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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2019)
We were just these innocent girls in the night trying to make something beautiful. We nearly died. We very nearly did, didn't we?

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other Bunny, and seem to move and speak as one.

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled Smut Salon, and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies' sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus Workshop where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.

The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination.

Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, Electric Literature, and The New York Public Library

305 pages, Paperback

First published June 11, 2019

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About the author

Mona Awad

11 books2,825 followers
Mona Awad is the author of BUNNY, ALL'S WELL and 13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL. 13 WAYS won the Amazon Best First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Her second novel, BUNNY, was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror, the New England Book Award, and won the Ladies of Horror Fiction Best Novel Award. It is currently being optioned for film with Bad Robot Productions. ALL'S WELL was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. Her new novel, ROUGE, is forthcoming in September 2023 with Simon & Schuster.

She earned an MFA from Brown University and an MScR in English from the University of Edinburgh where her dissertation was on fear in the fairy tale. In 2018, she completed a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at the University of Denver. She currently teaches creative writing at Syracuse University and lives in Boston.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 23,751 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
November 16, 2019
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST HORROR 2019! what will happen?

this book is straight-up bonkers. seeing this was set “at an elite new england university” with an exclusive clique at its center and seeing it compared to Heathers, i went into it expecting a Megan Abbott-y/The Secret History-y type of deal; full of those dark and toxic currents that define adolescent girlhood, where affection shifts into power struggle at the drop of a hat, but also featuring a bunch of soulless smarty-pants big on ritualistic gatherings and down for some light murder.

yes and please

this… is not that. which is not to say it’s bad AT ALL, it’s just not what i thought i was getting into. it is ALSO not, although this is frequently true of other books, that it is being misrepresented by overzealous marketing. you see, it is also compared to The Vegetarian, which i have not read, but now that i’ve looked into that book more, if i HAD read it, i probably would have been less taken aback by what this book actually is.

which is, as previously stated, bonkers.

this is The Secret History through the looking glass, carroll’s white rabbit split into four excessively co-dependent MFA students; twitchy and touchy-feely and calling each other “bunny,” operating symbiotically(?) as a “we;” each maintaining a specifically regimented style of expression in appearance and craft, but otherwise inseparable.

samantha, our narrator and entry into this world, is the fifth person in the workshop, on the awkward periphery of these cooing girls who always seem to be monkey-grooming one another and giggling and sparkling all over the place. unlike the bunnies, who are rich and well-assimilated in the jargony twaddle of MFA programs the world over (”I appreciate the uncertainty the piece gestures toward…I just think she could go further into the dream space. It’s so interesting how she performs and reenacts trauma.”), samantha is planted firmly in outsider territory; a scholarship student whose darker themes are called ‘angry,’ ‘mean,’ and ‘distant’ by the bunnies, from whom she seems content to maintain her distance; aloof and sarcastically eviscerating them from afar alongside her art school dropout bestie ava; she of the fishnet gloves and veil, the asymmetrical haircut and tattered underwear-as-outerwear look.

and then, unexpectedly, samantha is formally, by way of origami swan, invited into the bunnies’ inner circle, where she learns an awful lot about creativity, process, vulnerability, and true power.

so yeah, it’s VERY reminiscent of Heathers, with its interplay of the frivolous and the dark and the comedic, as well as individual and group dynamics,

but it’s just as much molly ringwald and annie potts in Pretty in Pink; outsider snark as a weapon against the allure of the wealthy pretty people, and the spiritual cost of capitulation (which john hughes never addressed, but i always inferred),

and a vision board collage of style and theme that’s like Desperately Seeking Susan and Pump Up the Volume and Heathers and 92% of john hughes’ oeuvre. and also, oddly, the spice girls, since the bunnies adopt a particular quirky fashion-based persona that sets them apart within their collective persona.

it’s not bonkers right out of the gate. at first, it seems like it's gonna be a fun-poking campus novel. this book is so funny in its depiction of the MFA world; the fetishizations and the relentless cleverness and posturing and critiques, which i can only imagine is much worse now as millennials tiptoe thru the triggers trying to make art that offends no one and supplying feedback that is nothing but praise, even for the kind of self-consciously manufactured glop people like the bunnies produce. like the one samantha calls “the Duchess,” who writes “inaccessible and cryptic” pieces, she calls proems, “etched on panes of glass using a dagger-shaped diamond she wears around her neck.” or the work of the one samantha has dubbed “Vignette,” who shares “a series of unpunctuated vignettes about a woman named Z who pukes up soup while thinking nihilistic thoughts, then has anal sex in a trailer,” for whom samantha has little patience.

