Beauty Queens book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was. Praise for Beauty Queens: “'Beauty Queens' is a madcap surrealist satire of the world in which her readers have come of age – reality TV, corporate sponsorship . Free summary and analysis of the events in Libba Bray's Beauty Queens that won't make you snore. This book is a roller-coaster of wacky and snark. Like the.
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Sharp satire mixes girl-power themes with violence, sex. Read Common Sense Media's Beauty Queens review, age rating, and parents guide. As far as great books go, Beauty Queens is right up there with some of the most poignant, masterfully crafted YA lit I've read in my tiny lifetime. Beauty Queens (by Libba Bray) is the story of what happens when plane crash survivors/teen beauty pageant contestants must fend for themselves on a.
It feels like Bray is trying to write two different books here.
On the one hand, we have a campy, outrageous pageant caper with maniacal villains, outrageous escapes, and general balls-out hilarity; and then we have a serious social statement about girls today and who society wants them to be. There are some very good ideas in this book - it's inspired, in part, by Lord of the Flies and discusses when it's not throwing out pop culture jokes and romance subplots the idea that girls need an island of their own, where they don't have to worry about being who everyone else wants them to be and discover who they really are.
But it doesn't mesh with the silly, campy mood that defines the rest of the book. How can we take these girls' opinions about societal pressures seriously when the villains have a secret lair in a volcano with a self-destruct system that can be overridden by making a Powerpoint presentation again, not making this up.
Well, you think of a better explanation View all 26 comments. Sep 29, Petra X rated it it was amazing Shelves: In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the boys wrecked and alone on an island act as Golding says boys being true to their nature will. And it ain't pretty, gangs, anarchism, bullying, murder It's a brilliant book. So is Libba Bray's. What she has to say about women in Beauty Queens also wrecked and alone on an island, is that even the most dedicated fashionista of a girl with her acrylic nails and furry false eyelashes is solid when she has to be.
In real life, these girls go home in the e In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the boys wrecked and alone on an island act as Golding says boys being true to their nature will. In real life, these girls go home in the evening kick off their stiletto heels, put on some jeans and see to the kids.
Dinner, homework, ironing school uniform, making lunch boxes, and putting them to bed is the minimum amount of work. If they have a partner, it gets even more complicated. Only then, only after they have looked after the family do they touch up their acrylics and add another coat to their toenails and ring the girlfriends for gossip, scandal and plans.
Next day, when the kids have been breakfasted and sent on their way and the laundry loaded into the machine, our heroine will again be ghetto-fabulous with glossy pouted lips and looking like she wasn't really made of steel at all.
That's women, and Libba Bray got it in this geniusly funny book where every taboo, social norm and anything that gets in the way of women being true to themselves is knocked about and eventually trampled underfoot by all. All the girls will come to see their true worth although some of them do hang on to their self-image as dumb blonde but pretty until forced out of it by necessity. All the girls are different and some when they define themselves as capable women without any need to impress with looks will finds paths far different from that of the beauty pageant they were on their way to enter.
This isn't to say that all women are good cookies, no there are the truly evil sociopathic baddies too. Close to the ending the plot goes haywire in a good way and a very manipulative woman based on a real-life character is revealed.
A bit of googling and you can easily find out who she is. To say more would be a spoiler. This should be read alongside Lord of the Flies in school, but it won't be. It's too much fun, too many actually not enough lipsticks and definitely not literary enough.
It is a 5 star read, and a good boost to confidence for teenage girls who think that looks are enough. They aren't unless they aspire to be in the Playboy Mansion or be famous like the Kardashian trash which is more than sad. They should read this book and see that they can do anything at all they want and still like putting on the paint and pouting for a selfie.
Read Dec 31,, reviewed Aug 22, View 2 comments. After reading Stephanie's review, I decided to try the audio version. At first, I thought it was ridiculous, irritating and just plain stupid.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to get to know the characters. The story is told from different perspectives and it was hard for me to get all the girls straight. It deals with racism, disability, and sexuality. There is adventure, mystery, and a dollop of romance.
