Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pink: By Lili Wilkinson



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.


What first attracted me to Pink was the blurb by one of my favorite YA authors, John Green. He said “Fun, razor sharp, and moving“, and so I thought this must be a good book if he’s endorsing it.

I may not be so quick to trust a blurb next time.

I was very disappointed with Pink. I found many of the characters over the top and annoying (especially Ava’s parents), the plot while not bad wasn’t the most original, and while there was a strong and important message for teens I found it a tad repetitive and preachy.

Of course what I found most annoying about the book was the ending. Wilkinson tried tying up the problems of the book with too simple of a solution. I wont tell you how or what is done for fear of ruining the book, but I found the ending and the book as a whole wanting. An example of a fantastic ending that doesn’t try to over simplify the characters and the ending of the book is John Green’s Paper Towns. Things are not perfect, you wish they are, but Green has built these characters with a certain style and expectations and to have them have a happy ending would be betraying the story and characters themselves, making a fantastically written book cheap.

Of course there were good points to Pink. I did find some of the dialog interesting (with the exception of some Chloe or some of the Billy Hughes girls). The message of finding yourself and staying true to yourself is hard one to convey as it’s done poorly in so many other stories, but I found it not unbearable in Pink (just a little over repeated). And the story moved relatively quickly.

All in all I came in with high expectations and was disappointed. I think Wilkinson did well in certain areas and failed in others. Because of this read the first few chapters on a kindle or in a bookstore before putting down the money for Pink.

6 out of 10


Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: February 8, 2011

Price: $16.99

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