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Ava is tired of her ultracool attitude, ultraradical 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.

But Ava soon 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.

Pink received an American Library Association Stonewall Award Honor for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Published: HarperTeen an imprint of HarperCollins on Feb 8, 2011
ISBN: 9780062069634
List price: $9.99
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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 a heartwarming and very realistic story about a girl attempting to express her true self for the first time.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Clueless from Ty's perspective, PINK was a thoroughly entertaining "find yourself" teenage story. The adults portrayed are a little extreme (Ava's parents "Pat and Dave" vs. Sam's ice-queen mom), and as a straight person I can't really comment on the orientation questions, but the sheer who-do-I-like-who-am-I-what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up maelstrom that is adolescence was very relateable and well written.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I really enjoyed this one. The beginning reminded me a bit of the Shopaholics series-it had the same humor. Ava would often find herself in embarassing situations, and since I am so sensitive to a character's humiliation, I found myself cringing a lot in empathy. I thought the characters were great, especially Sam and Jules. I wish I had had friends like that in high school, who throw around different bits of trivia and go out on those awesome missions (seriously, how fun would it be to sail a couch down a river?) and go to one of those 24-hour sci-fi movie marathons. It's geeky, but it sounds so fun. The ending was nice. Everything wasn't wrapped up in a nice pink bow (ha, ha) but it was satisfying and realistic. Ava is still trying to understand who she is at the end, but she has a better handle on her life and where she wants to be.**This was a review copyread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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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 a heartwarming and very realistic story about a girl attempting to express her true self for the first time.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Clueless from Ty's perspective, PINK was a thoroughly entertaining "find yourself" teenage story. The adults portrayed are a little extreme (Ava's parents "Pat and Dave" vs. Sam's ice-queen mom), and as a straight person I can't really comment on the orientation questions, but the sheer who-do-I-like-who-am-I-what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up maelstrom that is adolescence was very relateable and well written.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I really enjoyed this one. The beginning reminded me a bit of the Shopaholics series-it had the same humor. Ava would often find herself in embarassing situations, and since I am so sensitive to a character's humiliation, I found myself cringing a lot in empathy. I thought the characters were great, especially Sam and Jules. I wish I had had friends like that in high school, who throw around different bits of trivia and go out on those awesome missions (seriously, how fun would it be to sail a couch down a river?) and go to one of those 24-hour sci-fi movie marathons. It's geeky, but it sounds so fun. The ending was nice. Everything wasn't wrapped up in a nice pink bow (ha, ha) but it was satisfying and realistic. Ava is still trying to understand who she is at the end, but she has a better handle on her life and where she wants to be.**This was a review copy
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Ava changes schools because she feels like she has been conforming to her girlfriend's idea of what she should be like, and wants to try other things: wearing pink, auditioning for the school musical, and maybe even liking boys. She tries to be like the perfect, popular, pastel-wearing girls who befriend her on her first day of school, but eventually finds that conforming to them is just as restrictive to her real self as conforming to her girlfriend's image had been. When she doesn't make the cut for the school musical and falls in with the stage crew, a group of happy misfits who slowly accept her into their ranks, she starts realizing that discovering who she really is, is more complex than she could have imagined. This, of course, does not stop her from trying her hand at "helping" the other members of the stage crew find happiness and fulfillment, which (of course) backfires horrendously.Pink has a lot of great humor mixed in with the serious stuff, and it is a fast and gripping read. Fans of YA realistic fiction a la John Green and Maureen Johnson should definitely be on the lookout for this one!
