Have you read the Gemma Doyle series by this author? If not, shame on you. I was sooo excited to read Beauty Queens, I knew I was in for a treat ;)
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, 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.
My Expectations: Pretty freaking high! I mean, it just looks so amazing.
Delivery: ahhh, I laughed the whole way through, I think :p
Put-down-ability: I could have been more emotionally invested, 8/10
With an unforgettable entrance of a group of “Teen Dreamer” beauty queens who land on an uninhabited island after a plane crash, you could imagine what ensues, right? Not really. Not if you know Libba Bray. Because she takes readers on a whirlwind escapade through her bizarre brain-- I can’t even describe how made of awesome her brain (and this book) is.
Also, there are footnotes*. Win.
I wish I could quote everything in this book, because it’s hard to describe how different the writing is. There’s humour in the writing, it’s not writing with humour. Do you know what I mean? You have to read it to believe it, seriously. The Writing (capital W, guys). Genius.
I adored pretty much all of the characters because of how original, yet relatable they were. Beneath the ~sparkly~ exterior, Bray manages to portray honest emotions of teenage girls, whether dealing with sexuality, insecurity, crushes, etc. The supporting characters of the pirates, MoMo and even Ladybird Hope all shined as well; entertaining and ridiculous-- a fantastic combination, don't you agree?
Expansive and comprehensive character development can be tricky with a large ensemble cast but I felt the number of weak characters was held to a minimum. True, the story is not devoid of two-dimensional characters or characters who pop in and out randomly, but the focus is controlled enough to carry several storylines to a satisfying degree. The overall plot arc did take a slight hit; I felt there were times where I was thinking “what the heck is going on” as things got sloppy, but well—I enjoyed every second of it.
Beauty Queens is not a novel you should take too seriously on the surface, but at its heart, it’s an insightful, intelligent and satirical look on today’s society’s focus on beauty. It’s a book that FISTPUMPS for female empowerment, and yep, it's outrageous, hysterical, witty, and did I mention funny as hell?
Rating HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: huuugely recommended for girls, fans of quirky books, contemporary YA fans, people who want to laugh.
Acknowledgements: Libba, why are you good at everything?? Even thanking people made me laugh, 5/5
8.9/10 – because it was fantastic and I loved it. I loved the themes, the writing, the wildly exciting characters, and above all, I loved Ladybird Hope. Just kidding, my heart belongs to Sinjin St. Sinjin, one of the pirates of Captains Bodacious IV: Badder and More Bodaciouser! (I’m not even making this up). Actually, I can’t choose a favourite, they’re just too wonderful. Anyways, the only drawbacks were that I was never completely emotionally committed and the plot was slightly overdone, but overall… I can’t recommend this book enough.
When you looked up to the sky and cried “Why?” sometimes the sky shrugged. Yet other times it answered with the warm assurance of linked hands, “Sorry,” it whispered on the wind. “Sorry for all the pain and loneliness and disappointment. But there is this, too.”
It was enough.
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*Results may vary. It could also make your dog hump your leg and have your grandma asking you if you’ve sneaked a cold one into the retirement village for her.
*footnotes are pretty much automatic win. I mean, John Green and Libba Bray? Bi-winning.
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