2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 0 books toward her goal of 200 books.

Book Review: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

What an incredible story this was! I am on a binge of Nigerian-authored stories lately; there seems to be a lyricism to the storytelling style that permeates even though the individual authors’ writings are very different.

This is a marvelous story. I’ve seen some reviews comment on the audience, the simplicity, and the messaging. I don’t often pay attention to the “intended” audience; if I’m intrigued by a cover/blurb/author, I’ll read the book regardless of who it is meant for, unless I find myself getting lost (in a bad way) in that intent. I found this story to flow beautifully. There is a simplicity here, but it’s a deceptive one – the messages are huge and exceptionally timely and their straightforward presentation is a big part of what made them so powerful to me. This is a very thinly-veiled allegory for the modern world and I think the thinness of the veil is meant to emphasize, rather than minimize, that import.

I occasionally struggled with the shifting vernacular in this particular one – the narration is told in a western-type voice, whereas the dialogue uses expressions and syntax that are distinctly different and have the flow of West Africa in their veins. It can be jarring to shift back and forth in writing style like this; there were a few times in the beginning where it made the flow feel jumpy-bumpy and I’d have to work to maintain the feel of the story. After a little while though, the exceptional storytelling style carried the day and I fell into the rhythm and flow of the shifting voices and they felt completely organic by the end of the book.

Emezi is DEFINITELY on my To Be Watched list now. I have already requested Freshwater from my library. She is an epic talent and a voice to be reckoned with…

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy of this amazing story.

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