Adriana's Reviews > Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
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May 01, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-adventure, ya-friendship, ya-humor, ya-self-identity
Read from August 11 to 18, 2011

OK, so I can definitely say that I have never read a book quite like this one. I think Libba Bray is seriously a genius. It's campy, fun, funny, full of action and beauty products, as well as full of insights into girlhood, girl power, and self identity. If you are going to read this book I suggest you do it without any expectations. Basically Ms. Bray took the idea of what would happen if a plane full of beauty queens crash landed on a desert island and she completes the story with humor, heart, and lots of as*-kicking (she gives credit to a couple people in her acknowledgements for the basic idea). She also manages to introduce a commentary or satire on the current state of many issues we deal with today. Weapons armament, mindless television, deceptive advertising, discrimination, and corrupt politicians, to name few. The entire time she does so in a way that is so cleverly written and put together that you are engrossed and entertained at the same time. We have a big time company called "The Corporation" who is in charge of bringing to viewers products like Maxi-Pad Pets, the Bicycle Pump-assiere, and Lady 'Stache Off. We also have a former beauty queen who will stop at nothing to promote "the pretty" whilst taking over a country rich in natural resources and shamelessly printing t-shirts for her upcoming run for the presidency using sweatshop labor. There is a boat full of reality hunks playing rogue pirates and one crazy Miss Teen Dream Texas who can kill a man with one twist of her sparkle pony wrist. But of course my favorite characters were the other 12 contestants who managed to survive the fiery plane crash. These included a wild woman who can't be tamed, a comic book loving lesbian, a deaf girl who fights her way from the clutches of an amazonian snake, a "dumb blonde" who evolves from princess to warrior princess, and a transgender girl who loves Marlene Dietrich and has an old soul. Although the book may be considered extreme or out there for some, I felt as though the basic idea of what pop culture can do and is doing is there. Just watch a couple hours of MTV and you will know what I mean. I completely appreciate the message included here and when it comes down to it, for me anyways, the message was to be true to ourselves and fight no matter what for what we believe in. If there is an Elvis-obsessed, Liberace-like dictator thrown in there, then all the better.
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Reading Progress

08/12/2011 page 56
14.0% "This is hilarious."

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