Beauty Queens Audible –

TheContestants 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 CamerasBut 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

10 thoughts on “Beauty Queens

  1. says:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees In a large bowl, mix the plots from Drop Dead Gorgeous, Austin Powers, Mean Girls, Lost, and Lord of the Flies Whip until nice and fluffy Stir in equal parts Bollywood, Boy Bands, Pirates, An Evil Corporation, Crappy Parenting, Reality TV, Miss Teen USA pageants, and commercials aimed at teens Next add 4 cups Teenage Sexuality all types , 2 cups Feminism, 1 2 cup Identity Issues, 1 2 cup Self Esteem Issues, 16 Teenage Beauty Queens all types Just make sure one is much intelligent then the others , a handful of henchmen, a handful of open minded hot guys with British accents, one hot eco terrorist , one crazy go nuts dictator, copious amounts of satire, and 1 20 oz bag of Sarah Palin Stir until well blended Batter will be slightly lumpy Pour into cupcake pans cuz cupcakes are all the rage, yo Bake for 35 minutes Let cool.Frosting Mix equal parts Sunshine, Love, World Peace, Sparkle Ponies, Sequined Dresses, Cute Shoes, Makeup, GRRRRRRRRRL POWER a handful of sand, one Lesbian makeout session, and one Sex Tape Whip until creamy Frost cupcakes then sprinkle with way too many unnecessary footnotes Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry that has been laced with an organic hallucinogen Take those cupcakes and dumb them down Dumb them down again A little One timeSTOP Okay, there you have it the recipe for Libba Bray s Beauty Queens in cupcake form Enjoy 2.5 stars Real review to be posted after the weekend I spent the weekend thinking about what I would say in this review, how I would explain my beef with this book I want to make it clear, I don t hate Beauty Queens, nor do I like it It was okay, overall I mean, sure, it did have it s moments Not that Beauty Queens caused me to laugh out loud because it didn t, especially not after the novelty of the helpful footnotes and commercial parodies wore off They were fun for the first few chapters, then they became an irritation Also, I don t particularly care for Libba Bray s brand of satire At times it was so overdone it only inspired sighs of frustration, eye rolling and thoughts of, that would have been funny if or that could have been powerful if from me I felt as though I was watching one of those really bad read not funny movie parodies, like Dance Flick, or Epic Movie Yes, at times Beauty Queens is that much of a punishment, and then some But that s not the worst part My major problem has to do with the fact that Bray s story had a great foundation I mean, just read this I ve been thinking about that book about the boys who crash on an island, Mary Lou said to Adina one afternoon as they rested on their elbows taking bites from the same papaya Lord of the Flies What about it You know how you said it wasn t a true measure of humanity because there were no girls and you wondered how it would be different if there had been girls Yeah Maybe girls need an island to find themselves Maybe they need a place where no one s watching them so they can be who they really are There was something about the island that made the girls forget who they had been All those rules and shalt nots They were no longer waiting for some arbitrary grade They were no longer performing Waiting Hoping.They were becoming.They were Sure, it s all a little contrived, but still it s a great jumping off point Instead of doing anything worthwhile with it, Bray took that idea and made it into a Very Special Episode of The Facts of Life, except way condescending and a ba zillion times preachier it s not like the main message Bray is pummeling her audience with is new Girlfriend is preaching to the choir the entire time And at no point does this book challenge one to think Beauty Queens thinks for you, because thinking is hard, y all You wanna sell me on something Give me a chance to think for myself Show me both sides of the argument Present me with questions that don t necessarily have an easy answer Let me draw my own conclusions Don t incessantly beat me upside my head with your answers, your way of thinking See, when that happens I tend to lose interest in what you have to say even if I happen to agree with you because you clearly think you re superior, that I m not intelligent enough to come to the right read your conclusion Do Not Like And don t even think of telling me that some teenage girls need a book to do their thinking for them, that they need to be force fed the messages contained within Beauty Queens because their parents, their peers, the media has damaged them, tricked them into thinking otherwise Even if that is the case with some teenage girls, I fail to see how shoving a message down their collective throats be it negative or positive is the way to go about building up self esteem, or fixing identity issues Moving onI don t fault Libba Bray for wanting to make this book funny, because Beauty Queens would have bombed royally had it taken itself too seriously But like I said earlier, she took the satire, the tongue in cheekiness, way too far Beauty Queens is obnoxious Beauty Queens is that know it all girl that you sort of want to punch in the face because she isn t as clever as she thinks she is someone ought to bring her down a few notches.Anyway, because of Bray s lack of control every character has been reduced to a cardboard cut out of a stereotype Beauty Queens has two really stupid blondes from the south, a really slutty girl from the midwest, a super sexually repressed girl from the upper midwest, two minorities, a crazy pageant head from Texas, A stereotypical lesbian, and a girl who is hearing impaired Even Ms New Hampshire whom, might I add, is this story s Marysue is feminist to a fault, goes around feeling superior to the other girls on the island because she s enlightened and they re just a bunch of stupid fools There were a few others who had even less going for them Ms New Mexico, for example, had a tray table embedded in her skull That was her only defining quality throughout the entire book I kid you not headdesk The only character that I found interesting, that had any sort of depth, was Ms Rhode Island view spoiler Ms Rhode Island was born a boy transgendered hide spoiler

