Friday, March 25, 2011

Pink by Lili Wilkinson

Ava decides that she’s tired of pretending to be someone she’s not. She’s gotten herself accepted to a very academically rigorous school and she’s going to reinvent herself. She wants to wear pink (off-limits because “Pink wasn’t cool. Pink wasn’t existential.”) and maybe kiss a boy. The problem? She’s got to hide all of this from her incredibly ultra-cool girlfriend and her anti-establishment parents.

This book is really quite lovely. It is breezy and sweet, funny and light, all the while tackling some pretty heavy subjects. Ava is a teenage girl who is really searching for her place in the universe. Is she gay like she’s thought since falling for Chloe? Then why isn’t she 100% sure? And what does it mean that she really wants to try to date a boy?

I enjoyed the way this book dealt with Ava’s sexuality. I could see how she is having a difficult time figuring things out. She is has been pushed in certain directions by those she trusts most. Her parents, ultra liberal anti-establishment types who made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Her girlfriend, who at the best of times is a domineering presence who prefers to dictate what they do and see and who they hang out with (the author attempts to make her, if not likeable, then at least someone who’s motivations you can understand, but ugh. Did. Not. Like).

The real stars of this book are the kids that Ava hooks up with when she joins the stage crew for the school’s musical. They are the only people in this story who are comfortable with themselves, despite of the fact (or maybe because of it) they are looked upon as weird. They are just fun and charming.

Nothing too out of the ordinary here, you’ll know where you’re headed when you start reading, but it is very well-written and you’ll enjoy spending time with Ava and her friends.

The one thing I wondered about was why the book didn’t feel more “Australian.” All the references (besides the Year Ten business) felt very American, especially the movies and T.V. they talked about. Not necessarily a problem, it just made me wonder whether or not the book had been edited to make it more palatable to an American audience or if American culture is that pervasive in Australia.

Book Source = Committee Review Copy


Kerry said...

I just read this a few weeks ago!

Patti said...

What did you think about it?

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one.