March 23, 2011

Beauty Queens by the fabulous by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Published by Scholastic May 2011
400 pages
Reviewed from ARC borrowed from co-worker

Summary 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.
    I don't even know where to begin with Beauty Queens. It was brilliant and funny and made a statement about our pop culture, what we view as entertainment and the lengths people will go to for money in a completely unique way.
  I loved the premise of the pageant contestants "lost" on a desert island. They proved to be a lot more resourceful than I imagined as I feared in the beginning that the characters would be 2 dimensional- after all on tv thats how they are often portrayed. I was surprised at how much I liked all "contestants" (except one really) they were all so different and it was fascinating to witness their growth (or lack of) through out the book.
  There was a really memorable part in the story when a couple of the girls compared themselves and their reaction to being stranded on an island to the mandatory highschool reading "Lord of the Flies" where a group of boys are stranded and how much better the girls faired than the boys did. (these girls really kicked some island butt)
The book highlighted the contrasts between the typical stereotypes and what makes the "ideal" girl and how often society allows us to be thought of as either one or the other.
  Beauty vs. Brains
 Virtuous vs Promiscuous
Through all it's quirkiness what stood out most for me was the girls realization that they don't have to be one or the other, they can be whoever they want to be and that the "ideal" girl is ultimately the one who is just herself.
I think that's a great message for all teens (and for us "adults" too.) Highly Recommended.


  1. I want to read this one BAD! I love Libba Bray! And I continue to be amazed at how versatile her writing is! She seems completely comfortable writing for any and every genre!

  2. I love Libba Bray and her sense of humor. I can't wait to read this book and I'm so glad to hear that it's awesome. Thanks for the review!

  3. Gah! I can't wait to read this one. It sounds FANTASTIC. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed it.