Pub. Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Synopsis: 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 on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What's 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 show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.
I feel like such a weirdo because I didn't love this book. I did think it was a lot of fun and I liked how it did push the envelope, but it felt almost too heavy handed. I felt like the story was just too broken up with commercials and footnotes, at the beginning I loved this, but towards the end I was just dying to know what was going to happen next! There was a beginning of a bookmance... but sadly I fell out of love a bit by the end.
My favorite part about "Beauty Queens" was the characters- they were FANTASTIC! They were all endearing in their own ways, even if I did want to slap them a couple of times. I liked how they all had their insecurities, which made them entertaining and relatable. Some of the characters may have been a bit far fetched, hell most of the book is pretty unbelievable, but Libba Bray is a master at making the ridiculous work in her books. I think her characters are what bring the readers back to reality when they sometimes feel like they are in a parallel dimension.
The over abundance of romance kind of bothered me a bit in this book. It just seemed to come a little too easily for everyone, but by the end it came back to reality a bit. I don't know why this bothered me so much, this book obviously isn't super realistic, but I worry when books create these impossibly perfect romances- love is wonderful, but it is not perfect... nothing is!
I really did like how this book was able to deal with some pretty controversial issues in a way that showed how important they are, but without being depressing or too serious. I liked how the girls decided they wanted to create basically a girl power convention where there were lectures on subjects from makeovers to self-respect. I also liked how the book discussed sexuality in every way I could possibly think.
"Beauty Queens" is a great book; it deals with a lot of important issues and I actually really appreciated this. I just wish there weren't as many fake commercials. This book probably isn't for all readers; I can see some people being offended by this book. It is definitely for mature readers. I feel like readers who enjoyed "Airhead" series by Meg Cabot will probably enjoy this book.