think we have everything figured out, but it's kids who are sometimes more aware. Lucille is a perfect town in a society without crime as all the monsters have been eliminated. Until that is, one returns to hunt another due to humans harming each other.
The people of Lucille believe they have banished all the monsters from their city but the arrival of Pet, a monster hunter, reveals the truth—monsters are always there. Together with Jam, the girl who brought Pet to Lucille, Pet goes hunting. With powerful, lyrical prose, Emezi has written a story about courage, truth, seeing what‘s beneath the surface & fighting the monsters among us. A smart, sophisticated middle school (& up) read.
If you want to find out about some great fall YA releases, check out my most recent post for Book Riot:
I really enjoyed the near-future utopic world building. Imagine a post-revolutionary world that has dealt with societal inequity and injustice and built something safer and better- only for a creature to appear and say there‘s still a monster in the town. Jam read as somewhat younger than her stated age, I felt - but she was a more interesting and observant POV character than many other YA protagonists I‘ve read, so that‘s a quibble.
‘“I wonder if this place is haunted,” he said, almost to himself. “Things be acting up.” He picked up the books and reshelved them, his hands moving through Pet‘s body. “But they say that‘s how it is anywhere you got a mass of knowledge accumulated, so, hey.” He shrugged. “Who knows.”
‘Jam nodded in solidarity at the mystery of libraries, then shot Pet a warning glare as soon as Ube turned back around.‘
You want many things, you are full of want, carved out of it, made from it, yes. But the truth does not care about what you want, the truth is what it is. It is not moved by want, it is not a blade of grass to be bent by the wind of your hopes and desires.
In the city of Lucille all Monsters have been eradicated... or so they thought. But when Jam accidentally pulls a terrifying monster hunter out of a painting, she realizes what the adults refuse to believe: evil still exists. This is an incredibly imaginative, well-written YA novel examining monstrosity, how we deal with people committing terrible actions, victim blaming, and family/ friendship. Definitely recommend.