  2. says:

    This book is the definition of satire and black humor If you re easily offended, this book is not for you It s tongue in cheek, it s darkly humorous, and it s absolutely fa bu lous snaps finger It confronts the truth behind our daily livesit deals with issues of race, sexism, and stereotypes, while managing to retain a light, sarcastic tone The main characters in this book are all beauty pageant competitors, but rest assured, they are strong feminist types, down to the take charge Miss Texas, who is a hell of a lot tougher than her big breasts and blonde hair would imply Taylor stood in a perfect three quarters stance, arms hanging easily at her sides I have been class president three years in a row, homecoming queen, a National Merit Scholar, and a member of the National Honor Society, and I am a proud, card carrying member of FAF Femmes and Firearms I can shoot a thirty aught six as well as a nine millimeter and a Pink Lady paint gun Last year, I took down my first buck, which I cleaned, filleted, and vacuum sealed, and with my taxidermy skills, I stuffed the head and used the antlers as a supercute jewelry tree, which I plan to market for the Armchair Shopping Network in the spring That is American ingenuity It s what makes this country great, and if elected, I would be proud to serve Thank you Some brilliant genius decided to hold a pageant on a far off island, and the 50 contestants of the Miss Teen Dream pageant, along with the army needed to maintain them, are being flown there The only problem is that the plane crashes onto a deserted island and pretty much everyone dies The surviving contestants will have to, well, survive on a delightful tropical island using their own wits, ingenuity, and pageant approved talents The contestants range from the confident and strong leader, Perky Miss Texasto Adina, who had a plan before it came crashing down along with the plane Adina had entered but for her own secret reasons She would smile and pose, and when the time was right, she would show everyone what a joke this was what a joke her mom s life was How stupid the girls in her high school were for believing in this beauty and happily ever after crap She would use the money from the publication of her expos to buy that drum kit herself Maybe she d even write a song about the whole experience Artificial Girl Or Teen Dream Armageddon Yeah Adina liked the sound of that She would be a beauty pageant Che Guevara7. The situations within the book are absolutely outrageous and ludicrous, and the can do attitude that is pervasive throughout the book makes it seem insane, but I loved every single moment Miss New Mexico stared, dumbfounded Stand out Stand out I have a freaking tray stuck in my forehead She broke into fresh sobs.Taylor clapped for attention Miss New Mexico, let s not get all down in the bummer basement where the creepy things live There are people in heathen China who don t even have airline trays We have a lot to be grateful for The girls not only have to survive, but must maintain their pageant form by constantly practicing and being in top form for the competition once they re rescued Ohmigosh No food at all Tiara sank down on the sand as if the full weight of their predicament had finally hit her She blinked back tears And then that megawatt smile that belonged on cereal boxes across the nation reappeared I am going to be so superskinny by pageant time But cold, harsh reality soon sets in They re probably fucked I m so hungry Even hungrier than when my mom put me on that grapefruit and hot sauce diet before the Miss Tupelo pageant last year I ve done that diet, Nicole said.Shanti nodded Me, too Except without the grapefruit Tiara s eyes filled with tears All those years of starving myself and now I m really starving Feels like we ve been in training for the wrong pageant, Nicole said with a sigh.Their bellies ached with hunger, and the earlier thrill of losing a few pounds before pageant time had been replaced with a terrible, desperate longing for food. I know that from the quotes, the book seems very lighthearted and silly, don t let that fool you, because this book deals with a lot of serious issues, albeit in a very offhanded manner The issue of race is a particularly noticeable one, it s mentioned sometimes in a flippant manner For a second, Nicole wasn t sure that she should go with these white girls They sounded like they d gone straight up crazy, and the only other brown girl was giving her an eyeful of attitude Nicole did what she d been taught since she was little and her parents had moved into an all white neighborhood She smiled and made herself seem as friendly and nonthreatening as possible. But that little quote right there is the harsh reality of being black or minority in America African Americans have to blend in They have to appear cultured They have to be non threatening in order to be accepted This book also confronts the double standards of race You don t think the pageant s a little racist I mean, in the whole history of the pageant, an African American girl has only won once Sherry Sparks In the forty year history of the Miss Teen Dream Pageant, she was the only African American winner until it was revealed that Sherry had once shoplifted an eye shadow from an Easy Rx store and she was drummed out in shame It didn t matter that in the years since then, two white contestants had been disqualified for sexy phone photos, or that last year s winner, Miss Florida, had been forced to apologize when it was discovered that she had gotten drunk at a frat party and a video surfaced of her sloppily twirling batons in her underwear and bra No, it was still Sherry Sparks they talked about. This was a hilarious, darkly humorous, witty, and altogether fantastic book.