I hate Vignette’s pieces. They are dreary word puzzles I’m always too bored and annoyed to solve. Each paragraph is a half smile, half frown, way up its own asshole. Also, they beg questions like: when on her perilous, pirouetting journey from Interlochen to Barnard was she ever in a trailer?

but, of course, in a workshop of four hydra-like girls and a fawning mentor, an outsider does not have the luxury of honestly speaking her mind.

”What do you think, Samantha?” Fosco asks me.

That it’s a piece of pretentious shit. That is says nothing, gives nothing. That I don’t understand it, that probably no one does and no one ever will. That not being understood is a privilege I can’t afford. That I can’t believe this woman got paid to come here. That I think she should apologize to trees. Spend a whole day on her knees in the forest, looking up at the trembling aspens and oaks and whatever other trees paper is made of with tears in her languid eyes and say, I’m fucking sorry. I’m sorry that I think I’m so goddamned interesting when it is clear that I am not interesting. Here’s what I am: I’m a boring tree murderess.

But I look at Vignette, at Creepy Doll, at Cupcake, the Duchess. All of them staring at me now with shy smiles.

“I think I’d like to see more of the soup too,” I hear myself say.

samantha herself is not immune to that stereotypically, overly fussy brand of MFA writing, even though we don’t get to see much of the work she produces for the workshop. however, as the narrator, everything is filtered through her descriptions, and the prose is precise, overly crafted; the reader is bludgeoned with adjectives, with a particular emphasis on smells pinned into place with poetic words, where the bunnies’ outfits are described in every scene, creating a sensory overload that is frequently original and poetic, but is sometimes just… too much. don’t get me wrong, i loved most of the writing,

She shivers at the view of the grand trees, as if they’re not trees at all but something truly vile, like all the rosy-blond light that seems to forever bathe the campus is about to punch her in the face like a terrible fist of rich.

there’s just a lot of chewy prose here and sometimes it’s a description-bog.

and then… bonkers ensues.

it’s really fun and sharp and shivery, with a macabre fairy-tale overlay that gives it a unique spin on the coming-of-age tale. "coming-of-age" might seem misplaced, considering these are MFA students, but they read much younger than their actual age; not just the self-consciously girly-girl bunnies, but also in the themes samantha brings to the narrative; her awkwardness and loneliness and leftover-adolescent self-consciousness about fitting in; finding her place — for all of her ostensible disgust at the bunnies, their camaraderie is not without appeal for someone defined by loneliness and survival-mode embracing of their own otherness.

it may not have been the book i thought i was going to read, but it was a very pleasant surprise, and even though i am being intentionally vague about where this one’ll take you, i encourage you to find out for yourself, because bonkers is way better than boring.


that was... unexpected. i need to process this one a little bit. review TK.

come to my blog!!
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews45.8k followers
March 22, 2023
I would join a cult with no questions asked.

I can't even pretend that I'm better than that, or smarter than that, or capable-er of reading red flags than that. The fact of the matter is that not only do I hate making decisions (and therefore find the idea of someone making all of mine for me very compelling), I also (due to years of being a teacher's pet nerd) am desperate to be cool.

Make that cult led by a bunch of hot girls in cute dresses and I am done for.

This is a very cool, very...funny in the way of Satire, very creepyspooky book that I enjoyed quite a bit. I picked it up as part of my need to read every work of literary fiction with a low average rating and a female protagonist who is hard to like, so I didn't really expect to appreciate the reading experience. But I did.

This book is also fairly big on BookTok, and while most of my TikTok feed is made up of the most unhinged and inexplicable videos to exist in the universe since the end of Vine, I occasionally brush with literature (presumably due to my username being "emmareadstoomuch"). People on BookTok like to say very dumb things about this book, like "i liked most of it but it rlly lost its way at the end :/" and "bunny was like good but also it totally stopped making sense" as if endings are something authors just make up at the last minute and they have nothing to do with anything.

That is so stupid it triggers my fight or flight, and the ending of this is good.

The end.

Bottom line: Books like this forever!!!


i don't know what it says about me that after reading this book, i just really want to be a blonde rich demon girl in a pastel dress eating mini foods...

okay, i do know. it's that i'm psychologically unwell.

review to come / 3.5ish

currently-reading updates

it's giving a secret history

(this is an observation i made based on title alone, only to discover that the woman who wrote cat person made the same one presumably after reading the whole book)

tbr review

had to add this to my tbr, as a big fan of borderline unpleasant literary fiction about unlikable women
Profile Image for Kat.
260 reviews79.2k followers
December 6, 2019
super fucking bizarre. i loved it.

i usually don't compare titles to explain books, but i think it's the best way to explain this one soooo
heathers meets the craft meets frankenstein. if that sounds like a good time to you READ THIS.
Profile Image for Riley.
424 reviews20.8k followers
October 10, 2020
this was the weirdest book i've read in my life and i don't know if i loved it or hated it but it was amazing and broke my brain
Profile Image for Jenny.
1,281 reviews83 followers
December 17, 2020
*deep, deep breath*

*lung-bursting shrieks*

*choked swear words*

*another deep breath in, then out*

Alright, with that out of the way, let's get this shit over with.


Words cannot, and I mean CANNOT, express how disappointed I am with this novel. I went from, "wow, this is so creepy, I love it!" to "well, that was a little disappointing," to "FUCK THIS SHIT SO FUCKING HARD." The best word I can use to sum up my emotions right now (aside from the obvious ones like rage, hatred, and disappointed) is BETRAYED. I feel so FUCKING betrayed by this novel because there were so many things that I liked and it legitimately feels like the story saw my joy and said, "oh, you're happy? That won't do, let's fix that, shall we?" and turned this book into a fucking dumpster fire by the end of it.

Before I start rage-hating this book, I want to express the one aspect that I loved for most of it: the writing. Holy shit, the writing was amazing! The details given to locations, the senses, appearances, even emotions was done so well and added depth to scenes that ordinarily wouldn't get. However, the amount of detail started to weigh down the story considerably towards the end, to the point where you could skim whole paragraphs and not miss anything crucial.

One thing that I loved about the writing was the detail given to each of the Bunnies, specifically from Samantha's perspective. For example, one of the Bunnies she referred to as Cupcake, because she always wore bright colored dresses (like brightly colored frosting) and smelled like sweet fruit (a common ingredient in cupcakes). What was interesting about this is that this can be interpreted as objectification. Samantha doesn't see Cupcake as a person (for most of the book) but rather as a consumable product, and since they are both writing majors and they are told to focus on The Body, her nickname and description unintentionally characterizes Cupcake as a consumable object rather than a person. I could on about the other women in the story, but for the sake of this review's length I'll keep it at that. Suffice to say, that was an aspect I truly enjoyed. Too bad it couldn't carry the rest of the fucking story.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, let's talk about the main character Samantha, or as I like to call her, Our Lady of Perpetual Pity Parties. Look, I get it, her entire character arc is supposed to be about her whining about how much her life sucks and constantly needing other people for support only for her to realize that in the real world, sometimes you have to do difficult things on your own, and give her a triumphant concluding chapter. Yeah, here's how I feel about that:


All Samantha did for LITERALLY 3/4 OF THE BOOK was whine, whine, whine about her life and how she hates people but can't tell them, and LIES, LIES LIES. Holy shit, did she tell the fucking truth AT ALL in this story? I couldn't tell because the author was SO ADAMANT about making her lie about FUCKING EVERYTHING that I honestly couldn't tell. I was so done with her self-created and self-attended pity parties that by the time she actually did something it didn't feel satisfying.

Quick side note, I hated pretty much everyone in this fucking book. They were all self-entitled, judgmental, and uninteresting. Moving on.

Now it's time to talk about the moment where this turned from awesome to disappointing. You know how the summary promotes the idea that these are women bringing to life their "dark fantasies"? Yeah, sounds interesting, doesn't it? You wanna know what their "dark fantasies" are?

