A group of plane-wrecked young beauty pageant contestants on a deserted island ... a secret military compound ... giant snakes ...raging hormones ...A group of plane-wrecked young beauty pageant contestants on a deserted island ... a secret military compound ... giant snakes ...raging hormones ... ship-wrecked pirates ... let the games begin ... LOL!
"Beauty Queens" is often silly and totally off-the-hook crazy, and yet I really enjoyed it!!! Think "America's next Top Model" meets "Lost" and combine it with the sarcasm of "American Dreamz" and you will have some idea of what you are in for if you decide to read this book (and read it you should!!!).
The writing is good and definitely very creative and imaginative! While reading the book I was often baffled by the ingenious ways Ms. Bray found for her characters to cope with their new situation! Not only do they survive, but they do it in style (pun intended). They build huts, a whole arsenal of weapons (using the most unlikely of materials!), and when it comes to their new diet (mostly grubs and coconuts) they simply consider it a good way to stay in pageant-shape ... ;o)
There is nothing Libba Bray doesn't make fun of in this book --- beauty pageants, reality tv (and tv shows in general), boybands, overly ambitious parents, politics, dictators in foreign countries, designer clothes, the idolization of celebrities ... you name it, it's probably in there! And in the tradition of a true satire there often is a lot of truth to what she writes.
Then there are the footnotes and *oh my gosh* are they great! They are mostly about products sold by the dubious "Corporation" (insert name of any big corporaton of your choosing here ... LOL) and about fictional celebrities that Ms. Bray created for this book (it's often easy to figure out who they were based on ...). She also came up with some truly memorable song titles for the former boyband "Boys Will B Boyz" (they were really big until "Hot Vampire Boyz" came along) --- I mean, we can all totally see "Let me shave your legs tonight, girl" as a chart-topping hit, right?
Mind you, despite all the silliness there is an underlying message about female empowerment, about being who *you* want to be (as opposed to who or what others want you to be), and about not letting yourself be restricted by other people's expectations and opinions. The girls --- many of whom come across as really dumb and personality-free in the beginning --- show a surprising tenacity and resourcefulness in their quest to survive (just wait and see what items they turn into weapons!!!). The longer they stay on the island the more they realize that it's not actually such a bad thing. Far away from parents, beauty coaches, peer pressure and society in general these girls come into their own. In essence, by getting lost they end up finding themselves.
Sexuality (and the awakening of it) is a frequent subject in this book, and I can already see conservative parents everywhere go up in arms because of this. Yes, this is a Young Adult book, and yes, there are fairly graphic make-out scenes in it --- and not just of the girl/boy variety. Anyone who is easily offended by that might want to steer clear of this book ...
I have seen some negative reviews for this book where people stated that they didn't think the story was realistic or that they just could not believe some of the things in this book would really happen this way. Seriously? I don't think those people understand the word "satire". It doesn't *have to be* realistic --- that's the beauty of it ... ;o)
Personally, I really hope that Hollywood is going to snatch this up and make movie of it!!! "Beauty Queens" was *made* for the big screen ... :o)
In the beginning this book was really cute and funny, even though Scarlett's obsession with movies and re-creating movie moments in real life could beIn the beginning this book was really cute and funny, even though Scarlett's obsession with movies and re-creating movie moments in real life could be a tad annoying. However, as the story progressed I liked the book less and less, until I got to the point where it really made me angry!
I liked the whole idea of the book, and the writing was not all bad. Basically, there were good parts, and there were bad parts, but the further the story got the worse the plot (and the writing) became.
Scarlett was likable at first, but sometimes I found her to be too immature and out of touch with reality. Her fiancé, David, is painted as an impatient, self-absorbed control freak, and I wondered from the start why she would be engaged to him.
Sean, now him I actually liked. However, considering the fact that we learn pretty early on that he owns a successful company I was actually a bit surprised that he never really seemed to be working. He was certainly able to jet off with Scarlett anywhere and everywhere at all hours of the day.
