Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.
It has taken me months to write this review, simply because I was having a hard time putting into words how much I adored this book. It was entertaining, exciting, romantic, inspiring, and down-right mad. I loved every minute of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens and I know I will be recommending this book for years to come. Whenever I tell someone that I have never read anything by Libba Bray, their jaw drops, and now I can see why. Beauty Queens was absolutely, 100% brilliant and I regret having never read anything of hers before.
Beauty Queens is about a group of Miss Team Dream pageant contenders whose plane crashes on a deserted island. What results is crazy, hilarious, and often unbelievable. These girls are one of a kind and their story is one I will not soon forget.
The characters, what can I say about these girls? At first, I wasn't sure what I was going to think of them, but as the book progressed, I saw different sides of the girls and began to love them all. There were a lot of girls (50 to be exact) and I liked getting to know each of them. The information pages were a big help and the little facts were fun and interesting, plus they helped me get to know the different characters even more. There was so much girl-power in Beauty Queens and I was rooting for these girls to succeed from the start. The satire in Beauty Queens was awesome and I loved seeing how Libba Bray tackled several serious issues and proved that when girls stick together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
What a crazy, wonderful, awesome premise. The plot was non-stop action and I was alternately gripping the sides of the book and laughing out loud. There was so much going on and I enjoyed every minute of it. This book was more than a book, it was an experience. There were a lot of twists that kept the plot moving and I often didn't know what was going to happen next.
Overall, I deeply regret having never read anything by Libba Bray until now. This book was one of my favorite reads of the summer and I am so glad I got the chance to read it. While I know Beauty Queens may not be for everyone, I adored it, and it left me wanting to flip the book over and start reading from page one. I highly recommend this to all readers and I know I will be picking up one of Libba's other titles in the near future- I can only hope it will be as smart and entertaining as Beauty Queens was!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
May 24, 2011/Scholastic Press/390 Pages/Young Adult
Other books by this author: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Going Bovine