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Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Source: Library



Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a young adult fiction fan.
  • You like comedy and satire.
  • You like story lines that are a little off kilter.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "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."


My Two Cents:

This is sort of a strange book. The premise is pretty out there. Teen beauty queens from the Teen Dream pageant are stranded on a tropical island after their plane crashes. Was it really just a plane crash or something more? Add a creepy corporation and a sinister Sarah Palin-like pageant owner and you have a whole bunch of craziness. I had a really hard time with my suspension of disbelief for this book; it was just that crazy.

At first I really liked the story and then it got stranger and stranger, which is why I think I had so much trouble with the suspension of disbelief. First, just the girls (and some other creepy things are on the island). Then there's the crew of a pirate tv show on the island as well. For a little bit, it felt like things were just being added to be added without really adding value. I would have loved to see more of a focus on the girls and how the island is changing them, as this was one of my favorite parts of the book.

I did like seeing the transformation of (some of) the girls. Some definitely came into their own a little bit more than the others. At first, most of them are annoyingly into their beauty regiments and are still sizing each other up as competitors after the plane crash. They begin to get more into trying to actually survive on the island but some of them cling to their beauty queen past and can't seem to realize that they need to step it up a little bit.

Libba Bray is hilarious. There's all of these footnotes every so often that are just hilarious and some of them had me laughing out loud. Even though the premise of this book was not my favorite, I would definitely read more by Libba Bray because she has a fantastic sense of humor.

Bottom line: Funny writing, not so funny story line.
 

 

15 comments:

  1. Hmm this book looks good but I've seen a couple of reviews, like yours, that say the content is average. I like the idea of the footnotes though! x

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    1. The footnotes are absolutely hilarious. It made me want to read more of Bray's books.

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  2. I enjoyed Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty series, but I haven't tried her other books yet.

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    Replies
    1. This was the first Bray book for me. The A Great and Terrible Beauty series is definitely on my list.

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  3. Hmmm.... Sounds interesting and funny...
    But I'm not sure I want to commit to it just yet. Maybe I'll just bury it at the bottom of my tbr so I'll have something to read when I finish the rest!

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  4. I think this cover is hilarious. I have wanted to read this one, but I wasn't sure entirely what it was about. I went as far as to check it out from the library once but didn't get to it before it was due back. I think I'll eventually get around to it because I do enjoy laughing with a book sometimes and I have loved (the first two books in) the Gemma Doyle series. I still need to finish with The Sweet Far Thing.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Meg!

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    Replies
    1. I love, love, love this cover. The book definitely made me want to read more by Bray.

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  5. I wasn't interested in this one at all initially, but then it started to become more popular, which caught my attention! I have it on my wishlist right now.

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    Replies
    1. It's funny and the writing is pretty good. The story wasn't my fave but it made me want to read more by Bray.

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  6. I've read mixed things about this book, and even though it has some flaws I'll keep it on the TBR for a rainy day :)

    I DID hear that Bray's Going Bovine is super-awesome, so I might try that one first. Thanks for the great review!

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    Replies
    1. I don't think I've heard too much about Going Bovine but that's another cover that cracks me up :)

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  7. The blurb sounds great, but now I might pass if it's just too weird.

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    Replies
    1. It just gets really strange towards the middle. I couldn't get on board.

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  8. I've heard a lot of people say good things about this book, especially that it's quite funny, and I like that one of them's got a tray table in her head.

    Charmaine Smith (For more on Halibut Salmon Fishing Trips Charters Sitka Alaska South East - click here)

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