There are important messages here about survival, friendship, beauty, acceptance, independence, and what it means to be a woman. Hilarious, empowering, honest, and highly recommended. View all 19 comments. This was a ridiculously fun book! It was bizarre. It was silly. It was fantastic! While geared toward the YA crowd, I think the tongue-in-cheek cynicism is something that can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys smart, sarcastic humor. Bray makes a lot of really great points through a story that could easily be dismisse This was a ridiculously fun book!
Bray makes a lot of really great points through a story that could easily be dismissed on the surface especially with a bikini model on the cover and a title like Beauty Queens - don't judge a book by its cover! If you like smart humor, satire, and books that make really great points through the strangest series of events, you have got to check this out! View all 4 comments. Mar 02, Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was definitely very different than what I thought.
I thought this was done really, really well and I couldn't dislike it because it just has so many amazing themes. I respect Libba Bray so, so much for writing this. There's so much representation and feminism and I definitely understand why it's an option for the juniors at my school to read as an independent novel. I just wish some of the boys would pick it up, too. In the end, this was just a little too random and bizarre for me.
I l This book was definitely very different than what I thought. I love the exaggeration of everything and the purposeful unrealisticness was hilarious, but some of the political conflict confused me im still not sure what The Corporation is. View 1 comment. That was freaking amazing. There are so many things I want to say about this book, but at the moment I'm so overwhelmed by the whole thing that I can't even think of what to say I loved it.
Was it just me, or did the epilogue feel like the end credits to an awesome movie? I could picture the entire thing in my head, and it looked fabulous, bitches. View all 8 comments. Sep 15, Sh3lly GrumpyBookGrrrl. Kelly and the Book Boar. I'm going to make a pitcher book to start this review. This book is a little bit of this: And this: With a bit of this: It's basically about a group of teens on their way to a beauty pageant who get stuck on an island after their plane crashes and have to figure out a way to survive and get along with each other.
There's a lot of humor in this book and a lot of messages about feminism and capitalism. It's a huge satire about beauty pageant culture, the way society looks I'm going to make a pitcher book to start this review. It's a huge satire about beauty pageant culture, the way society looks at females, and how ridiculous Big Business is about profits and covering up product flaws because of profit.
When I started it, I really thought this would be a 4-star read, but after awhile, I felt like the story could have been told in about pages rather than almost The funny parts started to get stale and the in-between corporate spoofs got old as well.
It almost seemed like the boy band pirate reality-TV section was unnecessary and bloated the book. It kind of took a little away from the feminist themes and provided a convenient HEA for a couple of characters and was used as a plot device that could have been resolved another way. Maybe it's just me? Anyhow, this was amusing and funny and I liked the political messages, but it just went on and on for too long and sapped my initial enthusiasm.
Still a good read if you are looking for something humorous and kind of fluffy. Oh, and let me just add that this book did a great job of demonstrating a wide range of diverse characters in a positive light, while also blatantly making jokes of racial and sexual stereotypes.
Oh, I also really appreciated just how bizarre and quirky this was. If only it hadn't been stretched out so much. I just felt like the book should have ended by that point.
Read my friend Kelly's review because it's awesome and is what made me want to read this to begin with!
It's not my usual fare, but was worth it, even if I didn't totally love it. View all 15 comments. Jul 10, Amanda rated it it was ok Shelves: Just meh.
Beauty Queens is not at all what I expected. What I expected was a group of beauty queens crash land on an isolated island and it's not long before the ruthlessness of the pageant morphs into a violent "survival of the fittest" mentality, a la Lord of the Flies. I would have also settled for a dark and biting satire on consumerism and pop culture.
Alas, what I got was an increasingly irritating "Girl Power! As a message of female empowerment, it has all the depth of Day-to-Night Barbie oh, how I remember that Barbie in her pink, tailored "go-getter" workplace dress that conveniently converted into a sparkly tulle evening number, proving to little girls that we could be serious and glamorous while we had it all. To begin with, the novel was far too long and tried to pack in too much for what it was.
