Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pink by Lili Wilkinson

PinkPink by Lili Wilkinson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later: an Aussie YA novel I didn’t enjoy at all! In fact, if not for my two wonderful readalong partners who made the experience not only bearable, but extremely fun, I would have given up after a hundred pages or so.

Ava’s parents are supposedly very liberal, and her girlfriend Chloe has an owerpowering personality. Together they’re pushing Ava into an alternative lifestyle she secretly hates. Oddly enough, all Ava wants is to wear pink and sing in a musical. She decides to move to a new school, where she plans to find a way of joining the in crowd, or Pastels, as she calls them. However, that doesn’t turn out so well for Ava. Instead of getting the role she wanted in the school musical, she ends up working with the stage crew, a group of misfits led by a boy named Sam. She ends up balancing three different lives and three different personalities, none of which are compatible with the others.

Characterization is where Wilkinson failed spectacularly. Having read A Pocketful of Eyes first, I knew that she was more than capable of creating more interesting and complex characters, which is why I have to conclude that she did this on purpose. But why? Every character in Pink is a walking stereotype: we have Ava’s intellectually snobbish girlfriend Chloe, playing the role of a lesbian feminist; Ava’s parents, so obsessed with being tolerant that they end up not tolerating anything mainstream; Alexis, the shallow blonde, perfect in everything she does; a gay friend, a secretly gay friend, a friend embarrassed by his rich parents, and in the end, Ava herself, completely devoid of personality.

Ava is one of the most self-centered, infuriating characters I’ve ever stumbled upon. The series of disastrous decisions she made in such a short period of time nearly drove me insane. Stories about personal growth by definition introduce a character that makes poor choices at the beginning, but finds a way to redeem himself/herself by the end. After one particularly bad decision, I’m afraid Ava reached the point of no redemption in my eyes.

Unfortunately, I doubt that I’ll be reading any more of Wilkinson’s novels. After reading two of them, I can honestly say that she’s not an author whose work I enjoy.


  1. tnx 4 the review
    i never heard of this one
    bummr it was awfull

  2. Thanks for the honest review. I usually like Aussie books too, but some of them are so hard to get ahold of. Hmm, it seems interesting that an author would purposely fill every character into a stereotype...I might have to check this out despite the dislike.

  3. Well I doubt I could get this even if I wanted to. I appreciate your candid review. I will pass on stereotypical and unredeemable characters. I am sure I would want to put my boot up Ava's arse...oh wait I don't wear boots. Well, since it it summer it will have to be my sparkly birkenstocks instead. Have a great weekend :)

  4. I read this book, and couldn't enjoy any of the characters. I totally agree with you. Thanks for the honest review, I wish I could have read your review before picking up the book.

  5. Awww. Why does a book with such an awesome title have to be a let down? Haha I have a soft spot for Canadian YA like you have a soft spot for Aussie YA, so it's too bad that you finally found one you couldn't enjoy, Maja! Ava doesn't sound like my cup of tea either and I try to shy away from stereotypical characters as much as possible. Except maybe bad boys, because they always get me! x)

    Beautiful honest review as always, Maja! I've never heard of this before so there's no harm done, but I hope you're able to find an author that you can love unconditionally! :) <3

  6. Hm,I think I'm going to pass this book! I don't like stereotype characters, and I don't have impression that the girl has character development in the end. I can't stand self-centered character, but lately so many YA are full of that type of heroines. Not that I expect a mature sixteen-year-old girl, but I wish they can be more aware of their surrounding. :P

    Thank you for the amazing and honest review, Maja! <3

  7. I adore Aussie YA. It's sad that Pink didn't live up to your expectations! I hate stereotypical characters and when there's no character development it almost feels like there's no plot either. Or there's no point to the story. I'll probably skip this one... thanks for the honest review, Maja :)

  8. Eww, this one sounds like it might have to be a skip. Too bad, though, because it sounded like it would've been good.

    Thanks for your review!

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

  9. Don't get me wrong, I like color Pink. Particularly when I mix it up with black or some other weird look, once in a blue moon. But... This book is just not for me. I don't have read-along partners, either. And I'm definitely not up to the task of enduring Ava all by myself.

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, Maja (but thanks for saving me from reading it myself)!

  10. To bad you found a book you didn't enjoy. I also find that if I don't like the characters I do not like the book.

  11. Bum deal. Sometimes stereotypical characters can turn out to be well played in a story, but not when there are so many! Yikes. I don't want my Aussiesome Bubble to burst so I think I'll avoid this one.

  12. I'm sorry that this one didn't work for, you, but the evil side of me is kind of relieved to see that not every Aussie YA book is a solid gem.

  13. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I was curious about it, but I'm not sure I could handle annoying characters that don't redeem themselves and nobody wants all ther stereotypes thrown into one book!


  14. I can't like a book when I don't like the main character. When they make bad decisions and just continue to do so throughout the book I just want to pull my hair out. The book Pretty Amy was exactly like this for me. :( Sorry you didn't enjoy this Maja.


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