Book Review: Beauty Queens

“That explains the budget weave,” Miss Ohio said.

I could have posted the more thoughtful and poetic quote from Libba Bray‘s Beauty Queens, but I decided to go with the one that made me laugh. Mostly because I was more intrigued by the absurdity of the novel than, well, anything else about it.

Basic premise/plot: A plane full of teen beauty queens headed for the Miss Teen Dream finals crashes on a deserted island. Wacky hijinks ensue as the girls learn to survive.

What I Liked

– I love that cover. Love. LOVE. It’s so badass plus hot, and I think it really gets at the tension of the book and something that actually plays out in the plot. You know, the way you have to look twice to see that’s actually lipstick in that bullet holder thing–just like the girls aren’t just pretty faces/hot bods.

– The back cover is also ace because it shows the crashed plane and immediately puts me in the mindset of Lost.

– I love when the girls construct their camp.

– I thought the different relationships between the main girls were built up and portrayed really nicely. Of course, they would pair or trio up and develop best friends or love interests, etc.

– So much diversity! I’m not just talking racially; I’m also impressed with the inclusion of the LGBTQ characters (yes, more than one!) and the character with a disability.

I also like that the diversity is actually commented on by the characters in a way that felt realistic.

– I am pretty sure I am in love with Miss Texas. Not literary girlfriend in love, but I really dig and appreciate her as a character.

– In fact, I liked a whole lot of the character stuff here. Especially that the three characters only known by their states really have the same name and would be indistinguishable if not for a few characteristics.

– Miss New Mexico aka Trayhead. Fantastic.

What I Didn’t Like

– Okay, I didn’t dislike the pirates. I’m just more on the fence with them. On the one hand: pirates! On the other hand: I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to feel about them.

– This book is almost doing too much: parody tv shows, parody commercials, voiceovers, pageant applications, a gabillion characters, an evil genius, etc. It’s just a lot.

In conclusion: I had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s like Lost meets Miss Congeniality meets Lord of the Flies meets Heart of Darkness meets reality TV plus, of course, beauty pageants.

Source: Library

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