Beauty queens crashing onto a deserted island is more than enough for a quirky, humorous read, but Bray packs everything she possibly can into the novel: And on top of all of this is a thick layer of "You're perfect just the way you are! Now I'm a fan of all of these messages and I especially applaud Bray for including lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters.
The problem is that the characters start off as stereotypical beauty queens, focused only on cosmetics, weight, dresses, and winning. The disconnect from society provided by the island gives them the opportunity to explore who they truly are without the consumer and societal "noise" telling girls what they should be. This is all well and good, but the girls seem to undergo an inauthentic sea-change in personality after building a few huts and sewing sparkly banners to attract help.
They then become more intellectual, empowered versions of themselves, but no less stereotypical: And then there is the tiny contingent of girls who survive for no other reason than to shoot off one-liners and help move the plot along. They're never given any depth or dimension, and are never really referred to by anything other than their "Miss.
The only interesting character is Taylor, the ultimate pageant girl, who finally snaps and, in a nod to Heart of Darkness and maybe even Tim O'Brien's Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong , becomes one with the violence that has always lain dormant within her.
Bray vacillates between slapstick humor and serious messages. While I did enjoy the first few chapters and there were some lines that made me laugh, most of the humor was predictable and inspired only an eye-roll as I turned the page. Unfortunately, the smart stuff, the stuff that needs to be recognized and addressed, becomes lost in the fluff.
The novel's own inane silliness ultimately downplays what could have been a more powerful exploration of being a girl in today's society. Or it could have been just a fun powder puff of a novel. Either way, it would have been better than what it ultimately turned out to be. I suppose I could be accused of taking this more seriously than I should have, but I think the same argument could be made of Bray. By the ending chapter, the girls dance their way off the stage while the narrator tells us what they're wearing and gives a synopsis of what their future lives hold.
Like Day-to-Night Barbie, they look fabulous and have fabulously successful lives. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder View all 6 comments. The corporation would like to apologize for the preceding pages. Of course, it's not at all okay for girls to behave this way. Sex is not meant to be this— a consensual expression of love. No, sex is meant for selling cars.
And beers. And religion. This is one of the funniest books I've read in my life. If you're looking for an afternoon laughing at how fucked up our society is, laughing at all aspects of society and of women's beauty-queen treatment, this is the perfect book for you.
I'm not n The corporation would like to apologize for the preceding pages. I'm not necessarily going to say that everyone will enjoy this; the humor is a certain taste and won't be right for everyone. I'd recommend reading the first 60 or so pages to find out whether the humor is your type.
Or maybe you can tell just from the quotes. Okay, try this one: Sosie Simmon's Fun Fact: It's the odd, offbeat, sarcastic kind of humor. The real strength of this book is that despite the comedy aspects, this book goes deeper. Beauty Queens is not a story about stereotypically bitchy mean girls - in fact, it's full of messages about finding yourself. There is also so much diversity in this book. Just among out leads, there are multiple women of color, a Deaf bi character, a trans character, and a lesbian character.
If the offbeat tone works for you, this is completely worth the read. It is fucking hilarious. Sep 04, Deanna rated it really liked it. I read this a few years ago and usually I don't remember much about a book after that long unless it was a particularly good read.
This is one of those books that stayed with me because it was just so entertaining. I forgot to update my Goodreads with it but happened across a GR friends review and remembered. I saw somewhere that someone said it's like "Lost" meets "Clueless" and I think that that is an accurate description Beauty Queen tantrums are probably similar at any age The Miss Teen Dream Pageant contestants are on their way to an island rehearsals before the big show when their plane crashes on a desert island.
Many of the contestants and ALL of the adult chaperons perish in the crash However, there are not just the beauty queens on the island. Also the psychotic CEO of the company and former beauty queen who is all about the money no matter what.
