The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

My experience of reading The Animators was a very odd one. I simultanesouly didn’t like and couldn’t put it down. How does that even happen?

The story is about two female animators who meet in college and go on to spend their careers working together and exploring their pasts through their art. The one character, Mel, is so self-destructive and ultimately quite cruel that I just couldn’t get past that. So was it an inlikable character that made me dislike the book? Partially.

It was also that you’re deep into the world of animators in this book, something I know nothing about. I can imagine that if you’re into comics and cartoons, this book would totally work for you, but for me it didn’t.

But, the writing is pretty darn good. That’s waht kept me going. Whitaker can write. Why else would i read a book I didn’t really like or relate to in record time? That’s the only way i can explain it. Whitaker’s writing compelled me to keep going even when I didn’t really care.

Who would like this book?┬áThe edginess of The Animators reminds of a lot of contemporary fiction like Nicotine by Nell Zink. It’s edgy, rough around the edges and meant to shock. It also pushes you into places of discomfort. I do think that The Animators will appeal to many readers, especially of the hipster variety. Maybe I’m too old to appreciate it?


  1. I felt much the same about this book – there were elements that I really liked (particularly the bits where they visit family) but others that I really didn’t (notably the animation stuff and cartoon history). My feeling is that this was two books merged into one.

  2. Haha! I’ve definitely had this experience before…it was with All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker.
    The Animators is on my list and it’s a BOTM Feb selection…I think I’ll give it a try at some point. The animation focus definitely has me nervous, but the great writing is good news!
    Thanks for your honest review.

  3. That’s happened to me before – not being able to put a book down, but not liking what I’m reading at the same time. I think sometimes it’s about the writing, and sometimes it’s about something that’s happeneing that you just can’t look away from. At any rate, the way you describe this book sounds good to me! Except maybe for the deep dive into animation.

  4. Pingback: Book of the Month Club February 2017 Selections: What Would I Choose? - Sarah's Book Shelves

  5. Pingback: THE ANIMATORS by Kayla Rae Whitaker, Book Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s