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Pink Hardcover – February 8, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“I never wore pink. Pink wasn’t cool. Pink wasn’t existential,” explains Ava as her story of identity confusion begins. But clad in cotton-candy cashmere, she starts life at a posh new private school where both academic success and a smooth conformity seem the norm. Too bad Ava has to hide her desires from both her aggressively antiestablishment parents and her supersophisticated but desperately jaded girlfriend, Chloe, who’s been left behind in public school. Ava, despite coming out as a lesbian, especially feels the need to hide the thought that she might want to kiss a boy. The change of environment creates its own perplexities, foremost among them Ava’s encounters with a bunch of theater-crew misfits. How to make the world of the “screws,” Chloe, and the more conventional new school friends fit together (or not) powers Ava’s narrative. Written with a great deal of snarky wit, this Australian import never gets overly heavy despite all the hand-wringing. A refreshing addition to the LGBT oeuvre. Grades 8-11. --Karen Cruze

Review

“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.” (John Green, Printz Award-winning author of Looking for Alaska)

“A witty, refreshing look at high school and adolescence that obliterates stereotypes along the way. Laugh-out-loud funny, endearing, and heartbreaking.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))

“Refreshing.” (Booklist)

“An entertaining story about teen angst, sexual identity, and high school relationships from a promising debut author.” (School Library Journal)

“I laughed, I cried and I occasionally burst into song.” (Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar)

“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!” (Michael Cart, author of YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE: From Romance to Realism)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061926531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061926532
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,062,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Why I Read this Book: The first thing that caught my attention is that cover. I love it! It really stands out and catches your eye. The premise sounded interesting enough however, the book didn't live up to my expectations.
What I Liked: The writing was good in that it flowed well and was easy to read without any hang-ups. And the title and the cover are a good fit for this book.

The people in the stage crew were a fun group. I love the camaraderie between them. Sam was my favorite character in the book. I was more interested with what was going on with his character than I was with Ava, the protagonist.

What I Didn't Like: My biggest problem with Pink was that I couldn't connect with Ava, at all. She was trying to fit in by pleasing everyone that she never did anything for herself. She likes Ethan because Alexis tells her to like Ethan. She tries out for the school musical because Alexis tells her it will get her closer to Ethan. Ava got the opportunity to re-invent herself and I thought she would amount to more. That just didn't happen. She goes through an identity crisis and I feel like she really didn't know who she was at the end of the book any more than she did in the beginning.

I did get a small case of the warm and fuzzies (probably because it involved Sam) at the end but other than that the story fell flat. I was surprised to see that the story had ended when it did; I was expecting a little more.

Overall Impression: Pink was a miss for me. I didn't connect with the story or the main character. I could have easily put this one down except the author's fluid writing style made Pink as easy read. If you enjoy reading about high school drama, clichés, and don't mind a bland, meek protagonist, then Pink might be for you.
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Format: Hardcover
THAT'S IT. Upon my college graduation this May, I am packing up my worldly possessions and moving to Australia, land of infinite YA talent. I have been fortunate enough to read a number of wonderful Aussie YA authors--Cath Crowley, Kathy Charles, and Kristy Eagar--but Lili Wilkinson's PINK raised in me the rare and wonderful feeling of wanting to walk up to everyone I see and go, "This book. Oh my word. It's...words fail me in describing its awesome. READ IT." I'm going to equate this feeling to the one I got when I finished Robin Brande's Fat Cat, still one of my favorite books ever, and then gushed endlessly about it for years and years and tell people repeatedly that they need to read it.

Smart and pink-loving Ava Simpson wants a chance to be normal. So she leaves behind her girlfriend, the cool and sophisticated Chloe, for a new school, and eagerly dives into a new life filled with girly clothing, challenging academics, hanging out with the "Pastels," and crushing on a hot boy.

But what is normal, anyway? And, more importantly, who is Ava? When Ava joins the stage crew and befriends a quirky group of geeks, she feels torn between Chloe, the Pastels, and these "Screws." But juggling all these different identities is not easy, and Ava has to figure out who she is before she loses everyone.

So. *breath* Let's begin to explain why PINK is the Holy Grail of YA Contemporary Awesome, at least probably for those who share my taste in contemporary fiction. First of all, it is important to note that this is the most elegantly casual portrayal of LGBT teens I have encountered in YA. "Elegantly casual" sounds like an oxymoron, but what I mean by that is that it is a lovely realistic presentation of the ambiguities of teen sexuality.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ava wants to change. Her old life and school is a little too much for her--she wants to see what the other world (the pink, the beautiful, and the fun) looks like. Her journey starts by joining Billy Hughes private school. She meets and befriends Alexis and her friends. She also hangs out with the Billy Hughes "Screw ups." Her mission is to see which box she fits in; would she really know where she fits in? Even though I wanted to know what she'll choose/be, I had to figure it out with Ava, taking the journey together. Until the very end, I was trying to figure out what she will choose--just like she was trying to figure out herself. It never failed to make me smile and keep me interested. Such a beautifully told story that will stay close to me for a long time.

Ava is naively sweet. As smart as she is, she could be dumb too. I did not pity Ava for not knowing her box or being confused. I steered with her for an undecided self-discovery, and dare I say I liked it. On the other hand, the way Wilkinson depicted Chloe as a stuck up feminist and lesbian wasn't appalling nor cringing, but a revelation. Chloe was a great girlfriend but a little judgmental. I really, really liked her boldness and classiness.

Moreover, there are times when authors quote or discuss some classic throughout the book, and at times it doesn't leave any impression on readers. Well, Wilkinson knows how to make it sound genuine, attention-grabbing, and interesting. It makes you want to read those old classic books you dread. Quite honestly, "enjoy" is not the right word to describe my elation about this book--blissful is more like it.

Besides its magnificent writing, the characters gave this book a lot of depth and lovability.
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