Plus other characters who add that much more to the story. We also have "The Corporation" as a character and have little footnotes, interviews and even commercial breaks! So what do you get when 13 beauty queens are stranded on a desert island without adequate supplies?
The answer is not quite what you might expect. Witty, over-the-top, tongue in cheek humour and funny situations yes but also a good dose of empowerment and self-discovery as the beauty queens try to survive.
I thought the book was very well written and I finished it in a day or two. At first I thought this would be a very shallow book but it really was quite inspirational at times. Some serious laugh out loud moments.
This novel was originally intended for young adults. However, there is some sex, violence and drugs so I guess it would depend on the maturity of the reader. But in my opinion this book would be enjoyed by adults as well I really enjoyed it! Mar 26, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it really liked it Shelves: Find all of my reviews at: If so, read this.
Completely adorable and so much better than I was expecting. View all 16 comments. Feb 12, Stacia the club rated it liked it Shelves: Please, that's like the heroin of television. Proving that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. I would actually watch a show with pirate rock stars. So this is satire. Before you read this book, it is important to know that it is not meant to be taken seriously. If you find yourself hating certain characters, they were probably written that way for a reason.
I generally like satire, parodies, or anything using some form of ironic wit to "Pirate rock stars? I generally like satire, parodies, or anything using some form of ironic wit to make a greater point - in small doses.
I think it's very hard to carry an entire book of over-exaggerated humor without people getting tired of it after a certain point. Bray's observances about the flaws within the beauty industry in general were spot-on and I appreciated that. However, I still felt like the ideas were getting stale after a while.
On the positive side , Bray's wit was hilarious. I admit to grinning at a lot of the dialogue. On the negative side , by adding in the commercial breaks and extra commentary from the corporation and t. I kept thinking that if the book had been focused only a plane crash and the contestants of the pageant, that it could have been so much better. I wonder how much more I would have enjoyed this if the point of view had been scaled back to one main focus instead of jumping around all over the place.
If things had been different, I could easily see giving this book 4 stars. But for what this was, I feel the need to state that the complaints were more about what I do and don't like and not a reflection on if the book was a success or not. I already knew before this that Bray could write her ass off and she continued to prove that here with Beauty Queens.
I can't fault the author for choosing the format that she chose for this story, but it's not a format that I preferred to read here. It's just a personal preference. You've never read satire? Well, here's a sample. Several of the girls gasped. Half of an airline serving tray was lodged in her forehead, forming a small blue canopy over her eyes.
Some girls argued over whether the death of Miss Massachusetts - favored by the bookies to win the whole thing - meant that the competition would never feel entirely fair. They were going to replace it with that show about Amish girls who share a house with strippers, Girls Gone Rumpsringa? And help kids not have cancer and stuff. Kayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous.
And I was like "Beauty Queens" a book about teen beauty queens on a plain, that like OMG, crashes on a desert island and they have to survive and stuff, wouldn't make me, like, have to think and stuff But I was wrong.
Yes this is a story about 50 beauty contestants for a pageant called Miss Teen Dream, and how the 12 Kayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous. Yes this is a story about 50 beauty contestants for a pageant called Miss Teen Dream, and how the 12 survivors survive.
And yes it is funny and ridiculous, but it also has Lady Bird Hope, which is Sarah Palin if you have any doubt, listen to the audio version.
Black Water, too big to fail The corporation that is in control of everything. The LBGT community is represented. Objectification and exploitation of women is addressed. Being comfortable with your sexuality and not being ashamed of it is in there too. Of course the biggest lesson of all, you do not mess with Texas, especially Miss Texas. I thouroghly enjoyed this book I listened to the audio version, read by the author.
Now this can go either way. But this guy, Todd Burpo reads his terrible book Heaven is for Real I just don't want to think about it. Libba Bray did a very good job reading Beauty Queens. In the beginning I was a bit unsure, she sounded a bit snarky, but as the book moved along it got better. I liked it. View all 9 comments.
