Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

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

Source: Publisher
Other books by this author: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Going Bovine


  1. I got Beauty Queens a couple of months ago but I was never able to finish it. Maybe I'll give it another chance because you loved it so much!

  2. This is so cool! I'm glad you liked it so much, i got it on my reading dock and I hope I can get to it sometime soon!

    Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm listening to Beauty Queens now and it is total awesomesauce, especially with Libba doing the narrating. One of the best books ever, LOL hilarious, and satirizes just about everything in our society. A perfect 10!

  4. I enjoyed this one, but I didn't love it. There were parts that were absolutely hysterical. I wonder if it is better on audio. I can see where it would be pretty fun to listen to. I am like you though, this is only my second Libba Bray book. I had read A Great and Terrible Beauty years ago and this one was totally different.

  5. Oh I'm SO glad to hear that you loved this! It's the only Bray novel I haven't read yet and I've been absolutely dying too! I've really enjoyed her other novels and it amazes me how DIFFERENT they all are. She's most definitely one of the most versatile authors I've come across.

  6. Based on the premise alone, I probably wouldn't be drawn to this. But it's Libba Bray, and I have really enjoyed her books in the past. Plus the reviews for this have been mostly encouraging. I'll need to get my hands on a copy!

    Charmaine Smith (Click here to learn about - Gold Beach Fishing Guide Rogue River Salmon Fishing)


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