Samantha Heather Mackey is repelled by her MFA writing cohort—a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. The feeling appears mutual, until Samantha is invited to attend the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon." Samantha is slowly drawn into the Bunnies cloying and sinister world.
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.