Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Publisher: Scholastic Press, May 24, 2011
Pages: Hardcover, 390
Buy it on Amazon

From Goodreads: From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island. Teen beauty queens. A “Lost”-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

My Rating: (4/5)

I was drawn to this book originally by two factors: a) the cover and b) the LOST-ish island. I absolutely love the cover and the entire book jacket. I just think it’s fabulous. I’m also a huge LOST fan so if it has any kind of resemblance to LOST, I’m there. What kept me reading though, was the hysterical characters Libba Bray created.

Beauty Queens is entirely satirical, which I wasn’t expecting so at first I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into. Some really silly things happen and the characters say some really ridiculous things, but eventually I really got the hang of it once I learned more about each Miss Teen Dream (thanks to some helpful personal “Fun Facts” pages in the first half of the book).

While Bray pokes fun at all kinds of teen-esque things like boy bands and makeup products (ahem, guilty pleasures anyone?), what I really loved about this book was the bond the girls made while surviving on the island. Each girl had her own unique story to tell whether it was serious or shallow and though I wasn’t entirely sure where Bray was headed, when I got to the epilogue I may have shed a tear or two when I felt like I finally “got it.”

This book isn’t perfect – it’s a little longer than it has to be and the conspiracy side plot seems a little tedious – but it’s a fun, feministic read for any teenage girl, or any woman for that matter.


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