Sunday, May 6, 2012
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Pink by Lily Wilkinson (Harper Teen, 2011)
Summary from publisher:
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 a bit 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 circumstances, Ava wonders if she will ever figure out who she really wants to be.
Based on the jacket blurb, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was glad to be reading a realistic fiction book after a few fantasies, and I was happy to see this is a stand alone book, not one of a series. Beyond that, I figured the story could go any number of places.
I found myself completely caught up in Ava's world. There was so much I could relate to from my own high school experience, especially being part of the theater crowd. While the kids I hung around with in high school were not so separated as in Ava's school, I could put names of friends in the places of some of the characters an the story would have gone on as written.
Though I did not have the question of my sexuality to grapple with, I certainly drifted at points, trying to figure out just where I fit in. Ava drastically changes schools in order to help her figure this out, but her decisions made sense and felt real. While her sexuality is certainly part of who she is, it is not the defining quality in this book.
Older junior high/high school girls who like realistic contemporary fiction are sure to like Ava and enjoy her story. It's a good read.