The Animators

I thought this was going to be a book about a supportive friend helping a self-destructive one, but it’s more than that. The book’s central characters—Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses—need each other and support each other. I was thrilled to find a book that takes women’s friendships so seriously.

The book also raises complex questions about art, as the offbeat cartoon Mel and Sharon make together draw on their own life experiences. But what happens when telling your own story means sharing others’ stories, too?

I cried a lot reading this book. It’s funny and sad and really beautiful. An excellent debut by Kayla Rae Whitaker.

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