Pink by Lili Wilkinson
HarperCollins, February 8, 2011
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Summary from Goodreads:
Ava has a secret. She is tired of her ultracool attitude, ultra-radical politics, and ultrablack clothing. She's ready to try something new—she's even ready to be someone new. Someone who fits in, someone with a gorgeous boyfriend, someone who wears pink.I loved this book and I absolutely loved Ava. I love that she's absolutely comfortable with not knowing what she wants. Of course, it would be ideal if she were comfortable telling Chloe she's not comfortable, but that wouldn't make too interesting of a story, right? And I don't mean "comfortable" in the sense that it sounds like, because obvs. she's not cozy with not knowing who she really is. What I mean is that she's...willing to try new things, regardless of what her parents or Chloe think.
Transferring to Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence is the perfect chance to try on a new identity. But just in case things don't work out, Ava is hiding her new interests from her parents, and especially from her old girlfriend.
Secrets have a way of being hard to keep, though, and Ava finds that changing herself is more complicated than changing her wardrobe. Even getting involved in the school musical raises issues she never imagined. As she faces surprising choices and unforeseen consequences, Ava wonders if she will ever figure out who she really wants to be.
Humor, heart, and the joys of drama—on- and offstage—combine in Ava's delight-fully colorful journey of self-discovery.
I also love that this is a story about a girl who's trying to decide who she wants to be and not a stoy about a girl who's not sure if she's a lesbian or not. Sure, that is a major plot point, but there's so much more to it than that. Is she an emo goth, or a popular chick, or even (gasp!) a theater freak? And is there anything wrong with being any one of those things? Or can you take a little of each and create your own personality?
Lili Wilkinson has done a suberb job of creating a likable character in Ava, and I had no problem sympathizing with her throughout the book. We all know she loves Chloe, but the problem isn't really Chloe--it's Ava. And it's not really a problem, per say; it's just that no one--Mom, Dad, Chloe--has ever given her the chance to just breathe, and figure out who the hell she is. Awesome stuff.
While Pink is Lili Wilkisons' US debut (which therefore qualifies it for the 2011 DAC), she has published other titles in her native Australia. I'm looking forward to more from her!
Borrowed book from library.
Enjoy your reading!