  3. says:

    According to this book and the Teen Dream Beauty contestants, women and particularly girls tend to apologise immediately before or after voicing their opinion For example I m sorry but I just think or I really don t like such and such, sorry but that s just my opinion So in true girl power spirit I m going to openly, honestly and without apology declare that I EFFIN LOVED THIS BOOK In every single possible way.This is what every teenage girl should be reading In fact, scratch that, it s what every teenager regardless of gender should be reading This is the novel that has compiled it all, pretty much every single young adult issue has been condensed into this 380 give or take page book of awesomeness I won t go shouting about it being everybody s favourite book I m sure that just isn t true and the mixed reviews so far have only proved my concerns about Libba Bray s humour not suiting everyone and the strange format in which the book is written also won t appeal to every single person But, god if it isn t important It says everything that needs to be said It also says what people think and don t say because they re afraid of looking bad or being laughed at or being pitied It s not just a book about gender, feminism, slut shaming, beauty myths, depression, family issues, homosexuality, transexuality, race, racism, disabilities and feeling inadequate It s about all of those things combined on a desert island where a bunch of Teen Beauty contestants struggle to survive without hair straighteners, make up and lotions.I expected this to be another bitch book What do I mean I mean the stories where girls turn on each other and destroy one another through carefully manipulated psychological abuse I expected a combination of Lord of the Flies and Mean Girls This is not that book This story is the one where girls, who in other circumstances are little than each other s competition, come together in a time of crisis and find that just by sticking together and opening up to one another they come to understand about themselves and how they are far important than the labels they wear.This is the message I ve always wanted to see and I understand why some people don t think this is the reality I ve read some reviews where it seems to be the opinion that girls in these circumstances would turn on each other in true high school bitchy fashion I disagree Yeah, I m going to say that and I m not going to say sorry either, lol I think that, in fact, I know from experience that people act differently when in a crisis Priorities change and you see whole new sides of people s personalities That is what happens here When the girls world is turned upside down, they do what they must to survive and, through doing so, realise a great deal of important stuff too What I love most is that while Libba Bray s message about beauty being of no real importance is obvious, she also works to show the reader how that doesn t mean there s anything wrong with a girl wanting to look nice This is an expression of sexuality and the novel s all for that Can a girl who wears make up be a feminist Of course, ridiculous question This is a book about survival, femininity and kinda cheesy but I love it being yourself I thought it was wonderful and all the time managed to stay on the right side of that fine line between feminism and misandry If you learn nothing else from this book, at least take away the fact that every opinion is just as important and you should never apologise for your own on that note, I am completely, shamelessly and unapologetically in love with this book.