Men. Their ideal, fantasy-created men. I'm not kidding. They literally sacrifice bunnies so that they can create their own men. Oh, but they're not called men, instead they're "Drafts," "Darlings," or "Hybrids". Yeah, WHAT FUCKING EVER. I was expecting twisted, disturbing creatures birthed from twisted minds, not their fantasy guys. Seriously, fuck this plot twist so hard, it was such a disappointment.

And to add the cherry on top of this disappointing story, we have the totally off the rails depiction of women hating. That's effectively what this story boils down to, women hating that is suspiciously juvenile but it takes place in a college so it's TOTALLY ADULT. Here's the plot: unpopular girl gets drafted into popular group, leaves the group for awhile, that group gets bitchy revenge, girl returns to group, then leaves group again, girl gets final revenge at the end. HOW IS THIS NOT A YA STORY?! Seriously, I have seen this EXACT FORMULA at least half a dozen times already, but because it takes place in a college its ADULT?! FUCK THAT SHIT! Oh, and let's talk about the women hating, shall we?

First off, Samantha is unfathomably judgmental to the Bunnies, until she is officially inducted into their ranks. The Bunnies are always cooing and coddling each other, all the while saying nasty and judgmental things sugarcoated as suggestions or whatever. So, you know, there's that. I thought this story was going to be about rising above all that and be a feminist piece but NOPE! You want to know what unravels their little friend group?


I shit you not, Samantha is able to "create" a man that all of the Bunnies love (all other men were failures. Oh and Samantha was able to do this ON HER FIRST TRY, because OF FUCKING COURSE, why the fuck not?!) and they tear each other AND THEMSELVES apart to please him, going so far as to LITERALLY FIGHT EACH OTHER for his affection. And you want to know the best part? Based off of my interpretation of the text, Max (Samantha's "creation") exists to do all the things she wants to do but can't because she's too scared (like date Ava, her friend, or destroy the Bunnies). Are you telling me that Samantha had to create A MALE VERSION OF HERSELF to be able to do all the things she wanted to do before her plot induced epiphany kicked in?! Oh, and speaking of endings, you want to know what her "new and improved" self does when approaching the Bunnies after Max is destroyed? She acts snarky and condescending towards them. Female empowerment at its finest, AM I RIGHT, GUYS?! Holy shit, how is it possible for a story to derail so spectacularly?! (Although the same thing happened with The Black Coats, so I guess anything's possible).

Welp, that about does it. All of my rage and hatred has finally been quelled, thanks to my best friend, the caps lock key. In closing, I do not recommend this book to anyone, I wish I could have lit my copy on fire and throw it out a window but it was a library book so I couldn't, I hope everyone has a nice day and never has to suffer like I did reading this book.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,041 reviews47.7k followers
October 31, 2021
people get exhausted trying to figure me out, and i just let them
- this book @ me, midway through

this is just bizarre and not in a way that has me wanting to figure out what happens next. i wanted to slam my head into a wall trying to puzzle my way through writing that used phrases like "gynecological hand gestures." like what the fuck does that even mean. i guess i now understand people's inability to put this book into words in their reviews. because the book has nothing tangible to explain.

dnf @ like... 40%?
Profile Image for chloe.
240 reviews28k followers
November 30, 2021
2nd read: October 2021
buddy read with caitlin & my patrons

1st read: October 2020
buddy read with jaime & caitlin
Profile Image for Michelle .
863 reviews1,228 followers
September 15, 2022

I have no idea what I just read or how to review it. Does that work as a proper review? I'm not even going to attempt discussing the plot because...because.... See? I truly don't know how to.

Bizarre, strange, peculiar, unusual are just a few words that come to mind if I had to try and describe this mind fuck of a book. It's a very slip-streamy type of novel. A novel in which the entire time I read I had no idea what was going on and I still don't. Not a fucking clue.