Elise TheBookishActress. View all 30 comments. Reading Beauty Queens evoked a lot of questions on what it means to be a woman in this pageant of life. I'm definitely a Sparkle Pony. I enjoyed Libba Bray's writing. She easily and cogently maneuvered switching POVs, even that of a deranged dictator with a penchant for Elvis wigs. It was very easy to imagine Libba Bray having lots of fun writing this, while perhaps chugging a bottle of Vodka, for her to come up with Man Flower and General Good Times.
It started out very strong and continued on until the sexy pirates arrived, with their washboard abs, lush hair, tight breeches and British accent.
Imagine 3 of him Overall though I recommend this read for General Good Times. I apologize for the pathetic metaphor, there were just too many Ladybird Hope pageant metaphors. They got to me man! View all 14 comments. Sep 20, Krista Regester rated it it was amazing Shelves: How the HELL has this not been made into a movie. View all 3 comments. Apr 05, Meredith Holley rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: In most ways, this book was absolutely written for me. Sarah Palin and GW stand-ins make appearances to be generally villainous.
It has lovely, lovely girls, lots of action, and some pretty hilarious jokes. Oh, and hilarious jokes in the footnotes. Because why use endnotes, people?
No need to be coy. There is one about putting dolls on a pedestal that is my favorite joke in the book, if you want to know. The odd thing about the book is In most ways, this book was absolutely written for me. The odd thing about the book is that it mixes slapstick detachment and satire with some pretty touching, beautiful moments. Sometimes that is jarring.
Sometimes the girls are caricatures of social stereotypes, and other times they are breathtaking hope for the future. It was difficult for me to transition between the two, but in general, I really loved both moods of the story. So, this is not going to be a fair review.
by Libba Bray
I did a lot of sputtering about a feminist critique of Bridesmaids because WTF, people, does everything have to be the ideal feminist mantra? Sometimes a story about girls is just a story about girls. The tough thing about this book is that I feel like it was making some pretty purposeful feminist statements, so I think it opened itself up to more criticism because of that. First, I love Mary Lou. I love love love her. Even though I will not get over my bitter disappointment about pirates this easily, I love her story.
I think the writing is electric around her. I love her. I love the other girls as well, but Mary Lou is special. I think each girl in the story represents overcoming some kind of stigmatized female experience. Bray because I found it absolutely vivid, where the others seemed researched. I like how Bray is clear about how women perpetuate misogyny, too. I always look for those beautiful female characters who are not reacting to anyone, but just being wonderful in who they are.
I think it would be easy to compare these girls to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde , but I really think Elle remains herself throughout the movie.
I am an idiot because I care about pretty things. I also love how Adina talks about girls looking to romantic relationships for self-definition. If someone desires us, it makes us desirable. It makes a relationship more than it is, and something it shouldn't be. I love how she identifies it and says that it is not how she wants to be. A few things that troubled me, though. This book starts with the premise that a girl would only do pageants because of a social or emotional disturbance.
As the story unravels, the girls reveal, one by one, the social or emotional wounds that led them to be in the pageant. The other premise that shows up in the book is that girls need an island to overcome what we're socially trained to be. That's more of a thesis of the book, as Penny very correctly points out.
I'm not totally down with that idea either. It has this kind of hopelessness, like culture is so entrenched in unhealthy expectations for girls that there is no room for real girls in culture. That idea bums me out, and I don't think it's true.
There is an Awakening quality to it that I hope strong female writers get past, and that I think some have gotten past. We are here! The world is for us too!! Don't give it up, girls, and retreat to your own private islands. There need to be elbowing and kidney-kicks to people who try to tell girls that the world isn't for them. I don't think floating away to an island is the answer for girls becasue it is aka suicide, for those of you who are not up on your hopeless women writers.
And that is not the answer.