  4. says:

    4.5 Reread for class 2017 STILL SO AMAZINGLY HILARIOUS I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be This book is definitely one that you re either going to love or you re going to hate I can see why people wouldn t like it but fortunately for me, I really really enjoyed this It wasn t what I expected but that was definitely a good thing PS I listened to this on audiobook and I definitely recommend you do the same The audiobook is narrated by Libba Bray herself and it is just fabulous It really makes this book read as if it were a TV show Writing Style So I ve only read one other Libba Bray book The Diviners which is a paranormal historical fiction I loved it, especially the writing of it This book, being a satirical kind of survival story is obviously of a completely different breed Since it was so different, I wasn t sure how Libba Bray s lyrical, eloquent writing style would translate into such a genre I was definitely pleasantly surprised I don t know how she did it, but she was able to use her lyrical style to her advantage and completely transform the satirical form This story was crazy funny, it read like a TV show, but it still had that fluid aspect to it that really makes Libba Bray s writing so enjoyable Characters I m not going to go through each of the individual characters since there are so many but let me just say I loved every single one of the girls in this book You would think with so many characters it would get confusing and difficult to distinguish between them but this was not an issue at all Even with the audiobook, I could distinguish between each of the characters voices since they were so unique For me, this says a lot about Libba Bray s abilities as a writer Weaving so many distinct voices into one book really is such a difficult feat and the fact that she was able to do so really makes me appreciate her as a author.This is kind of overlapping with plot, but I loved the fact that each character had their own issue and they all worked together to help each other overcome their issues Plot I simultaneously loved and hated the plot I didn t really like how the whole Confederation plot played out though I did really enjoy the execution of it with all the little footnote advertisements and the commercials woven in I just felt like the whole thing was a tad too far fetched for me but for the most part I did enjoy it Like I mentioned briefly before, a lot of serious issues were brought into the plot of the story They were so intricately woven in that you were really just unconsciously being taught so many important lessons and I loved that The amount of issues Libba Bray was able to touch upon was amazing and I really applaud her ability to present these important, taboo issues in a funny, but not offensive manner Overall, I loved this book It was just so quotable and funny yet it also dealt with so many important issues and for that reason I would recommend this book to everyone, especially girls This book made Libba Bray become one of my favourite authors.

  5. says:

    BITCHES HEY BITCHES OVER HERE excuse me i mean young ladies put down that stephanie meyer book is that cosmo girl yeah, lose that stop reading the clique and get over here right now.don t read anything else until you read this book you can even stop reading this review, i don t care, as long as you read this book well, the book comes out tomorrow, so you might as well finish reading this review after all when caris reviewed this book ages ago, i knew it was going to be a book to read and then time passed, and its details got blurry, but i remembered i wanted to read it and when i saw it was coming out on the 24th of may, i thought oh, drat i will not be able to read that because the world is ending and all and then and then i saw it at my library right before the world was scheduled to end and the crisis was averted.and then the world didn t end after all, but i got the consolation prize of getting to read this book and it is so much better than being raptured.i thought this was going to be like a beauty queen version of a battle royale fight to the death on an island it isn t it is something far lasting and necessary and it makes me a little embarrassed that i ever wanted to read about hot teenage girls killing each other mea culpa, i have been accustomed to a certain kind of literature.but this is all about girls girls who have been brainwashed and convinced that the only way to achieve success is to live within the shelter of a very small world like a baby veal and to maintain a very small carefully cultivated personality and to be pretty and recite what the judges wanna hear and the girls have all bought into this line for different reasons for money, for parental approval, to feel loved but on the island these things change.and shit gets real as it simultaneously gets unreal with some over the top situations that are fun and campy and sometimes silly, but really enjoyable she makes some really smart writerly choices that make her book both real feeling in parts, obvs and emotionally complicated.this ends up being a good companion piece to black swanthese are spoilers for black swan view spoiler because my reading of the movie is less like this is what happens when you overwork yourself into exhaustion in your quest to be the best, and the bad dark impulses get in and like this is what happens when you are told that in order to be acceptable, you have to go against all your natural inclinations and you end up a triumphant bloody corpse because grrrrl power and abdominal bleeds make you succeed, but to subsume your own personality is, ultimately, death hide spoiler

