The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
I was only about thirty pages into this novel when I realized it is going to be one of my favorite books of 2017. It’s a beautiful story about friendship, family, and facing trauma. Sharon and Mel are two outsiders who meet at art school. They both have a passion for animation, and wind up making movies together. Ten years after they meet, they have made a film that is garnering them the attention and money they need and deserve, but Mel’s substance abuse problems threaten to upend their success. When a serious event causes them to face the future of their partnership while examining their turbulent pasts, Sharon and Mel decide to handle things the way they know best: by making art. But art can be complicated and painful, and making a new film will test the bonds of their friendship. Whitaker does a lovely job realistically capturing the intricacies of the art world while spinning a wonderful, heart-squeezing story.
Backlist bump: The Fine Art of Fucking Up by Cate Dicharry (If you want to read a funny satire about art school.)