Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Published February 8th 2011 by HarperTeen
The pink jumper was practically glowing in my grey bedroom. It was like a tiny bit of Dorothy’s Oz in boring old black-and-white Kansas. Pink was for girls.
Ava Simpson is trying on a whole new image. Stripping the black dye from her hair, she heads off to the Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence, leaving her uber-cool girlfriend, Chloe, behind.
Ava is quickly taken under the wing of perky, popular Alexis who insists that: a) she’s a perfect match for handsome Ethan; and b) she absolutely must audition for the school musical.
But while she’s busy trying to fit in — with Chloe, with Alexis and her Pastel friends, even with the misfits in the stage crew — Ava fails to notice that her shiny reinvented life is far more fragile than she imagined.
Debut author Wikinson takes a lighthearted but timely and resonant look at a teen's attempts to don a new personality and figure out who she really wants to be.
My ThoughtsAre you in the mood to lose your bottle of oil? Are you looking for one more example of Australian literary brilliance? Well then I suggest you give Pink by Lili Wilkinson a try. This coming of age story is filled with moments of hilarity, chagrin, deep thought, huge let downs and rewarding endings. I truly enjoyed Ava’s journey of self discovery that was filled with the right amount of screw-ups.
Pink starts off with Ava deciding to switch schools and attend Billy Hughes academy. She’s on a quest to discover who she really is and at the same time challenge herself academically. Every route she attempts though leads her to believe she doesn’t quite fit in, not with the Screws, nor the Pastels or her girlfriend Chloe for that matter. She’s confused and looking for some answers, and the road down Discovery Lane is nothing but major suckage.
At the beginning of the story, Ava came across to me as awkward and well slightly pathetic if I’m being honest. I was having a hard time connecting with her character and not quite feeling the compassion, but then something happened and I can’t quite pinpoint when it occurred. It’s like the clarity of the story’s message became blazingly clear, and I suddenly appreciated Ava for telling her story honestly and unabashedly.
At its most basic level, this book tells the story of a girl who simply wants to know who she truly is before she has to make some huge decisions about life, love and all that fills the space between. Its narrative is raw and the characters play their parts to perfection. Giving it anything less than four stars would be criminal and I’m grateful I got a chance to read Pink. I loved it!