Audio book: Pet

by Akwaeke Emezi
Read by Christopher Meyer
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Content: There is a lot of mild swearing and one f-bomb, and illusions to sexual assault. It’s in the Teen section (grades 9+) of the bookstore.

Jam lives in a world free of monsters. The citizens of the city of Lucille defeated the monsters and created a just and equitable world. But one night, Jam’s mother, Bitter, paints a monstrous-looking creature, and Jam accidentally brings it through the canvas into the real world. Initially, Jam thinks the creature is a monster, but it – Pet – is out to Hunt monsters, which it says is in the home of Jam’s best friend, Redemption. Hunting monsters is not an easy task, and it is one that Jam resists at first, but eventually, they recruit Redemption’s help to find and defeat the monster.

The thing is: the monsters aren’t “monsters”. They’re people who do monstrous things. Which is what I thought at the beginning, but then an actual non-human being showed up, and I was confused: is monster literal? Is it metaphorical? Is it both? I don’t know.

That’s not saying that I wasn’t intriged by this one. Myers was a fabulous narrator, and he kept me engaged in the story when I was confused about what was going on. I loved the representation: Jam is trans and Black, and the matter-of-fact-ness of Jam’s personhood was refreshing.

And in the end, the book is probably more about complacency than anything else: Lucille thought that they had defeated the monsters, which meant there were not going to be any more monsters, ever. This turned out to be untrue, so maybe we just have to keep fighting the monsters even if it’s hard and we don’t want to?

Anyway, that’s what I got out of it.

One thought on “Audio book: Pet

  1. Helen Murdoch says:

    I didn’t listen to this one, but read the hard copy and thought it was really good. I also read Bitter, the prequel that was written after Pet. I liked hearing how it all came into being.


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