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  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi


"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.

The truth does not change whether is is seen or unseen, it whispered in her mind. A thing that is happening happens whether you look at it or not. And yes, maybe it is easier not to look. Maybe it is easier to say because you do not see it, it is not happening." (Pet by Akwaeke Emezi)

I absolutely LOVED this book. Because it is so excellent, I'm going to attempt not to spoil it.

This story covers a broad range of topics: the importance of friendship, acceptance, and truth. With the overarching theme of sharing responsibility for one another; the true meaning of being part of a community and the accountability that comes with it.

The main character Jam sets to uncover if monsters and angels are real and ends up on a personal journey of discovery that is much deeper and more complex than she could imagine. With the final resolution extending beyond whether they simply exist or not.

While the subject of Pet focuses on a specific threat to one of the characters in the story, the idea of threats being all around us and our complicit denial functioning as something that perpetuates their existence, is really powerful and applicable to various issues within our communities.

However, what I loved most of all was that Jam was presented as a complete character, not overshadowed by being trans. The exploration of her emotions and connections to others, made this less of a voyeuristic examination of what it means to be trans, and honed in on the fact that she was a teenager charged with addressing adult challenges and how she navigated existing in that space.

If you are even moderately spiritual and believe in the possibility of angels existing among us, Pet by @azemezi , embodies that symbolism without feeling preachy or overtly religious. It does make you question though, just who or what is watching and willing to fight for the voiceless. #pridemonth

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