Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Akwaeke Emezi’s debut YA novel is nothing short of breathtaking. Emezi’s prose is poetic and perfect, their world-building is seamlessly engaging, and the images and ideas they evoke in this delicious bit of a book are searing. It’s a critical examination of the society we live in today, of the future we hope to create, and of the constant, enduring need to keep our eyes and hearts open so that we can take care of the most vulnerable among us. I can’t wait to see what Emezi writes next.”
— Abby Rauscher, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY
Now in paperback, the National Book Award finalist and genre-defying novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?
There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question--How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi makes their riveting and timely young adult debut with a book that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial. Refinery29 proclaims, "The word hype was invented to describe books like this."
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
"[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut. . . . Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities." --The New York Times
"Like [Madeleine] L'Engle, Akwaeke Emezi asks questions of good and evil and agency, all wrapped up in the terrifying and glorious spectacle of fantastical theology." --NPR
About the Author
Akwaeke Emezi is an honoree on the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" list, a long-list nominee for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, and a short-list nominee for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. They continue to receive accolades for their adult debut, Freshwater, and their sophomore adult novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, which was an instant New York Times bestseller. Born in Umuhai and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Akwaeke holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University, and lives in liminal spaces.
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
A Time Best Book of the Year
An NPR Favorite Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year
Stonewall Book Award Winner
"The word hype was invented to describe books like this." –Refinery29
“A unique science fiction tale.” –Essence
"With great tenderness, Pet questions a society silenced by denial." –Observer
"Brilliant." –The Washington Post
“By far the most striking of the [National Book Award] finalists is PET, a sinister morality tale by Akwaeke Emezi.” –The Wall Street Journal
“A riveting and timely work answering the questions about how you go about the world when the world around you is in denial.” –Out Magazine
"This soaring novel shoots for the stars and explodes the sky with its bold brilliance." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"A compelling, nuanced tale that fans of speculative horror will quickly devour." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A riveting and important read that couldn’t be more well timed to our society’s struggles with its own monsters." —School Library Journal, Starred Review
“Jam is also notable as a Black, trans protagonist in this important narrative that teens will want to read to gain some perspective on the modern political environment.” —The Bulletin, Starred Review
"Emezi’s characters are diverse in race, physical ability and especially gender.... Readers might see in Jam’s surroundings a version of a world that they, like Jam, might choose to fight for." —BookPage, Starred Review
“A haunting and poetic work of speculative fiction.” —The Horn Book