  6. says:

    4 Stars I really enjoyed this book Super funny, entertaining, and real.CW death mild violence, transphobia, racism, and sexism all challenged in text I had a lot of fun with Beauty Queens This story is very engaging and entertaining Libba Bray is hilarious, and the many ridiculous situations these girls get into will absolutely keep you chuckling the entire time If you disliked Lord of the Flies when you were forced to read it in high school, you may actually enjoy this story about teens who have to build a small society when stranded on an island Beauty Queens is a fabulous character driven novel We have a fairly large cast of characters that are equally well developed and unique Libba Bray has clearly always had a talent for characterization I was actually surprised to see how progressive this novel was for being published in 2012 as this book features a ton of diversity in terms of race, sexuality, gender, and disability I personally felt all of these identities were handled with care and created some very authentic portrayals Also it s HELLA feminist woohoo I wouldn t say they are my favorite literary ladies of all time, but they carried the story in a positive way and I deeply enjoyed getting to know them.Omniscient narration does not always sit well with me and I unfortunately did not love the way we were jumping into the private thoughts of multiple characters in one short scene in this book I don t believe that s a fault of author s because she is consistently an exceptional writer It s just a personal preference of mine.Additionally, I was not a huge fan of the ending I was not expecting Beauty Queens to be as so political and have a large focus on economics I actually think it added a lot of dimension and was necessary to tell the complete story, but I was not very interested Some of the commentary throughout the novel was engaging, but the ending became a little far fetched and outrageous for my taste I greatly preferred following the girls attempting to survive on the island and interacting with each other to the secondary plotline that eventually closed out the story It did make the book complex and well rounded, but I think I may have enjoyed it if there story remained focused on the girls their survival in the end.I m super glad I read Beauty Queens and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fun, humorous story that still possesses some deeper themes and great characters

  7. says:

    This book was cray but it was a bit of fun

  8. says:

