Title: The Animators
Author: Kayla Rae Whitaker
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
DNF (did not finish) after 23%.
I realise I am going to be wildly unpopular if I give this a low rating as I did not finish this book and it's well loved by critics. Therefore I am leaving my star rating blank in order to not skew the rating downwards.
The reason for giving up is simple for me:
I used to be a graphic designer, my husband still is, my brother works in special effects for movies and I've met dozens of comic book artists and other artists over the years. I can tell you one definitive thing from all that experience: We are NOT all train wrecks. PERIOD.
In fact most artists (of any kind) I know are really hard working people that bust their butts every day, for longer hours than the average 'office worker', and put their heart and soul into their artistry. Now are there some bad seeds out there, yes, in any industry (especially one as competitive as art) there always is someone who makes everyone else look bad. But as a general rule the art industry is not full of a bunch of washed up druggy losers there's too much work involved to just get noticed and they don't put the effort in.
So why is this relevant?
Because, as is so often the case, I feel like The Animators is setting up the art industry to be seen as awful. It's ironic that The Devil Wears Prada is one of the most honest books (and movies) out there. I have seen publishers be that awful, vague and mean; and I absolutely loved it so much because it was so true! However the same cannot be said for the Animators. I have met very few successful artists that are complete drugged out losers. And so I don't really understand what Kayla Rae Whitaker is trying to say with her portrayal of these two brilliant female artists (except to say that if art is hard for men it's doubly hard for women..?) as partying messes who have just made it big.
Additionally, this book felt hard to read for me. I needed to work a bit too hard to follow the thoughts of the characters. It's likely a wonderful literary study but honestly as I was reading it all I could think was how much I wish it was A Visit from the Goon Squad which I really enjoyed. Maybe it's the difference in my personal view between the music industry and the art industry that I can accept a harsh, drug-addled perspective from the music world but not the art world. Maybe that makes me the one in the wrong... All I know is I just don't see the correlation that is being made here in this industry.
At the end of the day it was just too much effort without any pay-off at the 23% mark. I didn't like either of our two main gals and was frustrated with both of them for being really annoying and just flat out dumb. Whether it was their relationships with one another, others, interviews on NPR, or their general laziness and overall stoned attitudes I just wasn't buying it; and therefore didn't feel
any compassion towards them for it.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review. Don't believe me? Check out the other books I've had eARCs for that I gave great reviews to. I always give my opinion whether good or bad