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Review (kinda): Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

in a sentence or so: a plane full of teen beauty pageant contestants crashes on a mysterious island.

think Lord of the Flies meets Lost meets My Super Sweet 16, and you have a rough idea of where this book is heading. the girls have to fend for themselves after their plane crashes and leaves them without food, water, or anything to wear outside of their pageant sashes and evening gowns. quickly discovering they need a leader, the girls rally together to work towards their common goal: rehearsing for the Miss Teen Dream paegent. because gosh darnit when they get rescued, they want to show the world that they are professionals!

not everyone is on board with the whole practice before survival ideas, however. conflict between the personalities of the girls leads to greater insight into who they are behind the perfect teeth and sequined gowns. which, of course, leads to the the biggest challenge of all - discovering who they really are.

this book is slathered in sarcasm, satire, social commentary, and dark humor. this book had me laughing out loud with every page and adoring the footnotes like no other. between the narrative chapters, we get the inside info on The Corporation (who has more to do with the pageant and the girls current situation than meets the eye) and the girls pageant profile applications. all of these breaks in narration provide helpful insight and further the cultural satire thematics of the read.

unfortunately, this book wore me OUT. i loved what the author was doing and i loved the idea behind it all...but i found myself getting totally exhausted with the tongue-in-cheek remarks happening every other sentence. for me, this is a book i will have to continue to read in small doses. it didn't have the flow or readability i expect from a book, and that left me feeling frustrated.

others have read this from cover to cover without stopping and LOVED it. see evidence below:
Reading Rants
YA Bibliophile
Icey Books
Eve's Fan Garden

fave quote: 
"Tiara's hands flew to her mouth. 'In health class, they told us there's an or in whore because you always have the choice to respect your body and say no. You've got one of those STPs now, don't you?' 
Petra stared. 'STP is a motor oil.'
'Oh. My Gosh. We didn't even learn about that one. it must be really bad!' Tiara gestured solemnly to her crotch. 'Protect the citadel. Protect the citadel.'" (71)

fix er up: as for me, i liked the idea a whole lot...but was left wanting a bit more balance between commentary and the forward momentum of the plot.

title: Beauty Queens
author: Libba Bray
genre: Contemporary, Humor
publisher info: May 2011, Scholastic
buy this book at Amazon

[ftc notice: i received an advance review copy of this book as part of my participation in the Amazon Vine program. i was not compensated for this almost-review]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Great review. I met Libba Bray the other day and she was hilarious, so I figured the book would be like that too. It seems like it is a perfect summer read, but I can see why it would need to be read in small doses.

  2. I think it was when you said there were footnotes that I knew I would have to read this book.

  3. I love the quote you chose!!! :) I'll be getting this book this week(I think), can't wait to see what I think of it!

  4. i may opt to watch battle royale instead

  5. yes, 'protect the citadel' had me laughing pretty dang hard!

    eriks - i think that is why i've been avoiding The Hunger Games, to be honest.


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