    I wanted to pick this book up because it reminded me of This review contains spoilers.And also because Lair of Dreams left me in a bit of a reading slump, and what better way to get out of one than by reading another book by the same author, am I right Our tale begins with a sudden fall from blue skies, with screams and prayers and a camera crew bravely recording every bit of the turbulence and drama When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.We get to know each of the thirteen through the Fun Facts About Me page, which I thoroughly enjoyed and decided to include some of my favorite facts Adina Greenberg s fun fact My platform is Identifying Misogyny in American Culture It s all about helping girls ID the objectification of women when they see it You know, like when girls are asked to parade around in bathing suits and heels and get scored on that Jennifer Huberman s fun fact My personal motto is WWWWD What Would Wonder Woman Do Petra West s fun fact The thing that scares me most is not being myself Sosie Simmons fun fact I am hearing impaired but that doesn t stop me I hear with my heart Well, not really Because, as anybody who is not a complete and total moron knows, the heart does not have ears This is the kind of s t they make disabled people say all the time so everybody s all okay with us Soooo annoying Mary Lou Novak s fun fact The most important quality in a friend is to be yourself Unless you re not a very nice person Then you should try to be somebody else Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins s fun fact Personal motto God made me beautiful The least I can do is share it with the world And speaking of favorites of mine, I found Petra to be one of the most compelling characters within this storyline I completely fell in love with her when we were told the tale her mother used to tell her as a bedtime story.The story was about a frog cheerfully insisting to all in the meadow that it was a princess in waiting Before sleep each night, the frog prayed to the four winds, to the great fish, to the sun above, and to the goddess moon that when it woke, it would be a princess Yet each morning, the frog opened its eyes to find it was still only a frog How could nature be so wrong about something so important The Wise Witch was very grateful to the little frog She kept her promise What is your heart s desire she asked.But the frog had almost given up on its wish It didn t know if such a wish were possible Well, it said softly, afraid, I have always wanted to be a princess But I have seen myself in the river And it has shown me that I am a frog The witch smiled The river does not know everything Look again It s one of the most beautiful stories that I ve read.Also, the parts where the girls just talked with one another about what they missed and didn t miss, crumbled my heart Miss Montana stared into the fire Sometimes I just want to go in a room and break things and scream Like, it s so much pressure all the time and if you get upset or angry, people say, Are you on the rag or something And it s like I want to say, No I m just pissed off right now Can t I just be pissed off How come that s not okay for me Like my dad will say, I can t talk to you when you re hysterical And I m totally not being hysterical I m just mad And he s the one losing it But then I feel embarrassed anyway So I slap on that smile and pretend everything s okay even though it s not Anyway Miss Montana pasted on an embarrassed half smile Sorry for the rant Why do you have to be sorry Nicole asked Well I don t know Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world Have you ever noticed that Nicole asked You go on websites and some girl leaves a post and if it s longer than three sentences or she s expressing her thoughts about some topic, she usually ends with, Sorry for the rant or That may be dumb, but that s what I think This book educated me a lot without ever feeling preachy, which I really admire.And while respectively handling serious subjects, Beauty Queens also has a wicked sense of humor that was right up my alley I ll do it, Miss Arkansas volunteered No This is about Miss New Hampshire We are the Miss Teen Dream team We are only as strong as our weakest link There is no I in team There s no U in asshole, either, and yet Adina muttered Adina wasn t my absolute favorite because her humor could be a little overstepping And like Petra said, just because you re funny doesn t mean you get to be cruel But sometimes Adina uttered some of the funniest things that had me laughing out loud.Weeks go by, when suddenly the girls rescue the cast of Captains Bodacious IV that arrive during a storm, which I thought would make the story lose its steam a little But never doubt Libba Bray, because she managed to keep me entertained till the end Say, could one of you lovelies get me something to quench my thirst Four girls turned to go and Adina said, You seem able bodied to me Captain Sinjin put a hand to his chest We ve been through a shipwreck, luv We re exhausted and need to lie about Oh, I know how you feel, Tiara said When our plane crashed here, and we had to bury the dead and deal with really bad wounds and Miss New Mexico got that tray stuck in her head Hi Miss New Mexico waved and the chaperones were all charred in the wreckage and it was really gross and scary and there was nothing to eat and no shelter and we had to build all that stuff and deal with giant snakes and bug bites and we barely survived a giant wave and mudslides and hallucinogenic