Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny cover with an image of a rabbit

Bunny is a novel about an outsider who ends up involved with a college clique, but it doesn’t go down how you’d expect. Samantha is an MFA student at a prestigious college, resentful of the rich girls who all each other ‘Bunny’ that she has to share workshops with. Her only friend is Ava, a weirdo from the local art college, who hates Samantha’s college and the people there. Out of the blue, the ‘Bunnies’ invite Samantha to their mysterious ‘Smut Salon’, and it seems like she is being let into the fold. However, things start to get sinister and surreal as Samantha is drawn deeper into their world.

From the summary, the book sounds like another college clique campus story, but it really isn’t. Samantha may seem like a classic heroine of such a novel—lonely, brooding, poor, unable to write despite it being how she will graduate—but the narrative is not. Instead, it takes a kind of twisted unreality and uses it to satirise writing (particularly the kinds of writing that the Bunnies are shown to do, variously pretentious and trying to be profound and dark) and to question what is happening to the characters. At first the style can be a bit irritating, but it settles down and feels purposeful (particularly the endless repeating of ‘Bunny’).

Bunny is a novel that some will find too bizarre, some will question what it really means, and others will enjoy the ride. There are some similarities with Heathers, but also with a blend of literary and teen horror; it is a book that defies reality, but also pokes fun at writing and trying to do what the novel itself is doing.