Friday, February 10, 2012
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.
I had not planned on reading this originally, it was contemporary and I just don't usually read that genre, but I got a recommendation for this one so I decided to give it a shot. I was very glad that I did. Beauty Queens provides a laugh out loud survival tale with one of realization of the objectification of women in pageants. The book's layout was interesting, you got various points of view from the survivors, the point of view of agents working on the island's secret base and the ads for various ridiculous products in between, ridiculing our society's need for perfection. I loved all of the characters in this book, whether they were in the pageant to bring light to how wrong objectification is or if they were there to win. The plot kept moving at a decent rate, throwing challenges at the girls at every corner, along with unexpected surprises. The writing was great- it was satirical as well as serious at the right times, playing up an array of the reader's emotions while still making them laugh. The ending was the one weaker point in my opinion. I just didn't care for what happened to a couple of the characters relationship-wise. Everyone should read this book. Seriously. It was a fun time while still covering important issues and for that, I give Beauty Queens a 5/5.