plants and stuff, we were so, so tired But I did low key despise the cast of pirates at first We were having so much fun getting to know each girl and hearing their stories, and then these reality TV boys arriveI kept thinking, girls please stay strong and don t fall for those idiots I m begging you But I found it laughable when Adina was all Good God All you had to do was introduce the scent of testosterone and perfectly capable, together girls were reduced to giggling, lash batting, hair playing idiots She hated it when girls did this When they got all goo goo eyed over Y chromosome carrying creatures instead of taking care of themselves It s what her mother had done her whole life, cater to some man instead of looking after herself Or Adina Until a boy bumps into her, in which case she turned all Let me help you with that I don t need your help, Adina called, but Duff was already wading into the water This was the problem with men They just assumed They just took action It was infuriating And reductive And slightly thrilling.The wet clung to Duff s pants as he strode into the surf, and she could see the curve of his ass Man, he was fine Get your head in the game I swear, I thought they were trouble But okay, I did grow to like Sinjin mostly because of Petra And yeah, I also liked his silly humor and the way he didn t take himself too seriously Petra looked up to the moon as if appealing to its grace She liked this one and wanted , but she was afraid there was no hope of that Sorry, I just So you used to be a guy J T Woodland Of Boyz Will B Boyz Yes Right It s okay I can tell you re freaked out Petra started to get up Sinjin took her wrist gently Well, yeah But mostly because you used to be in Boyz Will B Boyz That s unbelievable I mean, you played Top of the Pops Petra allowed a small smile He had surprised her That didn t happen often She sat down again Should I tell you the story Yeah How much should I tell you Everything I really, really liked them Carefully, he tucked a strand of hair behind Petra s ear and let his hand rest for a moment against the soft, wide plain of her cheekbone I think you re beautiful And brave And really fucking cool And you can make Charles Dickens puns Petra leaned the weight of her face into Sinjin s palm You know who and what I am So, if this is just the old curiosity shop, you can stop right now Sinjin looked her in the eyes There was not a trace of smirk in his expression I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world David Copperfield, Petra whispered, positioning her lips close to his Why are you bringing magicians into it Sinjin said and kissed her tenderly It was a kiss small in its ministrations but epic in its feeling Libba Bray sure knows how to shut me up I mean, how could I forget that she s a master at writing swoon worthy romances Like, damn That scene with Adina and Duff in the cabin made me sweat But thenwhen his true assholish behaviour was revealed, I was appalled She tapped Duff on the arm He tipped his head back to look up at her Hello, Mary Lou Could you stand up, please Duff gave the boys an I wonder what this is about look Sure thing He stood and faced Mary Lou What s up This Mary Lou s fist connected with Duff s face in an audible crunch He tottered like a drunk And if there had been a clock on the island, it would have ticked off exactly three seconds before he lost consciousness and went down hard in the sand Ow Mary Lou shook out her hand Then she took her place at the fire and drank the rest of Duff s coconut milk, drinking till she was sated And thank you, Mary Lou, for handling the situation like a pro I won t forget Duff s awfulness anytime soon.The hurt was a pain in the center of my chest And his apology was so half hearted, it only made things worse for me.But the girls didn t let those bumps along the road falter the course of their actions We could take the world by storm, you know It ll be like we proved ourselves, like all those heroes journey stories about boys, only we re girls At its core this book was a very character driven one, which was my favorite thing We had an incredible wide cast of characters that I connected with one way or another.I found myself in Petra s determination, in Shanti s soundness, in Nicole s sensibleness, in Taylor s unwavering commitment, and I could go on and on but bottom line, these girls made me feel at home.I think it s safe to say that Libba Bray has got my heart with all these remarkably fleshed out characters I m still moony eyed after everything.To put it simply, Beauty Queens at heart is a sad sort of beautiful Like all the best books There was something about the island that made the girls forget who they had been All those rules and shalt nots They were no longer waiting for some arbitrary grade They were no longer performing Waiting Hoping.They were becoming.They were Also, I have to mention this next tiny detail because it warmed my heart COMMERCIAL BREAK A high school hallway A girl, MARCIA, slams her locker door in frustration She looks haggard NATALIE and RACHEL stand off to one side, watching and shaking their heads What are the chances that both my name and my sister s name Rachel would be on the same page My reaction to it totally reminded me of this vine.4.5 stars Note I m an Affiliate If you re interested in buying Beauty Queens, just click on the image below to go through my link I ll make a small commission Support creators you love Buy a Coffee for nat bookspoils with Ko bookspoils This review and can be found on my blog.

