Thursday, 16 July 2009

Review - Pink / Lili Wilkinson

Summary - 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.

Review - How can you be true to yourself, when you have no idea who you actually are? If you want to get to the centre of this pink-fetish delight, then that question is what you would find. Pink is fabulous because it's the antithesis of what it sounds like. There's nothing soft, fluffy or sweet about this novel. Wilkinson's slices, dices and shreds her way through dialogue to get to the real heart of the matter...and the characters. I mean that in the best way possible, teens don't cushion the truth and neither do the characters. In contrast there's are some lovely quiet moment. Pink was an immeslely funny and involving story that is populated with so many zingers that you'll think you're on a roller coaster while experiencing a sugar high. It's that good. But most importantly is possesses a heart.

Ava's gay but she's not a hundred percent sure. She wants to be normal and have the typical teen experience. Like all teenagers she has people all around her attempting to mould her into what they think she should be. In changing schools, Ava is working towards becoming what she feels she needs to be. She needs...to wear pink, to be with the "in" crowd and date boys. It's much, much more than the summary implies. Why? Because there are the amazingly obnoxious, whip-smart and adorable back stage crew of the musical that might have more in common with her than she'd like. I love this crew, particularly the wonderfully blunt Jules. I want to adopt that boy.

Wilkinson knows her demographic and she's got a mighty deft touch in writing witty repartee. Pink is a fun read but it delves into many themes that are true to the teen experience regardless of sexual orientation. Disconnected parents, sexuality, emotional neglect, betrayal, self-doubt and the struggle for independence are all here in a wonderfully witty, pink package. There's no bow tied ending here but the conclusion will greatly satisfy with it's realistic edge.

A great novel that shades the line between what is and what can be. Be who you want to be, even if that does involve wearing pink ;)

Published: August 2009
Format: Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Origin: Australia
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http://www.liliwilkinson.com/
**Reminder that Aussie books can be ordered via the online booksellers listed in the Buying OZYA link at the top of the blog.

4 comments:

Korianne said...

Wish this wasn't Oz only, but thanks for the tip on how to order them. I hadn't noticed the tab before. First glance at the cover and I would think the book was a little too fluffy for me, but this sounds like it has a cool plot.

prophecygirl said...

Another Oz book that sounds very good. I'm going to have to order some of these!

Steph Bowe said...

I think Pink is going to be published in the US... but I might be wrong.

asamum said...

Wonderful review - I really like how you write :D
A great sounding book and one to add to my list for the library dealing with homosexuality.
Thanks :D