"And then they hug each other so hard I think their chests are going to implode. I would even secretly hope for it from where I sat, stood, leaned in the opposite corner of the lecture hall, department lounge, auditorium, bearing witness to four grown women - my academic peers - cooingly strangle each other hello. Or goodbye. Or just because your so amazing, Bunny. How fiercely they gripped each other's pink and white bodies, forming a hot little circle of such rib-crushing love and understanding that it took my breath away. And the nuzzling of ski-jump noses and peach fuzzy cheeks. Temples pressed against temples in a way that made me think of the labial rubbing bonobo or the telepathy of beautiful murderous children in horror films. All eight of their eyes shut tight as if this collective asphyxiation were a kind of religious bliss. All four of their glossy mouths making squealing sounds of monstrous love that hurt my face.

I love you, Bunny."

Did I like it? I kind of did. I can't deny the talent of this author. She's a wordsmith without a doubt. This book is being compared to Heathers and I think it's an appropriate comparison only this book is so much stranger. So much weirder. Some of the observations made by Samantha, our narrator, are downright snarky and hilarious and I was digging the vibe but then it all gets to be a bit too much. A bit too "out there" even for a weirdo like me.

Toward the end of the book I came across this quote in which I highlighted because it summed up my thoughts exactly:


3 *WTF just happened?* stars!

Thank you to Edelweiss & Viking Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
477 reviews37.8k followers
August 20, 2020
One of the weirdest fucking books I’ve ever read.

This book is the product child of a love triangle: if Mean Girls and Alice in Wonderland fell in love with The Craft.

If you like pretentious people in cliques and sacrificial cults and exploding heads and truly WTF moments, all at the same time getting their MFAs in writing and lit?

Then this one is for you.

August 28, 2021
| | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | |

There are those bizarre and experimental books that manage to be entertaining, transgressive, and on occasion even thought-provoking. And then, there are books like Bunny whose weirdness largely rests on overusing the word bunny (which appears approximately 350 times, one time too many).
An intentionally silly story that owes more to Scream Queens and The Babysitter then Heathers or Mean Girls. If you are picking up Bunny thinking that it is some sort of intriguing campus novel, you should reconsider given that this book is the anthesis to The Secret History. If you are hoping for some sort of absurdist black comedy à la Yorgos Lanthimos, think again. The 'satirical horror' I was hoping to encounter in Bunny was largely MIA.
Each page of this novel tries to be 'sarcastic' by exaggerating the mannerisms and words of certain groups of people (in this case a creative writing clique) which made for a weary reading experience.

Writing about writing is never an easy endeavour since there is the high risk that you will remind your readers that they are indeed 'reading' a fictitious work. Since the main cast in Bunny is part of a creative writing MFA program...we were constantly reminded of how inane criticism can be. The five girls part of this program are apparently only able to write fiction that reflects their personal life or preferences...funnily enough, a lot of the criticism that these characters throw at each other's pieces of writing could easily be aimed at Bunny (oh, the irony):

“Um, what the fuck is this, please? This makes no sense. This is coy and this is willfully obscure and no one but [the author] will ever get this […] spoiled, fragmented, lazy, pretentious […] And then I feel like screaming JUST SAY IT. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED. TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK THIS MEANS AND WHAT YOU DID WITH HIM EXACTLY.”

Four of these girls are part of a clique that is the ultimate parody of cliques. From the first few pages they are presented as some sort of 'hive-mind', some sort of multi-conscious entity. Some of their conversations between them—as well as the narrator's observations about them—could be amusing.
Although the narrator keeps insisting that she is 'different' (aka the only 'big' difference between her and the bunnies is her finances) she falls prey to this clique. Personally, I don't think the story provides with a convincing reason for the MC to fall in with these girls. Even when the Mc sees their most secretive activities...it seemed that she stayed with them out of laziness (or merely as a way to further the plot).
The weirdness of this story seems contrived. This whole novel seems (rather ironically) like an exercise for a creative writing class. Many of the 'bizarre' elements in this story were predictable and had me rolling my eyes. The whole book is like a joke that goes on for too long. The first few chapters were amusing and the scenes that took place in the creative writing workshop were on point (and reminded me of the creative writing module I took in my first year of uni):
“Samantha, we’re at Warren. The most experimental, groundbreaking writing school in the country. This goes way beyond genre. It subverts the whole concept of genre.”
“And gender narratives.”
“And the patriarchy of language.”
“Not to mention the whole writing medium.”
“It basically fucks the writing medium, Samantha. Which is dead anyway, you know?”
“Exactly. This is about the Body. Performing the Body. The Body performing in all its nuanced viscerality.”

