Friday, August 20, 2010
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Alright, first of all, how awesome is this cover! I love the contrast between the pink and the black. But aside from the cover, this is probably the best book I read all summer, and I work at a bookstore and am in library school, so I read a lot of books this summer. (We will exclude Mockingjay for the moment, as it is not yet August 24th...) Pink tells the story of Ava, who transdfers schools and joins the school musical in an attempt to fit in with the "normal" crowd. She quickly learns that no one is normal, and that might not be a bad thing. So, the back of this book does not make any mention of the fact that Ava is a lesbian and is in a long term relationship with a girl named Chloe. I both like and dislike this editorial/marketing choice. This is not a coming out story, but it also kind of is. Ava struggles with her sexuality at various points in the novel, but for the most part, she is very happy in her relationship and her family is very supportive. I like the fact that Ava's sexuality, while certainly an important aspect of the novel, is not the MAIN point. It is nice to see LGBT characters that fit into the story fluidly and whose sexuality is just another awesome aspect of their character.
And the characters in this story are awesome. Wilkinson is a great writer and all of her characters are fully developed. Ava makes friends with the popular kids and with the stage crew kids (called screws) and Wilkinson manages to make the reader fell like he/she really knows these kids, without providing extensive backstory. My favorite was Alexis, who starts out as a vapid (albeit incredibly smart and talented) popular girl, but who ultimately becomes incredibly endearing and hilarious. That's another thing I loved about this book. Althought it deals with serious issues, identity, belonging, sexuality, death, it isn't super serious, and it is HILARIOUS. Good job Ms. Wilkinson. It is not preachy in the slightest! The only issue that arises, is the fact that there is no mention of Ava's sexuality at all. I can understand why they didn't include it in the blurb, as it is not THE ISSUE in the novel, but it is central to her character, and readers who pick up the book expecting the traditional coming of age story might be in for a little shock. But that isn't really a big deal and it could change before the book actually gets released. So read it!
This book will be released Feb 8th, 2011, from Harper Collins. but I loved it so much I had to review it right away! Thanks for the review copy Anne!