Bookmarks Issue: 

missing imageLili Wilkinson is the author of seven young adult novels including Angel Fish (2009).

The Story: Ava has antiestablishment parents and is dating her super-cool, gothy girlfriend Chloe. But she also has hidden desires: to be pretty in pink and maybe even to kiss a boy! When Ava gets accepted to Billy Hughes School for Academic Excellence, she finally has a chance to try out her new identity. She quickly becomes one of the "Pastels," a group of popular girls, but she also finds herself becoming increasingly involved with geeky theater misfits. Juggling her double life--and keeping too many secrets from Chloe--proves a challenge.
Harper Teen. 320 pages. $16.99. ISBN: 9780061926532.

Aussie Reviews 4 of 5 Stars
"The pink cover suggests the book might be girly and light--but, while it might be funny, it is an important book, dealing with sexual identity, a topic which is under represented in YA fiction." Sally Murphy

Novel Novice 4 of 5 Stars
"It's also refreshing to see a YA book that isn't about the geeky/longer/fringe girl longing for the hot-but-misunderstood guy. ... Ava's situation is so different from anything I've read in YA, and this uniqueness gives her experience a freshness." Sara Gundell

Persnickety Snark 4 of 5 Stars
"Pink was an immensely funny and involving story that is populated with so many zingers that you'll think you're on a roller coaster while experiencing a sugar high. It's that good." Ellen Emry Heltzel

Reading Rants 4 of 5 Stars
"Ava's classic adolescent identity crisis is made brand spanking new by the fact that she's already living the bohemian life most high schoolers dream of, but instead longs for structure, collared shirts and a date to the senior prom." Jen Hubert Swan

Voice of Youth Advocates 4 of 5 Stars
"The novel is in turn laugh-out-loud funny, endearing, and heartbreaking as Ava repeatedly steps into teenage social landmines--with unexpected results." Sara Martin

Readings 4 of 5 Stars
"Pink is equally entertaining and thought-provoking. Wilkinson tackles some big issues--gender, feminism, sexuality and racism--with a light touch." Leanne Hall

Critical Summary

Lili Wilkinson gives an ingenious new twist on LGBT literature by creating a protagonist, Ava, who is surrounded by people who already accept her for being different but who secretly has a hankering to be “normal.” Critics agree that Ava, her girlfriend Chloe, and the nerdy theater crew, are all witty and believable. Even the popular "Pastel" girls are complex and not so predictable. Don't expect Ava to figure everything out by the end of the book--after all, she is a fumbling teenager--but do expect to fall in love with some characters and have some good laughs while doing so.