From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
I never wore pink. Pink wasn't cool. Pink wasn't existential, explains Ava as her story of identity confusion begins. But clad in cotton-candy cashmere, she starts life at a posh new private school where both academic success and a smooth conformity seem the norm. Too bad Ava has to hide her desires from both her aggressively antiestablishment parents and her supersophisticated but desperately jaded girlfriend, Chloe, who's been left behind in public school. Ava, despite coming out as a lesbian, especially feels the need to hide the thought that she might want to kiss a boy. The change of environment creates its own perplexities, foremost among them Ava's encounters with a bunch of theater-crew misfits. How to make the world of the screws, Chloe, and the more conventional new school friends fit together (or not) powers Ava's narrative. Written with a great deal of snarky wit, this Australian import never gets overly heavy despite all the hand-wringing. A refreshing addition to the LGBT oeuvre.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Ava, an Australian teen, has begged her parents to let her transfer from her underachieving high school to an exclusive and rigorous private school. Her parents, open-minded progressives who threw a party to celebrate her coming out, reluctantly agree. Her girlfriend, Chloe, sophisticated, intellectual, and highly possessive, is also not pleased. Ava is immediately befriended by Alexis, petite, perky, popular, and intelligent, who encourages Ava to audition for the school musical. Humiliated by a disastrous audition, she joins the stage crew, made up of the school's outcasts and oddballs. Ava doesn't tell anyone about her sexual identity and withdraws from Chloe. She becomes closer to her stage-crew friends, while her more popular friends disdain her involvement with them. Failed attempts at matchmaking, a final argument with Chloe, and the revelation that she is not sure of her sexual orientation create a roller-coaster of emotions. While Ava is a sympathetic character who feels that she has disappointed a lot of people and doesn't know how to make amends, Chloe becomes increasingly insufferable. Wilkinson authentically captures the social awkwardness of high school life and love. Passionate confessions made by several key characters are a bit over-the-top but don't distract from the story. Some characters are rather quick to forgive past wrongs, but this is an entertaining story about teen angst, sexual identity, and high school relationships from a promising debut author.-Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.