Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Price: US$ 18.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
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 emall. 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 was on the fence about this book. A story about teen beauty pageant contestants stranded on a desert island just doesn’t do anything for me. After reading a friend’s review, I decided to try the audio version. At first, I thought it was ridiculous, irritating and just plain stupid. It wasn’t long before I was laughing and snorting in public places.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to get to know the characters. The story is told from different perspectives and it was hard for me to get all the girls straight. Some of them had unique qualities and “secrets” that made them stand out, while others were a little flat and unmemorable.
I loved the Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts Page, the wacky footnotes that explained products and status symbols, famous personalities, and TV shows, like “Bridal Death Match, the popular TV show about brides who cage fight each other in order to win the wedding of their dreams.”
This story is a satire about the superficiality of consumer culture, politics, and mega-corporations that control everything we watch, read, and buy. It deals with racism, disability, and sexuality. There is adventure, mystery, and a dollop of romance. There are important messages here about survival, friendship, beauty, acceptance, independence, and what it means to be a woman.
Hilarious, empowering, honest, and highly recommended.