“Eating and chatting, we watched the world solidify, grey-blue, as night fell, and then we lay down on the hard ground to count the stars.”
-Clementine Beauvais, Piglettes
Hey guys! I was recently sent a copy of the delightful YA contemporary, Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais from Pushkin Press, and, as you know, I love books set in France, so was really excited to read this one!
Piglettes is about three girls, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima, who have just been voted the three ugliest girls at their school, in an online “pig pageant” that the school can’t get rid of. Naturally, they’re a bit upset about it. But Mireille, whose perspective the book is written in, manages to cheer up both the other girls, who she hadn’t spoken to before and before they quite know what’s going on, they’ve been recruited for a summer roadtrip to Paris. Riding on their bicycles, along with Hakima’s older, disabled brother as an escort, they sell sausages to cover their fees and it’s not long before the local media starts to notice them and the adventures they’re both having and inspiring in the small French towns along the way. Not to mention, the people that are desperate to know exactly why they’re on their pilgrimage to Paris for the 14th July.
I absolutely adored this book. It was fun and sweet and heart warming, but it also tackled some pretty big issues-cyber bullying, disability and war to name a few, in its stride, dealing with them in a sensitive and refreshing way. I loved the diverse characters of the three main girls and their adventures together. It was great to read about how the three of them bonded and started really living their lives and having fun, being determined not to let the online bullying and pressure in society to be perfect drag them down. It was lovely reading a book about girls empowering themselves and each other, and I won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry.
Although one of the girls has a crush on Hakima’s older brother, it is a sub-plot and as there is an age gap between them, Piglettes remains quite romance free, focusing on the deep and supportive friendship that’s growing between the girls instead. I found this very refreshing in a YA book, and definitely truer to life. At only 287 pages, this is a book that you can read in one sitting, and it’s fun and compelling enough to make you want to do precisely that.
Oh, and the setting, the food and the drink along the way? Sublime. A great one for foodies to put on their list, especially since Mireille possibly beats me in her appreciation for cheese. Madness, I know, I wasn’t expecting that either, but it only added to this book burrowing itself firmly inside my cheese-loving heart.
Overall, Piglettes is a beautiful summer read that’s uplifting and heart-warming. I’m giving this one 5/5 stars for being just a pure delight. If you’re a fan of YA contemporaries, I definitely recommend you add this one to your summer tbrs!
Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it? What are your favourite YA contemporaries?