This was a book I picked up on a whim off the “new releases” shelf at my library, and wound up being the book that, thus far this year, has resonated the most deeply with me. This book is about my contemporaries, women my age with similar fears regarding their own originality and creative worth (I’m so much more Sharon than Mel). It has a refreshing take on female friendship, and (as kind of a side note) while I’m not an animator, Mel and Sharon’s pop culture upbringing brought back a massive wave of nostalgia – Cowboy Bebop, Tank Girl, Bakshi films, The Maxx, Ren and Stimpy, Liquid Television – I was the kid staying up late right along side them, entranced by these weird, slightly seedy/sinister shows. Maybe its vecause of this that the sheer aesthetic of this book was so relentlessly captivating. Honestly, I would jump at a hypothetical opportunity to watch Sharon and Mel’s films.
If the novel suffers at all, is from being too ambitious. There are multiple game changer moments, several of which feel climactic, but there’s always more to come. Out didn’t bother me, especially, thoughI can see it as a valid criticism of the book.
I was astounded that this was Whitaker’s first novel, and cannot wait for the next.