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Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Author: Libba Bray
Pages: 390
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Satire/Survival
Reading Level: 15 years old+
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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?
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is a novel that invokes the extremes of the extremes, which is why it's a bit tricky for me to review. The entire novel, while coming off as an exaggerated comedy, is really a satirization of almost every single aspect of popular culture today. While I didn't mind, I know this book might not sit well with everyone, so that's just my warning.

The novel is told in many different ways: from the different perspectives of the beauty pageant girls, from the point of views of the novel's antagonists, and through hilarious 'TV commercials', as well is hilarious footnotes that give you information on a product mentioned, or clarify something. It was a really entertaining way to read it.

There are many great characters in this book. At first, you just see the superficial, bubble-headed pageant girls and you roll your eyes at them. But slowly, we're introduced to their true natures, and the reason why they're competing in the pageants. They're all good characters, but the one that really stood out to me was Petra. You'll see why once you read the book, but Petra is completely different from the other girls. There are also some very yummy boys in this book, most notably Captain Sinjin St. Sinjin, a sexy pirate captain that had my complete respect by the end of the book because of the choice he made.

Since it's Libba Bray, I can promise that it'll be hilarious. Libba herself is a 5 star comedienne, I was peeing my pants laughing when I went to the This Is Teen author signing with her and two other authors. I wanted to give this novel 5 stars, but, it just tackles way too many things and at points seems like it's preaching. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. I really loved this book. Great review; it had some great points. At times, it did feel like it was preaching a bit. I loved the TV commercials. It was a fun and entertaining read. Happy reading!

  2. I really loved her "A Great and Terrible Beauty." That series was great. Loved them! I still need to read Going Bovine and this one. Great post!


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