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Book Review: Pink

Friday, February 10, 2012
by Lili Wilkinson

3 Stars: A Good Read
Format: Hardback
Publication: February 8, 2011
Pages: 310
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy it: Amazon Hardcopy | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

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.

In a society that encourages children, teens, and adults alike to be unique and to express their individuality, Lily Wilkinson's Pink asks: What if I want to fit in? What if I like what everyone else is doing? I first read Pink last year when I won a copy of the book in a writing challenge and enjoyed reading about Ava's story about becoming herself in a very un-radical fashion that would receive disapproval from her parents and old girlfriend.

While I appreciate characters strong enough to break away from, say, a brainwashed society, I appreciate books that look into not-so-well-explored topics like 'what if someone doesn't want to be a radical?' In this case, I think it takes a heck of a lot more courage to be who you want to be. It is easy to buy black clothes and act disinterested in society when you want to rebel against everyone else, but it is much harder to try and conform to society when your parents are into radical politics and everyone else, especially said parents, expects you to be the same. What I love most about this book is the message that conformity doesn't happen with just the 'in' crowd; it happens to someone belonging to a group of radicals. It happens to Ava, a former radical and lesbian who decides to wear pink and be straight.

While she isn't a total conformist, Ava is quite demure compared to her parents. In fact, it is easier for Ava to see her ex-girlfriend as someone belonging her to household than herself, and she doesn't know what to expect of herself, other than the fact that she wants to wear the color pink. However, Ava lacks the courage to wear pink in front of her parents, and she gets a girlfriend because she wants to be like Chloe (her ex) and it is what her parents expect of her in spite of their constant encouragement for Ava to be herself.

It is at Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence, away from her parents and ex-girlfriend, that Ava finally finds the courage to try new things. Only, it's easier said than done to try and be herself. Ava makes her fair share of mistakes while trying to fit in for the first time. After having been her parents' little radical for so long, she feels the need to swing to the other extreme and conform to the 'in' crowd before she finally realizes that all she really needed to do was be true to her heart. Pink is the heartwarming story about a girl attempting to express her true self for the first time.
2 comments on "Book Review: Pink"
  1. This is an interesting take on a topic - usually everything's about being okay with being different.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Pink has been on my tbr list for quite some time now. I like the concept of this book.
    Thanks for the review.


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