ARC: 310 Pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book from Publisher*
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.
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.
Review by Kate
PINK, by Lili Wilkinson, is a journey of teenage proportions that explores the self-doubt of one girl who has yet to figure out where she belongs. Ava is a wicked intelligent girl who is not challenged enough academically at her school. One thing holding her back is her radical girlfriend who she absolutely adores. But being in that school and with Chloe doesn't feel right to Ava and she wants more of a stereotypical girly life with pink clothes and a boyfriend. Her balancing act with her old life and her new one gives her more insight to herself then she could have ever imagined.
The cover originally drew me to this book. I mean how awesome is it? But inside the book is where the awesomeness lies. Wilkinson created a cast of amazing characters. Each character had layers upon layers that kept me reading more. The stage crew kids were my favorite. As a theater geek, I was in heaven. The 'Screws' (as they called themselves) were a mish-mash of different kids with their love for being backstage. In a high school setting, I think this group is more accepting of unusual talents and intelligence that other groups can't handle.
Ava was extremely clueless to the world around her. She molded herself to fit into where others saw her. When she was around Chloe she was radical and sarcastic. When she was around Billy Hughes peers she was whatever they needed her to be. In the grand scheme of things, she actually belonged to the Screws even when she thought they were losers. These kids pulled the real Ava out from her hidden layers and made her think about her choices.
The relationship dynamics were intricate. Ava's relationship with Chloe was always on thin ice with Ava (I think) caring more for Chloe than she did for Ava. Ava and Ethan's relationship boggled my mind from the beginning. She was set up to 'get with' Ethan. Of course he was the popular, gorgeous guy, which made Ava want him even more. And then there was Sam, one of the Screws. He was not the typical hot, popular guy. But since I am a total fan of gingers, I was smitten. He was the most 'real' with her which made him even more likable.
Overall, this book has everything a young adult contemporary book should have. Drama, geeks, self-doubt, self-discovery, and an amazing three-dimentional cast of characters that will make you laugh and cry. I look forward to more from this amazingly talented author.
*FTC Disclosure: I received this ARC from the publisher. I do not receive payment of any kind in exchange for a review. I do not receive monetary compensation from any book links in my review.