Yet, soon enough the repetitiveness of these exchanges grew tiresome and the style of the narrative became increasingly annoying and unnecessary. The narrative mimics the language—and perhaps vision—of this clique of girls: it is sweet, sticky, and extra. If you like eating candy floss until you feel sick you might be up for it...the narrative—if not the whole story—is a parody that lacks subtlety or real wit:
Here at Mini they have many cupcakes in mini but they should have more. Why don’t they have more? They should have more in mini, more! We tell them how they should have more in mini and they do not seem to make a note of it.

The narrative's style was so repetitive! All too frequently words were repeated three times in a row in a cheap attempt to give urgency to the story.
The plot (if we can call it that) even in its 'wtf moments' is tedious. The characters and story seem merely a backdrop to this sickeningly sweet and repetitive language (hair like feathers, tiny pink-y small-ish hand, glossy this and that, teensy-weensy girls who eat teensy-weensy food).
This book didn't inspire feelings of panic or fear, which I was expecting given its summary...I was never afraid of these demented girls and their stupid activities. A lot of the things seem to just happen to the MC as if she isn't capable of these laughable 'terrible' things from happening (insert eye roll here). Again, I find it ironic that the MC's own writing is criticised for this exact reason:
“Although we could hardly call her a heroine, could we? I mean, could we even call her that, Samantha? […] She’s quite passive, Samantha, isn’t she?”

I guess you could argue that this is all 'intentional'. The stupid characters, the saccharine and repetitive language, the MC's spinelessness...these things come across this way on purpose...but that seems like a cheap excuse to make the lazy and unfunny elements of your story 'deliberate'.
The worst 'sin' of all is that this book leaves us with a less than favourable opinion about writing and criticism...which isn't a great message.

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,407 reviews9,543 followers
April 14, 2022
1 Star

Well, I didn’t like it!

And I think everyone was hitting the crack pipe. I’m weird and messed up enough without this 🤣😂

And it seems like they were blowing up bunnies or some weird shit


So, I’m climbing out of the rabbit hole and on to the next book!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,484 followers
September 9, 2021

I have, like, no clue what I just read. A post-feminist Fight Club? A sort-of inverted Traumnovelle / Eyes Wide Shut? An appeal for Bunnies or an ode to wolves? The writing was interesting-very uber-millennial complete with emojis, selfies, self-indulgent musing, semi-pretentious name-dropping, sarcasm-laden descriptions.

I stare at them all through Kira's pink heart-shaped glasses. This is how she must see the world all the time. I look at their dark pink faces, so suddenly grave. I should call the police. I should run to Mexico. (p. 109)

Samantha/Smackie is a grad student at a prestigious (pour ne pas dire pretentious) university in a northeastern city (that strongly resembles Boston where the author currently lives according to Wikipedia). It is hard to tell apart what is pure fantasy from Samatha's overactive imagination and what is real, but she is definitely wired differently than just about everyone. Her erstwhile best-friend, Ava, is the polar opposite to the somewhat cannibalistic Bunnies (Eleonore/Duchess, Kira/Creepy Doll, Victoria/Vignette, Caroline/Cupcake) who are in Sam's writing Workshop with the formidable Ursula/KareKare. Ava represents her tragic past (mother died of a car accident when she was 13, her father on the lamb because of poor business decisions) and the Bunnies represent a privileged life which Facebook and Instagram and Disney promise to us if we are starborn and, preferably, white, blonde, and blue-eyed. Naturally, there is a tension between these two worlds existing in Sam's psyche which gets eventually personified in the Max/Ax/Wolf character later in the book. She is attracted to the capitalist dream that the Bunnies represent, but also repulsed by it - wanting to give in and wanting to fight, Ultimately, she only goes halfway: and that's when I realize that whatever pain I have, whatever true want I have that lives under all this greasy, spineless needing to please, isn't something I want to give them. (p. 169)

Things start out normal-enough and quickly become bizarre with violence, drugs, and sexual fantasies all mixed up like a frozen cocktail of Cray 👻🌷 (as one of the Bunnie's messages on Sam's phone might say). And then the reality drops out the bottom for about 2/3 of the book. There is a little bit of clarity at the end, but even that is elusive at best.

