Awad does so many things right in Bunny ... Bunny functions perfectly as both a dark academic satire and a creepy horror novel, and Awad threads them both seamlessly—she can make the reader laugh out loud in one paragraph, and cringe with fear in the next ... With the Bunnies, Awad has created some of the most memorable antagonists in recent fiction. The young women are scarily believable contradictions ... They’re also perfect foils for Awad’s satire of the preciousness and navel-gazing that sometimes accompany discourse about creative writing ... Awad has a true gift for satire—Bunny is as mercilessly funny as similarly themed novels by Jane Smiley (Moo) and James Hynes (The Lecturer’s Tale). But it also shines as a horror tale ... It’s a novel that’s difficult to describe but easy to fall in love with ... Awad has proved herself one of the most innovative and original authors out there, and Bunny is a wild, audacious and ultimately unforgettable novel.
... a work of toothsome and fanged intelligence ... Awad has winkingly deployed the great ruse of the supernatural ... Though Awad plays knowingly with the tropes of eighties movies (the book’s hot-pink jacket copy mentions the cult classic Heathers; like Winona Ryder in that movie, Samantha has an air of quiet mutiny), we recognize these Bunnies as the apotheosis of that most contemporary archetype, the basic bitch ... In true Frankensteinien fashion, the proof of the author’s brilliance is her character’s apparent autonomy.
The Bunnies go through a lot of Drafts. There is a lot of blood. Their ritual is an engaging metaphor for the emotional investment artists place in their work and the brazen disregard of an artist working with blinders on. Awad expertly balances the horror of the ritual with her acerbic humor ... The novel quickly ascends to a Heathers level of camp without losing its grip on emotional reality ...the struggle, shame, and frustration of making art rings true ... In many ways, Bunny is a book made for English majors, rife with literary references and fairytale homages, but Awad strikes a careful balance: those who pick up her references will appreciate them, and those who don’t won’t miss out on the story. Furthermore, Awad’s prose is compulsively readable, and Samantha’s voice sticks in one’s head ... With this book, no axe or spell is needed: whatever ritual Awad did, Bunny came out just right.
[Awad] has a wicked sense of humor, and you get the sense she had a lot of fun writing this book. But her sense of the macabre takes a peculiar turn ... it’s a shame Awad doesn’t really run with it or play more with these ideas to greater comic and horrific effect. Instead, she takes the story off on a tack which doesn’t entirely deliver. Bunny has its share of sinister ritual, but you won’t find the kinds of set pieces, nail-biting moments, ramped-up stakes, or manipulations of time and tension you expect from the best kinds of horror stories ... Nevertheless, anyone who has attended an MFA program or writers retreat will recognize many elements Awad satirizes. Bunny is a clever commentary on female friendship and artistic competitiveness. The energy in her writing is truly infectious, and it’s a lot of fun to go with her down the rabbit hole.
...deliciously evil ... Awad is a stone-cold genius line by line. Visceral. Spare. Descriptions so accurate they feel invasive; like she reached in and grabbed the smartest darkest thought inside your head ... But if there’s one thing wrong with Bunny— and thank goodness there is one thing wrong with glorious Mona Awad’s starred Kirkus novel — it’s that it relies too heavily on genre tropes. (Which is kind of funny, because that’s absolutely the sort of pretentious thing these characters would say.) Fairy tale. Horror. Satire. Metafiction. Each one is cleverly layered into Bunny with cheeky references to Carrie, Heathers,, Greek myths and Disney princess flicks. It can be a bit much.
Bunny is an astonishingly self-assured [novel], a surreal journey into the depths of a nightmare. Awad’s writing is somehow both gorgeous and gritty as she explores creativity, art and the universal desire to belong.
... [a] brilliant, bristling dark satire ... With visuals so vivid, and a plot so weird and gripping...Bunny is a summer book, an escapist comedy, a beach read that you’ll want to pass around. But that’s only partly because it’s rollickingly, laugh-out-loud funny. What makes it memorable, and powerful, is the coupling of its go-for-broke sendup with an immense compassion for the person Samantha turns out to be. For all its dagger-sharpness, Bunny has a tenderly accommodating heart.
Whereas Woolf examined issues like gender and genius in her work with a realistic and steady hand, Awad tackles some of the same themes with a fantastically surreal and disorienting style. The book is clever and not above a bit of silliness...It is also full of dark magic, violence and terror, making it deliciously dangerous and deadly serious ... hard to describe but easy to recommend. Awad balances very well the absurdly funny with razor-sharp and serious insight. The book would make Woolf proud in its scathing look at female relationships and gendered expectations, and delight Kafka with its weird honesty. Samantha is a frustrating cipher, but Awad’s writing is so charming and strong, luminous and smart, uncompromising and mischievous, that even the Bunnies would be jealous.
Bunny...arrives in a charming package. Its cover endorsement from Lena Dunham and hot-pink type — a ubiquitous colour on this season’s book jackets — do not prepare for the psycho-horror inside. Bunny— the TV rights have already been picked up by AMC — defies easy description, but in the best possible way. It’s the kind of book you might stop reading to go back a few pages, either in disbelief or to savour Awad’s sharp wit. The best advice is to just submit to the gruesomeness, and strap in for the wild ride through the unhinged mind of Samantha Mackey.
A viciously funny bloodbath eviscerating the rarefied world of elite creative writing programs, Awad’s latest may be the first (and only?) entry into the canon of MFA horror ... Awad...gleefully pumps up the novel’s nightmarish quality until the boundary between perception and reality has all but dissolved completely. It’s clear that Awad is having fun here—the proof is in the gore—and her delight is contagious. Wickedly sharp, if not altogether pleasant, it’s a near-perfect realization of a singular vision—and definitely not for everyone.
...[an] outstanding novel ... Awad...will have readers racing to find out how it all ends—and they won’t be disappointed once the story reaches its wild finale. This is an enchanting and stunningly bizarre novel.