Kirstyn McDermott's Reviews > Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

This book was recommended by people whose opinion I trust but, to be honest, I still started out expecting not all that much. Teenage beauty queens? Reality TV? Meh. But this is a wonderful book which I enjoyed immensely. Smart and sassy and full of snark, Libba Bray manages to create that very rare of beasts: a toothsome satire populated by characters who actually feel very real, characters you actually care about as much as -- if not more than -- the social commentary.

One of the things I especially loved about Beauty Queens was that it skillfully avoided the traps of having "good" girls and "bad" girls, of pitting the girls against one another, of presenting yet another version of female vs female. Quite the opposite. Even the characters I started off disliking -- almost, shamefully, on principal -- are crafted as believable and complex people with believable and complex inner lives. Shock! Horror! Strand a whole bunch of teenage girls on an island and they *won't* automatically end up tearing each other's eyes out with their carefully manicured fingernails! Not *even* when cute boys are thrown into the mix!

This a great book. One I want to thrust into the hands of every teenage girl I know. Not to mention a lot of their mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers!

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