Fair warning --- there are spoilers ahead!!!
There were parts in the story that were just completely implausible and unbelievable. For example, when Scarlett goes to Paris for her best friend's wedding she spontaneously invites Sean along --- even though she knows that her fiancé will be there. Now, how would you explain to your fiancé that you invited your temporary neighbor - whom you have known for maybe two weeks, and who is really handsome - to go to Paris with you to attend the wedding of someone he has never met?
And that's another thing --- Scarlett keeps dreading meeting David at the wedding, yet while she is there she promises David that she has no feelings for Sean, and that she is still looking forward to marrying him (David) a few weeks later. But she has no qualms about spending the next day - which happens to be Valentine's Day - with Sean in Paris instead of going back to England with David. Also, it is already clear at this point that Scarlett is in love with Sean, and he with her.
What really made me roll my eyes in disgust and quit reading was this:
There is a scene after about 270 pages in which Sean and Scarlett are together in his hotel room in Paris, and are talking about her upcoming marriage to David. Sean is trying to figure out why she is so set upon marrying David even though they are not really compatible.
Suddenly Sean asks her if the reason why she wants to marry David could possibly be to merge his family's chain of cinemas with her father's popcorn machine business, and after hesitating a moment she tells him that yes, that is a big part of it.
So, the author actually expects her readers to believe that a 23-year-old woman who is completely obsessed with romantic movies would get married for a business opportunity????
I'm sorry, but for me that was just the last straw, and I quit reading at that point....more
When I started this book I told myself that I would just take a little peek. Read a chapter or two and then finsh the other two books that I had alreaWhen I started this book I told myself that I would just take a little peek. Read a chapter or two and then finsh the other two books that I had already started. BUT ... (and you knew there would be a "But" coming, right?) ... once I had started reading "How to flirt with a naked werewolf" I just couldn't stop anymore.
I immediately liked Mo, and I quickly fell in love with the cast of likable and quirky characters that make up the citizens of Grundy, Alaska. And let's not forget Mo's parents who are ... well ... let's just say they aren't quite like any normal parents I know ... ;o)
Molly Harper is just very good at creating wonderful and memorable characters as well as writing witty and funny dialogue.
As for the story --- imagine an episode of the tv show "Men in Trees" - but with the addition of werewolves and a little mystery. Total comfort food, and funny as hell! I'm not kidding --- Molly Harper made me laugh so much with this book that my sides actually hurt.
Is the story realistic? Well, not really. But then I don't expect "realistic" from a book that has the words "naked" and "werewolf" in the title ... ;o)
I for one really enjoyed "How to flirt with a naked werewolf", and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!!!...more
"I Do" is a light, fluffy and funny beach read, but nothing more than that. It did make me laugh out loud a few times, and towards the end of the book"I Do" is a light, fluffy and funny beach read, but nothing more than that. It did make me laugh out loud a few times, and towards the end of the book there is a truly hilarious wedding from hell.
What bothered me, though, was how the main character, Lauren, kept making assumptions and jumping (or rather leaping) to (wrong) conclusions without ever trying to find out what she'd been told was fact or fiction. Definitely a very annoying habit for any character in a book.
On the plus-side, the male lead character - a sexy firefighter called Nick - is truly delicious ... ;o)
All in all, the writing was good for the most part so I will probably pick up another book by this author at some point....more
Gave up after about 150 pages ... this book was totally boring, which is a shame considering that Belinda Jones's earlier books were really great! ButGave up after about 150 pages ... this book was totally boring, which is a shame considering that Belinda Jones's earlier books were really great! But over the past few years her writing has become stale and uninteresting ... :o(...more
Belina Jones has a knack for writing books that make you feel like you are on vacation --- she always chooses some great place to set her story in, anBelina Jones has a knack for writing books that make you feel like you are on vacation --- she always chooses some great place to set her story in, and her writing is fun and really enjoyable!...more