Being the new girl is tough: just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has noRead Review
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.
In my honset opinion, I found this book to be very capturing and inspiring as I could relate to the drama the main character was going through. The cover confused me at the beginning of the book, but then I continued reading and when I got to the middle of the book, I understood why Lili Wilkinson named the title of the book "Pink".
I would recommend this book to people around the ages of 13 - 16 as it is a bit over age, but I personally enjoyed all of the drama that was happening throughout the whole book.
My opinion on Lili Wilkinson is that I like the way she writes and how she writes her story. She comes up with great stories and I hope in the future that I will read all of her books.
When Ava Simpson moved to a new school in the hopes of becoming “normal”, she never expected she’d end up with the freaks in Stage Crew. As Ava faced new friends, the school musical and even more confusion about her true sexuality, she started to question herself: what is normal, and what did she really want?
Don’t let the cover and title fool you; Pink by Lili Wilkinson is not a girly book full of gossiping teens and frivolous high school woes. Instead, it is a journey of self-discovery and friendship. While some of Ava’s mistakes may be cringe-worthy and occasionally difficult to endure while reading, overall Pink is an excellent book. It is made even better by interesting descriptions – without the use of a tidal wave of adjectives like many novels use for explanations – the lack of an exaggerated outlook on teen life which some stories by adults occasionally feature, and the inclusion of stage crew as an integral part of the narrative. Teen girls are the most likely to enjoy it, even more so if they are a part of their school tech crew; I find it adds an extra element when reading this novel.
I personally enjoyed the fact that this novel included technical theatre, since I was in my school's Tech Crew when I read it and it's the first novel I've read which included it :)
A version of this review also featured in the Cairns Post last year.
Ava is a teenager trying to please everyone, by the grades she gets, the clothes she wears, even the food she eats. But is this really what she wants? Or who she is?
Ava isn't so sure, at least not anymore. She isn't sure about a lot of things in her life, but one thing she is sure about is that it's time for a change; new friends, new experiences, a new school, and maybe even a new Ava. But will she be able to hold on to her old life while creating a new one?
Confused and on a mission to find herself, to find who she really is, Ava strives to reinvent herself. All she wanted was to be normal, be like everyone else and to fit in, to belong. But was this too much to ask; was she so different that she couldn't fit in anywhere? and has she reinvented herself so much that instead of finding herself, she has lost who she is in a web of new clothes and lies? Or is it possible that through all the secrets shared and mistakes made that Ava is able to learn about life, love and herself.
This book is a great read for any teenager girl. It is both clever and humorous, and at times embarrassingly honest. It deals with the question of identity and show its alright to be unsure; that life is never simple and neat, but messy and screwed up. It is not afraid to show the important issues faced by teens; that of family, friendships, relationships, sexuality, peer pressure, drugs and the need for acceptance.
Pink is pretty much made of awesome and has everything I love in YA – musical theatre, geeky boys, hippie parents, fandom, ranga jokes, identity crises’ and Pastafarianism.
Ava is a great character to read about – unlike someone like Amy from Posse or Chloe in this story, Ava isn’t completely comfortable with her sexuality and is still trying to find out who she is and where she fits in. I really enjoyed the way Lili allows Ava to explore facets of her identity and question gender roles. Ava’s uncertainty and the journey she undertakes in Pink to discovering and being comfortable in her identity are a really critical part of adolescence, and I think most teens would really respond (in some way) to Ava.
My favourite parts were basically any scene involving the Screws (stage crew) – particularly the Dennis Station picnic, which is really lovely. Each of the Screws – Jule, Jacob, Jen, Kobe and of course, Sam, are brilliantly characterised and wonderfully quirky. Even Queen of the Pastels, Alexis (who I must admit, I was initially quick to dismiss) proved to have heart – and a surprising love of sci-fi, which I felt was a fitting reminder that everyone should embrace their inner-geek. Lili also does a phenomenal job at writing clever banter and realistic teenspeak – with the right mix of nerdisms, references to internet memes (the appearance of Flying Spaghetti Monster made me giggle) and heartfelt, believable dialogue.
Also, any novel set in Melbourne and is full of references to this lovely city (especially ones to the Hurstbridge line!) pretty much owns my heart.
I loved this story! It was fun, it was funny at times and most of all the characters were genuine and realistic. Thanks, Lili for creating characters we can believe in!