Anyway, back to the girls. None of them are surprising, but they are pretty fun. I know only one really did the soccer thing, but I feel like that idea was there for a lot of them. It was just a little anti-climactic. But, Adina and Taylor actually really made me sad. I am reading this book Motherless Daughters — because that is what I am — and it is a devastatingly poignant book for me. Those two girls are the motherless daughters in the book Taylor from physical abandonment, and Adina from emotional abandonment , and it made me really sad that they were still so lost at the end of the book.
I know there is a sort of power in the way they are lost, with Taylor as the jungle queen, and Adina refusing to sell her soul for emotional affirmation from men. Still, though, they made me sad. What if all of our mothers left us? And Shanti and Nicole felt a little funny to me in that way, too.
It was just slightly uncomfortable. I mean, those girls were lovely, and I really like them, but I felt like, rather than be the sassy ethnic friend, they were only a reaction to the sassy ethnic friend. Jennifer and Petra were a little better than that, I thought. They both had more humanity and specificity, even thought they were so purposely put in the book so that there would be one of each.
Again, I liked the girls. There were a couple of points where, if I had put the book down for a little while, I would come back to it and forget who Miss New Mexico or Ohio were. There was a lot going on. Still, though, it was really fun and funny, and tear-jerky at a couple of points for me.
It will definitely not be a five-star book for everyone, but I had a beautiful day out in the hammock reading it, so it is giving a halo to the experience.
Also, as I guessed from the moment I first saw its cover, I am the intended audience for this book. View all 49 comments. Si vas a leer Beauty Queens esperando un libro de supervivencia. Es un libros sobre un grupo de chicas que debido a la rape culture donde vivimos fingen ser algo que no son, y son presionadas a hacer cosas que no les gustan para cumplir con lo que se espera de ellas SOLO por ser mujeres.
En libro hay de todo. Es tan refrescante ver tanta diversidad de personajes. View all 28 comments. Sep 10, Romie rated it really liked it Shelves: This book follows thirteen teenage girls - pageant beauty queens - after their plane crashed on a deserted island.
In this book, each girl has to deal with what society taught them: She has this big idea of who she wants to be: She has no clue. Nicole wants to be a doctor - a surgeon please - but people look down on her. She just wants to be Nicole, with her wild hair and full knowledge of the human body. But there is more to her: Basically this book is a big fuck you to our misogynist world.
And it was delightful. Shanti gives the signal. As one, they leap, laughing, and that is where we leave them - mouths open, arms spread wide, fingers splayed to take in the whole world, bodies flying high in defiance of gravity, as if they will never fall. A lot funnier than I expected. Also, such a girl power book! May 23, Thomas rated it it was amazing Shelves: I wish I had enough money to download every girl attending my high school a copy of Beauty Queens.
Actually, I wish I had enough money to download every girl from the age of 15 to 21 a copy of this book. I bow down to Libba Bray for pulling off such a crazy concept - a plane of beauty pageant contestants crash on an island - when it could have gone horribly wrong in the hands of a less competent author.
On the outside, Beauty Queens is about an ensemble of shallow, teenaged girls surviving on an island. Bu I wish I had enough money to download every girl attending my high school a copy of Beauty Queens.
But, just like the girls themselves, it offers much more. Bray tackles a wide array of tough subjects like male vs. Some books you read in silence. Beauty Queens isn't one of those books. Libba Bray holds nothing back in her upbraiding of the superficial nature of society, yet it never gets overwhelming - the humor in this book is wonderfully witty and refreshing. I laughed out loud so many times I regret not downloading a copy so I could note when the funniest moments took place. Almost every other page contained a joke or wisecrack that made me smile, like when one contestant states the importance of aiding non-Americans after being asked her favorite color.
I probably haven't done this book justice, so I'll just tell you to go out and get a copy to read. I had my doubts after reading and disliking Going Bovine by Bray, but Beauty Queens has placed her on my list of authors to watch out for. Definitely recommended. This is the book that the other half and I decided to listen to on the combined eighteen hours round trip of driving that we endured last week.
