Review of Pillow Talk by Stephanie Cooke (paperback)


Pillow Talk by Stephanie Cooke


Grace Mendes a.k.a. Cinderhella is a fierce competitor in the PFF, a pillow fight federation that’s part roller derby, part professional wrestling. But in this fresh, coming-of-age YA graphic novel, Grace needs to learn to overcome her biggest enemy: herself. For fans of Check, Please and Bloom.

When college freshman Grace Mendes reluctantly attends her first pillow fight match, she falls in love with the surprisingly gritty sport. Despite her usually shy, introverted, and reserved nature, Grace decides to try out for the Pillow Fight Federation (PFF), a locally famous league of fighters with larger-than-life personas like Pain Eyre, Miss Fortune, and champion Kat Atonic. They may battle with pillows, but there is nothing soft about these fighters. The first and only rule to pillow fighting is that the pillow needs to be the first point of contact; after that, everything else goes.

Grace struggles with deep-seated body image issues, so she is especially shocked when she makes the competitive league and is welcomed into the fold of close knit, confident fighters. As her first official fight performing as newly crafted alter-ego/ring persona Cinderhella looms on the horizon, the real battle taking place is between Grace and her growing insecurities. What if people laugh or make fun of her? Why did she think she could pillow fight in the first place when she doesn’t look like your “typical” athlete? Turns out, no one is laughing when Cinderhella dominates her first match in the ring. And as her alter-ego rises through the ranks of the PFF, gaining traction and online fame (and online trolls), can Grace use the spotlight to become an icon for not just others, but most importantly, for herself?

Pillow Talk is an inclusive, high-octane, outrageously fun graphic novel that aims a punch at the impossibly high standards set for women in sports (and otherwise) and champions the power of finding a team that will, quite literally, fight for you. A knock-out! 




This was so much fun!

I adored Grace. She reminds me a bit of me. Shy and introverted. But I could never do what she does. Grace and her best friend Callie are in college. Callie decides that they need to go to a pillow fight match. Grace didn’t want to go, but she ended up loving it. So much so that she decides to try out for a spot on the Pillow Fight Federation. Each fighter creates a persona that they use during matches. Grace becomes Cinderhella and loves it. Callie creates social media for Cinderhella. Grace makes the mistake of reading some of the troll comments, mostly about her weight. She struggles to want to fight again.

I loved how Grace talked about wanting to be a hero because they’re always the skinny pretty girls. I just really loved everything about this one. The art was great too.

I gave this book 5 stars.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy for review.


Have you read this?  Is it on your TBR?





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