Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine's sense that something isn't quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.
Chidgey is an agile writer, and here fuses pacy storytelling with some resonant metaphors ... The drama to come is hinted at early and often but even so, the darkness of the novel’s denouement is hard to fully anticipate ... As satisfying a narrative as Pet is, lingering uncertainty is the source of its real power, enabling it to maintain its hold over the imagination long after the final page has been turned.
Chidgey’s examination of sexual politics is ruthless ... The novel hums with the low-level fever of adolescent boredom and betrayal ... Chidgey’s grasp of the slipperiness and self-delusion of memory – from Justine as an increasingly unreliable narrator, to her father’s later dementia – is faultless.