Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais




Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais
Published August 8, 2017 by Pushkin Children's Books
Source: Allen & Unwin
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age roadtrip story - winner of France's biggest prize for teen and YA fiction. Awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze trotters after a vote by their classmates on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are officially the three ugliest girls in their school, but does that mean they're going to sit around crying about it?
Well... yes, a bit, but not for long! Climbing aboard their bikes, the trio set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris, their goal: a garden party with the French president. As news of their trip spreads they become stars of social media and television. With the eyes of the nation upon them the girls find fame, friendship and happiness, and still have time to consume an enormous amount of food along the way. 

As soon as I saw the cover for Piglettes, the English translation of Les petites Reines, by Clémentine Beauvais, I knew I needed it. The cover screamed "READ ME, LOVE ME!" and I immediately bought the French audio book and listened to it three times, it's that good. I was thrilled when the English version, translated by the author - how cool is that? - finally came out!

Piglettes is the story of fifteen-year-old Mireille Laplanche. Mireille lives in Bourg-en-Bresse with her mother and step-father. For the past couple of years, Mireille has been voted top pig by her male classmates, but this year another two girls are also nominated, Astrid and Hakima. Mireille has built up a tough exterior and says it no longer bothers her, but deep down it does. The three girls hatch a plan to cycle to Paris and tackle some other problems they each have.

I was really hoping that Piglettes would be as wonderful and hilarious as I hoped and it definitely lived up to my expectations! I loved getting to know Mireille, she's funny, smart, loyal, and brave. But she's also insecure and hurt due to the bullying at school and the fact that she doesn't know her biological father and he's ignored her letters.

I adored the friendship that developed between the girls. Mireille puts aside her pain, and instead encourages the other two to be strong, to love themselves, to be confident. It was especially nice to see Mireille and Astrid taking care of Hakima as she's younger than they are.

Mireille's crush on Kader, aka The Sun, was so sweet and entertaining. I love that she couldn't hide her admiration of him and how silly and adorable she was around him.

Ableist language: moron, idiot, lame, crazy.

Piglettes is a charming, heart-warming story of three girls refusing to give in to bullying and injustice. It will have you smiling and laughing from beginning to end.

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for my copy.


Cover illustration: Helen Crawford-White of Studio Helen.

I just adore this cover. I love the vintage style, the colour, and how perfectly it suits the story. Helen is one of my favourite illustrators and I'd love her to paint each and every wall in my house! Check out her beautiful website for more of her brilliant work.

You can check out my video on YouTube at Cook Read Create or watch it below.





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