I laughed, I giggled, I chortled, I smirked. I listened quietly. I zoned out. I may or may not have fallen asleep for about twenty minutes during track three. I cringed. I looked around desperately for something to pack my ear canals with. I begged for a music break. The bar graph is mocking me!
The tortoise like acceleration will never be enough to dispel my rage! There are also a lot of gimmicks in this book: That sounds negative, but those things were my favorite parts of this book. It is a well-known fact among audiobook enthusiasts that authors who decide to narrate their own books tend to majorly FUBAR the narration. Sure, there are a few exceptions Neil Gaiman can do anything. This is one of them. The footnotes, commercial breaks, and fun facts questionnaires are all produced with hysterical sound effects and music, and Ms.
Bray does a wonderful job capturing all the voices. I mean, just to be clear, her accents are atrocious. And there are quite a few in this book: Actually, her Texas accent is spot on.
But the others…are just awful. The girls have moments of authenticity, but they never transcend beyond caricatures, in my opinion. And she has a nice little panel assembled here: They all come across more like mouthpieces for various issues. There is a clear message within the pages of this book. With a chorus of cheerleaders in the background, spelling it out bodily. And a very wordy fireworks display. With glow in the dark neon sky writing. For example, I was initially very absorbed by the story of Mary Lou, a mid-western girl who is taught to fear her own sexuality.
This is actually what I would consider to be a major problem in the current YA literature. Girls are portrayed as chaste, innocent dolls who have no interest in sex until that special soul mate type love interest shows up to awaken them like some sort of fairy tale. Even in more aware portrayals, sex is often smothered in flowery metaphor or glossed over. But then, she meets Tane. Tane is an eco-warrior and ornithologist in his teens!
She actually uses this sentence in her description of Tane: And declare their love for each other after about a week.
Shipwrecked Beauty Queens
In fact, all of the love interests in this book are paper thin cut-outs of characters without any defining characteristics except their smoking hot bodies and completely accepting hearts. One love interest ends up having some questionable motivations, but then, of course, he reveals himself to be just a wounded puppy with a soft gooey center.
Perhaps the only vaguely realistic romance here is between two of the contestants, but even that seems reduced to a platform that the author uses to discuss sexual orientation. I should probably stop now, as this is getting quite long! I think that some will be able to look past all of the sledgehammer messaging of this book and just enjoy the good, clean fun of it. Often these are boundaries and molds that we place on ourselves.
View all 48 comments. Episode Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray 2 17 Jun 18, Readers also enjoyed. Videos About This Book. More videos Young Adult. About Libba Bray. Libba Bray. What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it! I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor.
I could tell you the facts—I lived in Texas for most of my life; I live in New York City with my husband and six-year-old son now; I have freckles and a lopsided smile; I'm allergic to penicillin. But that doesn't really give you much insight into me.
That doesn't tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I'd have to go to the ER and have it cut out. Or that I made everyone call me "Bert" in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of. See what I mean? God is in the details. So with that in mind, here is my bio.
Sort of. I ended up using the punchbowl box as an end table for two years. My dad was a Presbyterian minister. Yes, I am one of those dreaded P. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The first story I ever wrote, in Mrs. McBee's 6th grade English class, was about a girl whose family is kidnapped and held hostage by a murderous lot of bank robbers who intend to kill the whole family—including the dog—until the year-old heroine foils the plot and saves the day. It included colored pencil illustrations of manly-looking, bearded criminals smoking, and, oblivious to the fact that The Beatles had already sort of laid claim to the title, I called my novel, HELP.
My mom still has a copy. And when I do something she doesn't like, she threatens to find it. My favorite word is "redemption. My least favorite word is "maybe. My three worst habits are overeating, self-doubt, and the frequent use of the "f" word.
The three things I like best about myself are my sense of humor, my ability to listen, and my imagination. I have an artificial left eye. I lost my real eye in a car accident when I was eighteen. In fact, I had to have my entire face rebuilt because I smashed it up pretty good. It took six years and thirteen surgeries.
