Review: Beauty Queens

Review: Beauty QueensBeauty Queens by Libba Bray
Published by Scholastic on May 24, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Humor, Romance
Pages: 396
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.Written by 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.

Thus far, I have been hugely skeptical of Libba Bray. I read A Great and Terrible Beauty and found it neither great nor terrible; mostly, I thought it was boring. After that let down, I had little desire to read more of her stuff, despite the crazy buzz about Going Bovine (and the pressure of my friend Nori). Allow me to happily renounce any bad thing I have said about Libba Bray in the past! This book was off the hook awesome and I am now very glad that I gave into the impulse to purchase A Great and Terrible Beauty (from Goodwill), since I hope to find things I missed before.

Why is this book so great? Well, how about I give you a little (or long) list.

  1. It’s a dystopia.
  2. Beauty Queens stranded on an island…who doesn’t want to see that? Also, how did the Corporation not think of that?
  3. The mocking of pretty much every aspect of pop culture, most especially of reality television.
  4. The Corporation. You may wonder why I would love an evil corporation that’s trying to take over the world and doing all sorts of awful things. That’s because the commercials remind me of Veridian Dynamics, so I spent the whole book imagining that it was The Corporation. Oh references, intended or not.
  5. Girl power. For an example, check out Tiara’s speech on page 335.
  6. Love for the LGBT community.
  7. Everyone didn’t pair off in the end. I get so sick of that, sweet as it is. In real life, everyone doesn’t find their true love at 16.
  8. Every page is abso-friggin’-lutely hysterical. I dare you to read this book and not laugh out loud at least once.

So yeah, I definitely need to read the rest of Libba Bray’s stuff and to procure a copy of this book for my very own, since I read one from the library. Also, I just realized that Libba Bray’s name uses only letters from the word library. Coinkydink? I wonder…

Oh, and just for funsies, here is my one criticism of the book: on page 361, Adina says something (singsongs it, actually). Unfortunately, she’s not actually in that scene yet. Wah wah. Editor fail. She enters on page 363.

That brings us to the song for today. Although there are a lot of things that would be hilarious and appropriate for today’s book, I also cannot miss adding a reference to Miss Congeniality. I also love imagining Adina or Taylor reacting to some guy saying this to them.


9 responses to “Review: Beauty Queens”

  1. Nori says:

    Success! Really, this book was my favorite book of the summer! Sooo good. I love her. It would take you a while to read Going Bovine just because it’s very strange. But, I think after a while, if you refused to give up, you’d enjoy it. And you know I loved her other books! But, really, I’m so happy you read this one and liked it!

  2. Heather says:

    Omg, her name does use only letters from the word “library”; how weird! Re-reading your review just reaffirmed how much I want to read this book. I’m not sure if you’ll like Going Bovine(I think I was mostly ‘meh’ about it, but you know how poor my memory is. haha), but there are plenty of laugh out loud moments in that book, too!

  3. Anna says:

    Great review!

  4. Gabrielle says:

    I loved this book! Totally recommend Going Bovine, it’s pure insanity but awesome.

  5. Tabitha says:

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, and your review just added to the reasons I want to read this book. (:

  6. This kinda sounds awesome.

  7. Jen says:

    This sounds awesome!! I saw this at B&N the other day!! Darn i should’ve gotten it:/

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