Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: Beauty Queens

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing in a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

Whats a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild?And what should happen when the sexy pirates how up?

In a Nutshell: Beauty Queens is a hilarious romp through pageant hell and back again, all while discovering that its not what's on the outside, but what's on the inside that matters.

Putdownability Factor: Frequent "commercial breaks" throughout the novel made it easy to

Cover Love: Ehhhh I'm not a huge fan of this cover. It didn't help that I was trying to read Beauty Queens at the waterpark with my cousins..... "Julia, why is there a bikini girl on the cover of your book????" Hahahahaha. >.<

My Thoughts

Beauty Queens. Its a crazy romp through pageant hell and back. Its a political statement that screams in your face about feminism, and countless other controversial topics. Its got sexy pirates, commercial breaks, insane celebrities, oh and did I mention its freaking hilarious? Yeah, its an awesome book. :)

I'm not gonna lie, I was expecting Beauty Queens to be a bit more.... I don't know bloodthirsty (I'm not as psychotic as I sound...)? When I first heard about this book I thought it was gonna be more fighting and less prancing around on the beach. I was a little disappointed at first, but not for long.  I would have never expected it from reading her Gemma Doyle Trilogy, but Libba Bray is a comic genius. There was hardly a moment when I wasn't laughing while reading Beauty Queens. Tip for future readers: Don't read this book in public unless you're prepared to have people stare at you as you break out into random fits of hysterical laughter. >.<

Other than the humor (which was obviously a winner!) the other thing I loved about Beauty Queens was the characters. Even though there were 13 total contestants that I had to get to know, Libba Bray did a great job creating each character, giving them backstories, and really making them stand out. I did get confused a few times (who wouldn't with 13+ different characters) but overall I was impressed with how unique each character truly was. My favorites were Adina (Miss New Hampshire) because of her fiery attitude and boy smarts and Mary Lou (Miss Nebraska) because of her ability to accept herself.

The one thing that kind of bugged me about Beauty Queens was that it had such a strong political agenda. I'm all for girl power, and people speaking their minds, but this book ended up feeling kind of preachy. Its comparable to protesters you run into while shopping downtown; you don't really mind what they're doing so much as its annoying that it's getting in the way of your ultimate goal which is shopping. In this case I didn't really mind the political statements, they just got in the way of me processing the actual story.

Even though Beauty Queens wasn't what I expected it to be, it was still an awesome book. The characters were well rounded, the plot was a great mix of action and quirkiness, and overall it was just funny as heck. I give Beauty Queens 4 out of 5 ice cream cones.

Who would I recommend this book to? Anyone looking for a good laugh would love this book!

Julia :)

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