I finished The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. I picked it up because the title intrigued me. I was in the library and it jumped out at me. Before reading the jacket, I thought it would be a book about the history of animation, or Disney, or Pixar. After reading the jacket, I knew that it would not be a run of the mill novel.
I am sure a lot of people would quickly use the word “raw” to describe the book. I get it. Whenever a book touches a nerve that is the go to phrase. That phrase is both cliché and inaccurate. This book is polished to a brilliant shine.
If I were going to pick a word to describe it, that word would be unflinching. The book doesn’t hide anything. The book isn’t afraid of the abyss. I like a book that tells it like it is without trying to shield you. I like a book whose characters live life without excuses.
The characters have depth. They are not always likeable, but I am pretty sure that is the point. Instead, we have to feel pity and sadness for relationships rather than the people who are guilty of messing them up. That’s a neat trick and one the author should be commended for. I didn’t feel sad, but I had to stop reading and take time to think. There are not many books that do that to me.
I would have to say that the story was quite original and moved at a fast pace. I certainly felt like I was along for the ride like a guest at a wild party. The world of avant garde animators whose work is kind of like strip mining therapy. Peel off enough layers and you will get to the source of the irritation. I enjoyed racing along the road, while at the same time afraid of what my suddenly pop up in the way.