From the cover blurb – In Kayla Rae Whitaker’s bold and vibrant debut, a life-changing friendship collides with all-consuming creative ambition to explosive can’t look away effect.
Indeed, the Animators, is edgy and different. Two twenty something girls meet in college and instantly connect. Mel Vaught from Florida and Sharon Kisses from Kentucky are escaping their families, their lives, and themselves as they create animated short films and ultimately a feature film. In a unique world, they create and also work out their respective family issues with blazing creativity. They have an underworld following and ultimately win a very high award. With that money, they work harder and dig deeper.
They identify Mel’s mother’s body in prison. That’s a harsh awakening. Sharon has a stroke at a young age. They deal with that. They visit Kentucky and Sharon’s past which includes a neighbor who was a child molester. So many issues and harsh upbringings – all fodder for animation – their life blood, their way of expressing themselves. But alcohol and drugs play heavily and this reality could bring this successful duo down. So many excess, so much strong personality, and of course there’s a competitive undertone. Who’s the genius, the powerhouse, and who’s the workhorse?
How will this friendship survive and thrive with various love interests – male and female, younger admirers, and creative boundaries? The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker is a strong debut book with very quirky interesting characters. Her writing is bold, daring, and vibrant. I enjoyed this book, was challenged by this book, and can recommend this book if you want to step outside your comfort zone.