Overall, I would say it is a sort of amped-up, millennial version of a schizophrenic, anti-establishment story like Fight Club from a female perspective. A fun and interesting, if somewhat disturbing, read.
Profile Image for Betsy.
75 reviews66 followers
June 11, 2019
Okay, what just happened here?

I'll quote one of the characters to explain my feelings about Bunny--"And then I feel like screaming JUST SAY IT. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED. TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK THIS MEANS."

The publisher's blurb doesn't even begin to capture what happens in Bunny. At first, I thought I'd be reading an R rated version of Mean Girls.

As I read, I found that wasn't quite right, so then I thought, "Okay, maybe it's Stephen King does Mean Girls."

It turned out that that description didn't capture it, either. The best I can come up with is "Stephen King trips on acid and writes an R rated Mean Girls."

Bunny is so strange that it's hard to form an opinion, but I think I liked it. (Maybe my opinion will change after I sit with it a bit, or maybe I'll be equally as confused.) The weirdness did make some parts of the the plot hard to follow, but I think Bunny is supposed to be disorienting by design. On another note, I appreciated Awad's sense of humor, which is on full display when she describes the Bunnies for the first time. She definitely places us right inside the MC's head!

This novel is so odd that it's not going to be for everyone, but I'd rate this a 3.5/5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Viking for providing me with a DRC of this novel.
Profile Image for Deece de Paor.
285 reviews7 followers
October 22, 2020
God this was truly awful. You know when you get a feel for a book and the feel is, ‘I don’t like this but I’m going to give it a chance?’ But then you give it a chance and it doesn’t improve? So that happened.
As I read I thought this author must be very young and will be embarrassed by this in ten years.
It’s like a much worse Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas but completely uninteresting.
I would not recommend this to anyone.
Profile Image for ❀ Lily ❀.
76 reviews15.9k followers
November 11, 2021
I have no idea how i feel about this book.
i actually can't tell if i liked it or hated it... I need to sit with this for a while
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews111k followers
January 1, 2023
I appreciate the experimental approach to the writing, especially as the main character gets more initiated into the cult and the story started feeling like a fever dream. I also liked the satire with writing groups and the way they critique and the MFA environment. However, the characters and story felt too juvenile for my tastes, and it was hard to believe that they were adults instead of teenagers (you could argue it’s because they’re supposed to be out of touch and immature, but ehh). I think this would be cool to watch as a movie but it wasn’t really my thing as a book.
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,209 reviews26k followers
April 16, 2020
This is the strangest book I’ve ever read but I kind of loved it. I recently just read this for a video having absolutely no idea what it was about or what to expect but I’m genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I think the other reviewers comparisons are completely accurate, this story is: Mean Girls meets Frankenstein meets The Secret History meets Jennifer’s Body... and it also reminds me a lot of the movie Sorry to Bother You as well..?

But this story is so fucking weird and strange and like nothing I’ve ever read before. And the writing is so damn good and interesting and kind of beautiful? But this story is fucking terrifying at times, and all the characters are bizarre but there’s just something about it...

Here’s the reading vlog where I read this: https://youtu.be/uitYgdWObpk
Profile Image for Naomi Green.
1 review259 followers
February 12, 2023
“Tik tok sensation” should’ve given it away but honestly what a fucking dreadful book
Profile Image for myo ✧༺ ༘♡ ༻∞.
707 reviews6,277 followers
June 12, 2021
i think i had too high of expectations for this book because this gave absolutely nothing, i’m like so disappointed because i expected so much from this book 😭 and as a Heather’s fan i’m mad yall keep comparing because they share no similarities besides having all the girls share a name. It’s also not dark comedy cus aint shit funny in this book. I think for a dark academia book to have supernatural aspect it needed to at least explain that. I don’t mind unexplainable things or weird books but when you have supernatural things and don’t explain it, it comes off a bit lazy. i wanted to like this so so so much because i thought that the Bunny’s and what they were doing was intrigued but also by the end i was bored as hell and it ended up being 3 stars instead of 4. i have never felt as though i wanted more from a book by the end like i did for this book. im so sad guys :(
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,706 reviews663 followers
July 17, 2019
This book is pure demented madness.

