Pink

Pink

4.4 81
by Lili Wilkinson
     
 

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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.

Transferring to Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence is the perfect chance to try on

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Overview

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.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ava has a lot going for her. She's smart and has sophisticated Chloe as a girlfriend, but she wants to reinvent herself as someone more traditionally feminine—like "girls who liked boys." When she transfers to an elite private school, she is taken in by a group of high-achievers, but finds it difficult to fit in with their seeming perfection. Rejected from the school play, Ava volunteers with the stage crew instead, and begins bonding with the misfits who build sets. But her popular friends judge them harshly, and Ava also faces constant anxiety as she tries to keep her relationship with Chloe a secret. Though readers will likely empathize with Ava's efforts to compartmentalize her life, the thoughtful conversations she has about the complexity of gender and identity, both with her stage crew friends and her parents, make up the strongest parts of Australian author Wilkinson's story. Ava's worlds collide in a melodramatic conclusion that strains believability, but her final realization ("Maybe I didn't have to choose for sure now") is cogent and satisfying. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
John Green
“This fun, razor-sharp, and moving novel reminds us that pink—like love—is a many-splendored thing. Read it. It might just change your life.”
Michael Cart
“Fit in or be yourself? Wilkinson explores this universal dilemma with just the right mix of sensitivity, ambiguity, insight, wit, and-yes-wisdom. A lovely, funny, and altogether engaging book!”
Justine Larbalestier
“I laughed, I cried and I occasionally burst into song.”
Booklist
“Refreshing.”
VOYA - Sara Martin
Much to the chagrin of her girlfriend and parents, Ava decides to transfer to a progressive private high school in the hopes of trying to be "normal"—where she can care about doing well in school, try to fit in with the popular crowd (the Pastels), shed her goth persona, wear pink, and maybe even kiss a boy. To jumpstart her new life, she decides to audition for the school musical, with less than stellar results. With her spectacular audition flop behind her, Ava is still determined to get involved and decides to volunteer with the aptly named and self-proclaimed "stage crew freaks" (aka the Screws). As she tries to mold herself to fit other people's expectations, she finds she does not fit anywhere. Although the Screws are viewed with disdain by the Pastels, "none of them seemed exhausted from being themselves," which causes Ava to question herself and her own preconceptions. Australian author Lili Wilkinson takes a witty, refreshing look at high school and adolescence that obliterates stereotypes along the way. The novel is in turn laugh-out-loud funny, endearing, and heartbreaking as Ava repeatedly steps into teenage social land mines—with unexpected results. Because Wilkinson does not rely on stereotypes, the characters are well developed, and interactions between them feel genuine. Ava's story will undoubtedly engage readers . . . and maybe even cause them question their own assumptions. Give Pink to teens who like their humor with a healthy dose of intelligence, such as fans of John Green. Reviewer: Sara Martin
VOYA - Raluca Topliceanu
Similar to the movie Mean Girls, Pink vividly explores Ava's quest to belong. She is torn between the perfect Pastels—shallow, gorgeous, and powerful—and the Screws—outcasts who are not afraid to express who they are. Right from the start, her personality comes into focus through clever, raw, and genuine dialogue. Each character becomes real and claims the reader's heart; it will be hard to forget this heart-warming tale of forgiveness, belonging, and friendship. Reviewer: Raluca Topliceanu, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Ava, an Australian teen, has begged her parents to let her transfer from her underachieving high school to an exclusive and rigorous private school. Her parents, open-minded progressives who threw a party to celebrate her coming out, reluctantly agree. Her girlfriend, Chloe, sophisticated, intellectual, and highly possessive, is also not pleased. Ava is immediately befriended by Alexis, petite, perky, popular, and intelligent, who encourages Ava to audition for the school musical. Humiliated by a disastrous audition, she joins the stage crew, made up of the school's outcasts and oddballs. Ava doesn't tell anyone about her sexual identity and withdraws from Chloe. She becomes closer to her stage-crew friends, while her more popular friends disdain her involvement with them. Failed attempts at matchmaking, a final argument with Chloe, and the revelation that she is not sure of her sexual orientation create a roller-coaster of emotions. While Ava is a sympathetic character who feels that she has disappointed a lot of people and doesn't know how to make amends, Chloe becomes increasingly insufferable. Wilkinson authentically captures the social awkwardness of high school life and love. Passionate confessions made by several key characters are a bit over-the-top but don't distract from the story. Some characters are rather quick to forgive past wrongs, but this is an entertaining story about teen angst, sexual identity, and high school relationships from a promising debut author.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Frustrated at being penned in by her counterculture parents, 17-year-old Ava shifts away from her unconventional school and a longstanding relationship with her beautiful but sometimes chilly girlfriend in this funny and poignant Australian import. She is unsure about many things; her decision toswitch to anacademically rigorous high school is her first step in trying out a new persona. Her plans also include wearing the soft pink sweater of her dreams, attempting to fit into the mainstreamand possibly, just maybe, dating a boy. Nothing turns out as she'd expected, though, and Ava finds herself spending a lot of time with the outcast members of her new school's stage crew (or "Screw" as they've proclaimed themselves), to whom she relates much more than she'd like to admit. Ostensibly a focus of the novel is Ava's process of understanding her sexuality, but her search for belonging doesn't stop there. While the resolution of her struggle is too predictable, the delightfully authentic,bawdy dialogue and cast of intensely likable misfits energetically propel this story forward. Readers will enjoy the ride. (Fiction. 13 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062069634
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/08/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
327,286
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Michael Cart
“Fit in or be yourself? Wilkinson explores this universal dilemma with just the right mix of sensitivity, ambiguity, insight, wit, and-yes-wisdom. A lovely, funny, and altogether engaging book!”
John Green
“This fun, razor-sharp, and moving novel reminds us that pink—like love—is a many-splendored thing. Read it. It might just change your life.”

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