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Beauty Queens > Final Thoughts

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message 1: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
What did you think about this book?


message 2: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Aug 18, 2014 01:53PM) (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I am saddened to say.. that this book was not for me. I actually didn't make it all the way through. I made it to about 80% according to my ebook. I will say though that the audio (which is how I started the book) is amazing. Unfortunately I think maybe the book isn't my style. I can't say that I don't like Libba Bray though because I loved her book the Diviners and Going Bovine.

I do like the premise of the book. Beauty Queens on an island because of a plane crash. They have to get off the island and try to survive while on it. I enjoyed that each beauty queen had her own issues and we got to read about these issues. Being a person of color, being lesbian, transgender. All these issues were really good to read about. But I could only take the story for so long before it was dull. For me it was ... we are on the island.. we need to survive.. we run into issues.. we get off ... the end. Just not enough story.

I also started to get a little bored with all the satire. I thought it became really over done. There were just too many things thrown at us. Reality TV is bad... commercials are bad.. ok I get it. I really did stick with the book as long as I could. When I started putting off reading that's when I realized that this just isn't for me. I basically skimmed the ending.


message 3: by Kay, Conquering YA One Book at a Time (new)

Kay | 79 comments Mod
No. No. No. Angie! I'm not really getting into the book either (I'm only on page 70). I thought it gets better. Do you think I should carry on with the novel. I'm really upset. I've heard mixed things about this book and since I've started it I've been disliking it a lot. Is it worth reading?


message 4: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Aug 18, 2014 06:30PM) (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
For me... I quit the book about 80% in. I wanted to finish it but just couldn't. The end was very predictable and I had read enough lessons. I just didn't enjoy it. You are right though... there are mixed reviews. Tons and tons of people love this book and this it's hilarious. I guess it probably just depends on your humor. I will say though if you aren't enjoying it in the beginning you probably won't be enjoying it in the end either.

One thing that bothers me too is that why can't make-overs be empowering to women? The book made it out to me that it is sooo bad that a woman/girl would want to wear make up, do her hair and wear a fabulous dress. When I do this.. I feel great. There is nothing wrong with feeling good and looking your best. The footnotes were really over the top for me ... trying to hard I think.


message 5: by Kay, Conquering YA One Book at a Time (new)

Kay | 79 comments Mod
I got more into the book, and the story seemed to find itself. I am now enjoying it more. However I do feel it is really unoriginal.all of the girls have some aspect of discrimination (transgender, black, Indian, lesbian). It seems like each girl only has one trait. While reading the dialogue, instead of thinking "oh, that's Nicole", I was thinking (I am not being racist), "oh that's the black one". Bray's characters are defined by only one trait, making them unreal and no more than just a piece of fiction. I do agree with your Family Guy comment. Now, as I think about it, they are both very similar. I think I will continue with the book, as I find (some of) the jokes funny and I enjoy the witty dialogue, but I will always fell that it needs more character development and a more interesting plot (and a less cheesy antagonist)!


message 6: by This (new)

This (craftinglibrarian) I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I listened to the audiobook, and Libbra Bray does a great job narrating her book.

My feeling was that she could have had a really good, positive and empowering book, but she decided to go for cheap jokes and an over-the-top change in Miss Texas. So I did find it funny--once I gave in to what she had decided to do with (her own) book. Still, I was disappointed.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephsco) I love this book, though I get the satire and excessiveness isn't for everyone. To me, I liked how she took stereotypes like Miss Texas and turned her into a real character who wasn't just stereotypes about Texas. She did a lot of clever things with this book, but I understand if people were put off by a Kim Jong Il-esque dictator with an obsession with taxidermy. It's just not for everyone.


message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments I also loved this book - but it's not perfect. There are so many situations that are simply "deus ex machina" - tidal wave, pirate ship, quicksand - not to mention the plane crash that starts the whole thing.

Still, the satire makes it all worth it for me. Even though most of the girls start off as stereotypes, they become real people in the end.


message 9: by Grace (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments I forgot to mention the loose ends. I kept wondering what would happen to Petra without her medication - the meds she struggled to find at the beginning. She only had enough for seven days - then what would happen?


message 10: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Grace wrote: "I forgot to mention the loose ends. I kept wondering what would happen to Petra without her medication - the meds she struggled to find at the beginning. She only had enough for seven days - then w..."

YES!!! I don't know much about this .. but maybe she has to begin all over at the beginning again with hormone therapy??? That was my guess.


message 11: by Julia (new)

Julia | 432 comments I love this book! In my memory, I laughed from opening the book to finishing it. I bought a copy of it a few weeks ago, but then put it in a basket for a raffle.


message 12: by Oscar (new)

Oscar | 51 comments This is the third Libba Bray book I've read, along with The Diviners and Going Bovine, and it's my second favorite after Going Bovine.

I just loved the strangeness of it, and while Going Bovine was a weird book, it doesn't feel as over the top, at least in terms of satire.

I also think that while the characters are stereotypes, we get to learn about them beneath the surface as the book progresses.

I have mixed feelings about the pirates subplot, but I suppose having guys on the island served as a means to allow the novel to explore the issue or sexuality further than the demands of pageants and society as a whole has on women to be "pretty and feminine."


message 13: by Adora (new)

Adora (trashybooksforladies) I liked this book a lot, mostly for the messages, and the way it portrayed the major characters. I think it hit a decent balance of pointing out the things that are bad about beauty pageants, and the pressure put on women and young girls, while not agreeing with Adina that liking more feminine things like makeup is wrong and anti-feminist.

However, although I liked the ideas, the execution was sometimes a little off. In general, I love humor and satire. But it just seemed too heavy-handed and try-hard at times. The commercial breaks, for example, didn't work for me at all. They might've in a different format (like if this were a movie or tv show instead of a book), but I would've liked the story more without them. This is my first Libba Bray book, so I'm not sure if it's her writing style in general that I don't love, or if it's just the tone of this one book.

I have mixed feelings about the pirates subplot, but I suppose having guys on the island served as a means to allow the novel to explore the issue or sexuality further than the demands of pageants and society as a whole has on women to be "pretty and feminine."

I felt the same way. My first thought was, "Okay, we can't even have a book all about women?" (although Mary Lou's love interest was already there too, and the Agent). But I mostly came around to liking how they further fleshed out some of the characters and what they did for the plot.


message 14: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new)

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
To be honest... I was surprised how fast the pirates left the story. I thought for sure they would be there till the very end. So when they up and left I was like... huh that was surprising.


message 15: by Grace (new)

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Angie wrote: "...So when they up and left I was like... huh that was surprising."

Hmmm...they had to leave so they could come back just in time at the end.


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