THATS 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 authorsCath Crowley, Kathy Charles, and Kristy Eagarbut Lili Wilkinsons 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. Itswords fail me in describing its awesome. READ IT. Im going to equate this feeling to the one I got when I finished Robin Brandes 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* Lets 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 doesnt try to fit Ava and the other characters into character types in LGBT fiction that have been done before. Instead, they are simply allowed toexist as they are, and its not a big freaking deal. David Levithan didnt quite do it for me with his utopian romance Boy Meets Boy, but I am enamored by PINKs 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, nerdsspecifically 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. Theres nothing like using ones 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 theyre 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.