Review: Pink by Lili Wilkinson

Bought from local indie.
Published February 8, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

The pink jumper was practically glowing in my grey bedroom. It was like a tiny bit of Dorothy’s Oz in boring old black-and-white Kansas. Pink was for girls.
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.

Debut author Wikinson takes a lighthearted but timely and resonant look at a teen's attempts to don a new personality and figure out who she really wants to be.

This was the first LGBT book that I had read since I did a banned book project my junior year in high school about Annie On My Mind. In complete honesty, I strongly disliked that book. I couldn't connect to the characters and some parts just felt really slow, so I was a little worried to read this book. Oh my goodness, I seriously worried for nothing, it was so stupid of me to compare books just because they both dealt with LGBT teens! Pink is incredible, it is definitely one of my new favorites.

The main character, Ava, was having difficulty deciding whether she liked boys or girls, but she was also just trying to figure out who she is as a person. I loved how Wilkinson made this book so much more than just a story about a girl who was questioning her sexuality. I adored Ava: she was intelligent, funny and so easy to connect to. I may not have gone through some of the issues she was dealing with, but what she was feeling and some scenarios hit very close to home for me. Like trying to gain acceptance from her new peers and figuring out where she fits in. She grew tremendously throughout the book and I loved going on this journey with her.

All of the supporting characters are so realistic and definitely had me thinking "I knew someone like that in high school" or "I wish I had a group of friends like that!" which I loved. There's two main social groupings discussed in this book at Ava's new, prestigious school, Billy Hughes: The Pastels, who are more of the popular, perfect looking and excel-at-everything-they-do people and the Screws, which stands for the Stage Crew who considered themselves total screw-ups.

I freaking loved the Screws! They were so extremely funny in such a sarcastically witty way and they were always looking out for one another. I was so happy when Ava finally started giving the group a chance and learning to have fun even it if meant looking silly. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when the group was discussing the history of the color pink and what it means to them, very funny and quite interesting too! I loved the dynamics of the different relationships that Ava had with the supporting characters. They each were so different from one another, even if it wasn't in the most comforting of ways, they each had something to offer Ava that eventually helped her learn more about herself.

Chloe, who is Ava's girlfriend from her old school and her "old life", was definitely someone completely different. At times I strongly disliked her because I felt like she was holding Ava back, but I loved when Ava would talk about the good times of before. Another character that Ava was romantically interested in was Ethan, who I just totally hated! I could really relate to some things that Ava would say and the whole 'oh he totally likes you, I know' thing that goes on in high school. Even if I didn't necessarily liked these characters, I like what they taught Ava and the relationships she had with them.

If your worried about not being able to connect to the characters because you haven't experienced some of the issues that Ava went through, seriously do not even worry about it. I mean Ava is just like every other teen girl going through struggles and the author did an amazing job at keeping her realistic and relatable.

Amazing Quotes:
"Didn't she understand? I wanted to fit into a box. I just didn't know which box was mine. Being boxless was confusing and lonely."

"Good. Life is supposed to be messy."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Pink is an incredible read that shows the struggles of a teenager in a society that feels the need to label everything. Wilkinson's writing is addictive, funny and heart-felt. She shows that you don't need to put a label on your feelings and you don't always have to know exactly who you are. That it's okay to be lost and not know what you want. I seriously recommend picking this one up, Wilkinson breaks down the barrier for stereotypes in this incredible story of a girl trying to discover where she belongs.


  1. I've seen this book everywhere and I haven't once taken a look at it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention Katie! :D Plus it sounds so good.

  2. Did Pink get a Stonewall Honor? It sounds familiar, but I can't think where I would have heard of it. Katie, your review was awesome. I love that Wilkinson took a character who people may have had some apprehension about, and made her a completely relatable, lovable protagonist. Honestly can't wait to read Pink now!

  3. Hey Kare! OMG you totally need to read this one, it's so incredible!

    Hi Katie! Yes it did! Thank you so much, I hope you love it! :D

  4. Wow, this one sounds right up my street - thanks for a great review!

  5. Glad you loved this one Katie !! It sounds like a great contemporary read !! Thanks for the fabulous review ;)

  6. awesome review, I adored this book as well and can definitely recommend other LGBT books that you should read! Especially The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson!