TITLE: Beauty Queens
AUTHOR: Libba Bray
MY RATING: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction (Older YA’s)
NARRATOR: Libba Bray
SYNOPSIS: A plane full of “Miss Teen Dream” beauty contestants are on their way to the Teen Dream pageant, when their plane crashes, leaving the 15 of the 50 contestants alive and stranded on a seemingly deserted island. While trying to figure out ways continue practicing their pageant skills, eat and survive while waiting to be rescued, the teens beauties somewhat reluctantly band together, and begin to forge friendships with those who would be their competition. The tasks and trials ahead will not only strengthen the girls, but will also reveal abilities and truths about each other that go far beyond the surface of a beauty queen.
REVIEW: So, what we’ve got going on here is a book that has practically everything. People from all kinds of races, walks of life, status. You’ve got Valley Girls, Emo-Girls, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals, there are Pirates, Terrorists, stupid teenage (or young adult) boys, disgruntled government officials, and extremely business-savvy corporation mumbo-jumbo. You’ve got people who are happy, mad, sad, people who are obsessed, and people who are fed up with life or their circumstances. You’ve got extreme sarcasm.
I sort of wonder what we’ve really got here is an author who got fed up one day. Maybe she became completely disenchanted with government, politics, consumerism, fakeness, stupidity – and then she sat down and began to flesh it out on paper…and just kept going. Now I do not know Mrs. Libba Bray, and I do not pretend to know her mind, I’m just trying to figure out, why?
Am I saying that this is a bad book? Absolutely not! That is probably the last thing I would ever say. Go read some other reviews, everyone seems to love it, as do I. It’s funny and cleaver, and (my favorite) sarcastic. I love that the whole thing is done so extremely sarcastically, every aspect of American life, only looking through the reflection of a make-up mirror – you know, everything is so large and noticeable, and hideous looking. It’s like looking at the faults of an individual, of body of believers, of a country and seeing all the gross imperfections laid out before you and thinking, “what have we done?” On the other hand, if you just read the book, look at it only on the surface; and it’s just a silly, funny book. How can you not love a book that has commercial interruptions, foot notes and detailed descriptions that would put a romance novel to shame? The characters are great, and they do each have internal growth in one way or another. I had actually written down names and respective states, but listing them out here is going to do you no good. There are not two main characters (as a typical book would have) there are many individuals you get to know and really enjoy. Telling you about them would, in my opinion, take away part of the fun of this book.
WHAT I LOVED: Libba Bray’s narration. I have heard other authors narrate their own books, and none of them can absolutely hold a candle to Libba’s production. She seriously should win an award. I was so impressed with the fact that each of the characters had their own specific voice, tone and attitude, and it was very distinguishable. I always knew who was talking. I LOVED the details during the commercial interruptions! I cannot imagine having read this in book form and enjoying the book nearly as much as I did listening to it.
NOT SO MUCH: I do not exactly agree with the degree of acceptance that this book seemed to be promoting. While I believe everyone has to make choices in their lives, and they must live with those choices and their lifestyles, I do not believe this makes the choices “right,” or “good.” I do not, and would not discriminate against people because of their choices. I don’t judge, that is not my job. I don’t know…there were just some things that surprised me. While I do not agree with everything said or portrayed – I still think that this book was excellent and well done.
**please note, this book really is meant for young adults! Young Adults are still Adults (in other words, not teenagers.)
View all my reviews