Review: Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais

About the book:

Mireille, Astrid and Hakima have just been voted the three ugliest girls in school by their classmates on Facebook. But does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?…

Well, maybe a little, but not for long! Climbing onto their bikes, the friends set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris. The girls will find fame, friendship and happiness on their journey, and still have time to eat a mountain of food (and drink the odd glass of wine) along the way. But will they really be able to leave all their troubles behind?

Piglettes is a hilarious, beautiful and uplifting story of three girls who are determined not to let online bullying get them down.

Review by Katy Haye:

I didn’t get into this immediately. For me, the relationship between Mireille and her mother didn’t ring true initially. And the writing was a little spiky and detached, but I soon realised that was a deliberate echo of our viewpoint character (Mireille herself).

Once I got over the first few pages (and especially once the three girls got together), I fell in love with Piglettes. Mireille might be spiky, but she’s also smart, dry and very witty and I’d happily sit down and chat with her for hours.

Piglettes itself was also very smart. It’s a small story about three particular girls and their particular response to bullying, but it encompassed so many big topics, like bullying at school and where responsibility lies for stopping it, like how standards of beauty are created and used to exploit people (generally, women), and feminism and toxic masculinity (I had a strong urge to slap Malo, even though I could see intellectually that he was a victim, too – it’s just hard to sympathise with victims who lash out at others). But the reader is never bashed over the head with these themes, they are simply there (as they are in life).

I adored Piglettes – it’s a glorious, joyous road trip through France with three wonderful girls who demonstrate just how extraordinary “ordinary” young women are.

And I don’t usually do quotes, but some real treasures dropped from Mireille’s mouth. I especially loved her life tip: “take whatever insults they throw at you and knit them into a lovely big hat.” Perfect response!

Katy Haye’s Dragon Thief is now available. If you like magic, danger, deadly royals and a heroine who won’t accept her fate tamely, Dragon Thief is the book for you!

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