I loved it. I loved all of it and I think all of you weirdos should read it because you might just love it too. Just don’t ask me what it was about because I have no idea what the heck I just read and I am perfectly fine with that, haha!

I was in a huge book funk when my friend Emily recommend this book to me as a must read. She knows her stuff and I listened and it was exactly what I needed. I blew through this book in two days on audio and was so involved at one point that I walked into the shower with my headphones still in my ears. By some strange turn of fate, I did not fry my earbuds or what is left of my brain and now I think may shell out some bucks for water-proof earbuds because I think I just found myself a few more minutes of reading time!

I think you should go into this book as blind as possible and I’m not going to be the one to spoil any of its surprises and will keep it brief. Samantha is a graduate student working on her MFA degree. She has to go to “workshop” in order to complete her degree and, too bad for her, this workshop is infested with a cliquey group of young women who wear dresses with cupcakes and kittens on them, who only eat itty-bitty food and who twitter and coo and call each other Bunny. They ignored the darkling Samantha the previous year except to bitterly and cruelly critique her work. Samantha is pretty okay with the status quo because who the hell wants to be a Bunny?! But one day Samantha receives a rare and coveted invitation to one of their “Slut Salons” and isn’t sure what to do. But she’s as nosy as me, apparently, and against her better judgement she goes and the story pretty much goes batshit crazy from that point on and I couldn’t describe it if I tried. It truly has to be read to be believed. So go read it!

This book is surreal, deliciously evil, and wickedly funny and the writing is weirdly addictive. It’s getting all the stars because I loved every single twisted turn and madness infused word within its pages. You probably won’t know exactly what you’ve read once you finish it but I bet you’ll be happy you read it.

“The night is a dark earth I could dig my hands into forever.”
Profile Image for lulu.
79 reviews180 followers
March 13, 2023
i think i just had a fever dream where i was transported into a melanie martinez music video while tripping out on acid.

i honestly might change this rating but i’ve never had a book leave me so confused pretty much the whole way through. sometimes it was too confusing to the point where i didn’t know why i was reading it and i felt like the dumbest person for not understanding, but other times i was just intrigued and wanting to finish it so i can get the answers i wanted.

about halfway (?) through you get a little idea of what’s going on when she’s on the bus, and i definitely caught on and went oh my god that’s what this all is! but then there were so many other things in the story that had me confused and still asking questions. like what is this school? what happened between her and the professor? who exactly are the bunnies?

i had a couple theories i dismissed early on which ended up being right, but it didn’t even matter because the way this is written is just meant to confuse you. even if you kind of understand what’s happening. like the randomest shit just gets thrown in here. i felt like i was going crazy. i think i felt my brain altering. i might be a little bit crazy now. will i never be the same again?

would i recommend this book? i don’t think i can really say yes or no. i personally don’t regret reading it. and i will definitely never forget this book. because it’s fucked. lemme tell you that. i loved some parts and disliked others. i personally love the way it ended. it suits the book very well. but i can see why some people could hate this book.

this was a wild ride to say the least. was confused 99.8% of the time but twas a once in a lifetime experience if i do say so myself. i mean, hey, understanding the plot of a book can be so overrated sometimes you know what i mean??
Profile Image for Lark Benobi.
Author 1 book1,725 followers
March 27, 2023
I loved this book from its first sentence. I fell hopelessly in love with this book by the second page. After that I kept reading along in a fog of joy. What did it mean? What did I care? Sometimes I made small ejaculatory noises as I read along. Mostly these noises resembled swift soft barks of pleasure that weren't quite laughs, but were laugh-adjacent. And I guess you could say that I've finally figured out that what I value most in contemporary fiction is an original voice, along with (the illusion, at least, of) an author who is so filled with brash unassailable confidence in her talents that she knows what she's writing is utterly unique, and so she keeps on writing more of it, sentence by sentence, until she gets to the perfect ending as if led there by her very own personal literary god, a small-g god in this case--because this particular literary god is spritely, and pagan, and more than a little naughty. Yep.
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