However, I did have the pleasure of freezing a plastic eyeball in an ice cube, putting it in a friend's drink, "Eyeball in your highball? Okay, so maybe that's not going down on my good karma record. But it sure was fun. Man, we were such dorks. I once spent New Year's Eve in a wetsuit.
I'd gone to the party in a black dress that was a little too tight too many holiday cookies and when I went to sit down, the dress ripped up the back completely.
Can we all say, mortified? The problem was, my friends were moving out of their house—everything was packed and on a truck—and there was nothing I could put on. And at no point does this book challenge one to think. Beauty Queens thinks for you, because thinking is hard, y'all. You wanna sell me on something? Give me a chance to think for myself. Show me both sides of the argument. Present me with questions that don't necessarily have an easy answer.
Let me draw my own conclusions. Don't incessantly beat me upside my head with your answers, your way of thinking. See, when that happens I tend to lose interest in what you have to say--even if I happen to agree with you--because you clearly think you're superior, that I'm not intelligent enough to come to the right read: your conclusion. And don't even think of telling me that some teenage girls need a book to do their thinking for them, that they need to be force fed the messages contained within Beauty Queens because their parents, their peers, the media has damaged them, tricked them into thinking otherwise.
Even if that is the case with some teenage girls, I fail to see how shoving a message down their collective throats--be it negative or positive--is the way to go about building up self esteem, or fixing identity issues. Moving on I don't fault Libba Bray for wanting to make this book funny, because Beauty Queens would have bombed royally had it taken itself too seriously. But like I said earlier, she took the satire, the tongue-in-cheekiness, way too far. Beauty Queens is obnoxious. Beauty Queens is that know-it-all girl that you sort of want to punch in the face because she isn't as clever as she thinks she is; someone ought to bring her down a few notches.
Anyway, because of Bray's lack of control every character has been reduced to a cardboard cut-out of a stereotype. Beauty Queens has two really stupid blondes from the south, a really slutty girl from the midwest, a super sexually repressed girl from the upper-midwest, two minorities, a crazy pageant-head from Texas, A stereotypical lesbian, and a girl who is hearing impaired.
Even Ms New Hampshire--whom, might I add, is this story's Marysue--is feminist to a fault, goes around feeling superior to the other girls on the island because she's "enlightened" and they're just a bunch of "stupid fools". There were a few others who had even less going for them. Ms New Mexico, for example, had a tray table embedded in her skull.
That was her only defining quality throughout the entire book. I kid you not. She's probably the only reason anyone should read this book. The rest of the ladies? Were really irritating and irrational and totally rubbed me the wrong way--go figure.
You know how every chick flick has at least one painfully ridiculous cringe-worthy scene? The sort of scene that makes you wonder how stupid Hollywood thinks women are. The sort of scene that makes you vow to never see another chick flick again, like that random musical number with synchronized dance moves in My Best Friend's Wedding.
Or the 'Bend and Snap' scene from Legally Blonde. Or the entire length of the movie Mama Mia? Yeah, this book has that. It ENDS with one of those scenes. Read this book or not. It's totally up to you. I didn't like it, clearly, but I'm not pleased with a lot of books these days.
Like, especially their bodies are super beautiful, and the MC can't shut up about how physically beautiful her love interest is. How come female MCs don't fall in love with guys who have great personalities but are lacking in the looks department? Why can't it just be about a meeting of minds? Especially when we go around telling ourselves that looks shouldn't matter, to anyone especially men. Isn't that more than a little hypocritical? Oh, yeah, I forgot. No one wants to read about ugly people falling in love.
I'll have you know, starting when I was 12 years old my parents sent me to a girls camp in Colorado--five summers in a row. No electricity. No cabins. No toilets or showers or mirrors.Like, ridiculously mean, especially when civilization isn't present. Leena June 20, at 1: Our editors recommend. This is what every teenage girl should be reading. View all 8 comments. No cabins. Libba Bray has clearly always had a talent for characterization.
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