Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Satire
Source: Allen & Unwin Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads rating: 3.57 out of 5.00 (22,000+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room
Teen beauty queens. A lost island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email.
And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives deep in the heart of every girl, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.
Oh, the horror, the horror!
Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.
Review by Nara
I had heard a lot of good things about Libba Bray's books but for some reason kept putting them off. Now after having read Beauty Queens all I can say is: seriously. Why the heck did I do that? What made me put them off? Because I seriously have no clue. Beauty Queens was hilarious and engaging and while there was slight wtfery in the second half of the book, wow. I had no idea that a book about teen beauty queens stranded on an island could be so entertaining. (Who am I kidding, it's always entertaining haha)
Beauty Queens started off being really quite funny and satirical, and while it did retain those qualities as the book moved on, at the same time, things took a turn for the seriously crazy. I mean, I guess you could have said it was unrealistic, but it wasn't unrealistic in a way that annoyed me. There are insane dictators, a massive conspiracy against the Miss Teen Dream competition, random ornithologists, pirates....Clearly these are things that wouldn't normally pop up in a book about survival on an "abandoned" island. But man, it was hilarious.
While certainly not really the focus of the book, the romance was probably the thing that brought down my plot rating. While the various relationships were interesting enough to read about, I just couldn't shake the feeling that they were a bit too....convenient. I also feel like there were a lot of really annoying characters (least of all pre-crazies Miss Texas. Every time she was like "give me 25 cents for swearing/taking the Lord's name in vain" I was like ARGHHHHHH!) but I also feel like I can't actually criticise them for being annoying because they were supposed to be so.
Beauty Queens is definitely the sort of book that I could easily see as a movie. Actually, I want a movie. As soon as possible. The writing, the footnotes, the "announcement" chapters- this book was a thing of beauty. #punintended
Oh and also, whatever happened to Miss New Mexico? Is the tray still stuck in her head?
Really liked it