The Animators

The Animators

eBook - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
“A wildly original novel that pulses with heart and truth . . . That this powerful exploration of friendship, desire, ambition, and secrets manages to be ebullient, gripping, heartbreaking, and deeply deeply funny is a testament to Kayla Rae Whitaker’s formidable gifts. I was so sorry to reach the final page. Sharon and Mel will stay with me for a very long time.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest


She was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever.

In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.

“Suffused with humor, tragedy and deep insights about art and friendship.”—People

“[A] stunning debut.”—Variety

“A compulsively readable portrait of women as incandescent artists and intimate collaborators.”—Elle

Publisher: Random House Digital,, 2017
ISBN: 9780812989298
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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May 28, 2017

Loved this book for the plot and action between the two main characters-

lindab1111 Apr 29, 2017

Great first novel. Whitaker is an author to watch.

KateHillier Mar 28, 2017

Mel and Sharon have been animation partners since meeting in college. Mel is wild and crazy and seems to have all the ideas while Sharon is the one who makes sure that the project actually gets finished. They're riding the wave of their first major success when Mel gets some devastating new and Sharon is sidelined by an unforeseen curveball. I'm trying very badly not to give those things away.

Sharon is already questioning her own value to the partnership when these things happen, and a trip to her home state of Kentucky with Mel in tow seems primed to be a hilarious and awkward comedy but it's really just painful. Mel's childhood is not happy but Sharon's isn't super happy either.

It's really a great book until the middle, and then the Big Thing happens and it honestly sort of peters out from there. It may have been a bit more compelling had the big event happened earlier and we had some room to build up into something. Or if that Big Event was something else entirely.

Didn't love it. Didn't hate it.

MGBustillo Mar 24, 2017

A whirlwind story of two women bound by art and a lifetime of friendship tragically cut short. Two misfits who find a kindred spirit and passion for animation/cartoons/movies.


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