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Smart and pink-loving Ava Simpson wants a chance to be normal. So she leaves behind her girlfriend, the cool and sophisticated Chloe, for a new school, and eagerly dives into a new life filled with girly clothing, challenging academics, hanging out with the “Pastels,” and crushing on a hot boy.But what is normal, anyway? And, more importantly, who is Ava? When Ava joins the stage crew and befriends a quirky group of geeks, she feels torn between Chloe, the Pastels, and these “Screws.” But juggling all these different identities is not easy, and Ava has to figure out who she is before she loses everyone.THAT’S IT. Upon my college graduation this May, I am packing up my worldly possessions and moving to Australia, land of infinite YA talent. I have been fortunate enough to read a number of wonderful Aussie YA authors—Cath Crowley, Kathy Charles, and Kristy Eagar—but Lili Wilkinson’s PINK raised in me the rare and wonderful feeling of wanting to walk up to everyone I see and go, “This book. Oh my word. It’s…words fail me in describing its awesome. READ IT.” I’m going to equate this feeling to the one I got when I finished Robin Brande’s Fat Cat, still one of my favorite books ever, and then gushed endlessly about it for years and years and tell people repeatedly that they need to read it.So. *breath* Let’s begin to explain why PINK is the Holy Grail of YA Contemporary Awesome, at least probably for those who share my taste in contemporary fiction. First of all, it is important to note that this is the most elegantly casual portrayal of LGBT teens I have encountered in YA. “Elegantly casual” sounds like an oxymoron, but what I mean by that is that it is a lovely realistic presentation of the ambiguities of teen sexuality. Lili Wilkinson doesn’t try to fit Ava and the other characters into character types in LGBT fiction that have been done before. Instead, they are simply allowed to…exist as they are, and it’s not a big freaking deal. David Levithan didn’t quite do it for me with his utopian romance Boy Meets Boy, but I am enamored by PINK’s skillful and intelligent handling of sexual orientation and identity.Speaking of intelligence, PINK has the type of smartness that will appeal to everyone, regardless of your IQ level. Ava and the Screw kids are, without a doubt, nerds—specifically of the sci-fi geek kind. This means that they constantly engage in the most entertaining of conversations regarding the strangest and most obscure topics everywhere. There’s nothing like using one’s excessive brainpower for nerdy humor, and as someone who goes to a nerdy-cool college, I adored the banter. The Screw kids are weird, but they’re cool-weird, and best of all, each of the five has his or her own distinct personality.PINK has all of the essentials that I live in a contemporary novel: a strong-voiced protagonist who is still in the process of growing, wit, full characterization. Not to mention some delectable extras: the sci-fi geek details, musical theatre (!), a cute boy, and memorable side characters. Without a doubt, PINK is going on my favorites shelf, and I eagerly look forward to the next time I reread it, so that I can experience the joy of this wonderfully well-written book all over again.
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PINK, by Lili Wilkinson, is a journey of teenage proportions that explores the self-doubt of one girl who has yet to figure out where she belongs. Ava is a wicked intelligent girl who is not challenged enough academically at her school. One thing holding her back is her radical girlfriend who she absolutely adores. But being in that school and with Chloe doesn't feel right to Ava and she wants more of a stereotypical girly life with pink clothes and a boyfriend. Her balancing act with her old life and her new one gives her more insight to herself then she could have ever imagined.The cover originally drew me to this book. I mean how awesome is it? But inside the book is where the awesomeness lies. Wilkinson created a cast of amazing characters. Each character had layers upon layers that kept me reading more. The stage crew kids were my favorite. As a theater geek, I was in heaven. The 'Screws' (as they called themselves) were a mish-mash of different kids with their love for being backstage. In a high school setting, I think this group is more accepting of unusual talents and intelligence that other groups can't handle.Ava was extremely clueless to the world around her. She molded herself to fit into where others saw her. When she was around Chloe she was radical and sarcastic. When she was around Billy Hughes peers she was whatever they needed her to be. In the grand scheme of things, she actually belonged to the Screws even when she thought they were losers. These kids pulled the real Ava out from her hidden layers and made her think about her choices.The relationship dynamics were intricate. Ava's relationship with Chloe was always on thin ice with Ava (I think) caring more for Chloe than she did for Ava. Ava and Ethan's relationship boggled my mind from the beginning. She was set up to 'get with' Ethan. Of course he was the popular, gorgeous guy, which made Ava want him even more. And then there was Sam, one of the Screws. He was not the typical hot, popular guy. But since I am a total fan of gingers, I was smitten. He was the most 'real' with her which made him even more likable.Overall, this book has everything a young adult contemporary book should have. Drama, geeks, self-doubt, self-discovery, and an amazing three-dimentional cast of characters that will make you laugh and cry. I look forward to more from this amazingly talented author.
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