Jennifer's Reviews > Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
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's review
Jul 30, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-2011, read-young-adult
Recommended to Jennifer by: Julie, Julia, & Lori
Recommended for: people who find beauty pageants creepy
Read from July 28 to 30, 2011

It's tough to write a satirical novel with heart and Libba Bray is heavy on the satire here, but the "heart" feels a little forced. Actually, so does the satire for that matter. Though this was a fun, fast read and there were moments of comic genius, I kept wondering how Bray could have walked the line a little better. So, the basic plot is this--50 teen dream beauty pageant contestants are on their way to the competition when their plane crashes on a tropical island and the survivors, representing a far smaller portion of states, must find a way to keep surviving. The plot involves third world dictators, secret corporate plots, and hot pirates. It's a mash up of Lord of the Flies and Christopher Moore and Carl Hiaasen with maybe Heathers thrown in. As a matter of fact, Miss Texas ends up doing a great Skink impersonation (go read some Carl Hiassen right now!). I enjoyed watching many of the girls peel off their pageant layers and reveal the "real" girls underneath but the "corporation" ads got to be a little too much. I felt like I was constantly being hammered with the joke/message.

Ironically, I finished this book just as Cowboys and Aliens is coming out and it seems both these works of fiction are fun and "work" basically but leave you wondering how they might have fared in different hands. (Hint: Joss Whedon might have had fun with both!).

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lori Oooh, what do you think so far?

Jennifer It's pretty evil so far (and I mean that in a good way). She's almost pushing it too far, I think, but I'll see how it all plays out. There are so many moments that are spot on, though.

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