  9. says:

    Before we begin, let me just say this I feel really bad about the review I m going to write here Normally, I don t mind writing negative reviews in fact, much for the same reason I always get a little thrill when someone trolls my reviews, I sort of enjoy doling out negative criticism for the psychology behind this, please refer to Anton Ego s monologue on criticism at the end of Ratatouille Especially when it s an author I dislike I can and will trash Twilight until its memory is wiped from the earth, but things get complicated when it comes time to give a negative review of an author I like Because, lest you get any other ideas, I love Libba Bray I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, I loved Going Bovine, and I think she personally is brilliant and funny and I would love to hang out with her and talk about books and history and James Bond all damn day.But I try to base my reviewing style off the advice of Lester Bangs, which is that you have to make your reputation on being honestand unmerciful So Honest and unmerciful Here we go So, the basic plot a plane carrying the fifty contestants of the Miss Teen Dream pageant crashes on an island, killing all but thirteen of the competitors The girls have to figure out how to survive on their own and learn who they really are, while also questioning their own reasons for being in the pageant in the first place Meanwhile, the mysterious Corporation, who controls the pageant along with everything else on TV, advertising, and possibly the whole country, is working on its own dastardly plot connected with the pageants Also there are sexy pirates oh, don t worry, I ll get to them I don t understand why there are so few negative reviews of this book Before I read it, all I knew about it was from the many glowing reviews praising the book s humor, its brilliant message, its terrific characters, etc Maybe these people are seeing something I m not Maybe I m a moron But for whatever reason, here are the big problems I found with this book, boiled down to some key points Regularly Spits In the Face of Logic Not real world logic, which is fine to disregard, but the logic that the world of the story has already established There s a part where two of the characters are talking about money they spend on pageants, and one girl is shocked when the other tells her how much the average pageant gown costs Hang on you re in a pageant as the story takes place, and you don t know how much pageant gowns cost Buh Similarly, there are just too many coincidences to put up with First a plane full of beauty queens crashes on a deserted island, conveniently killing off any adults or authority figures But surprise the island is also inhabited by a Corporation stronghold And meanwhile, a sexy eco warrior is camped out on the island I am not making any of that up And then a boat carrying the sexy young cast of a pirate TV show crashes on the island, with at least one hot boy who is perfect for each of our main characters Up until the very last page, I was waiting for Bray to reveal that the entire thing the crash, the pirates, the comically evil corporate villains had all been staged from the beginning as the pilot for some awesome new reality TV show But no There was no staging It all actually happened, and I don t understand how or why It s Super Easy to Be in a Pageant, Apparently Adina, our sort of protagonist, is an aspiring journalist who s only in the pageant so she can write a tell all article about it Fine, but this is a national pageant How in the hell did she fake her way to getting the Miss New Hampshire crown, beating out hundreds of other girls who have been doing this for real since they were children For god s sake, at least Gracie Hart had the FBI rigging the competition so she could get to the Top Ten And Adina s not even the only one another character does the pageant to make a social statement, and another one does it because she s won everything else already Jesus, from the way this book makes pageants sound, anybody can win a trophy with no experience or genuine effort It s All So Very, Very Satirical This book is a satire, I get that But the satire is all so broad, so winkingly obvious, that after the second commercial break I was tired of it Bray goes for the obvious jokes and stereotypes a religious, gun loving Texan character How innovative without delving deeper into who these girls are and why they do pageants short answer, according to this book either to make a social statement, or childhood trauma All the satire is so heavy handed that it practically bruises, and the story gets too bogged down in its own jokes The book seems to be begging us to applaud its cleverness as it hits us with a barrage of made up pop culture references and fake TV show titles and jokes that have no business being there at all, except to get another laugh out of us the funniest line in the book, in fact, makes no sense in the context it s delivered and is completely unnecessary The Protagonist is the Wrong Girl The character of Taylor starts out as the villain a serious, religious pageant veteran who has total faith in the Miss Teen Dream philosophy and message She seems like the bad guy, but when she finds out that the rescue has been called off and the girls have been abandoned, she snaps We learn about her traumatic childhood, her need to be perfect and accepted and loved, and then Taylor goes full Rambo and starts living by herself in the jungle, taking out the bad guys one by one like a crazy ninja armed with hairspray This story is awesome, but it has to take a backseat to all the other girls and the stupid, stupid pirate romance bullshit that really should have been left out completely Feminish I have a bad habit of analyzing things from a feminist viewpoint I went to a women s college, it s part of my programming when they don t deserve to be analyzed that way But Beauty Queens is set up as a modern feminist manifesto, railing against the pageant system and our standards of beauty and who girls are expected to be in today s worldand it only works a little bit Like the satirical elements, all the feminist messages are slammed in our faces with no subtly Adina, our Token Empowered Girl, speaks in cliched feminist slogans like I don t need a man to define me and the characters all have very obvious conversations about how much society sucks if you re a girl Heavy handed doesn t begin to describe it.And at the same time, there s an odd insistence on the importance of the girls love lives First there s the girl who sexes up the eco warrior, which I guess is fine because the chapter was really about her reclaiming her sexuality and not being afraid of her own desires, but then the hot pirates show up and it all goes to hell as various girls lose their damn minds over the sexy, sexy boys even our Feminist Icon, Adina, is powerless when faced with sensitive bad boys who share some of her interests I could put up with all of that, if there was a legitimate reason for the pirates to be in the book But I ve thought about it, and I honestly cannot come up with a single compelling reason that they should have been included at all They have almost no effect on the overall plot, and anything they do manage to accomplish could have easily been done by other characters They served no purpose, and I wish they d been cut out of the story entirely What s the Message, Again It feels like Bray is trying to write two different books here On the one hand, we have a campy, outrageous pageant caper with maniacal villains, outrageous escapes, and general balls out hilarity and then we have a serious social statement about girls today and who society wants them to be There are some very good ideas in this book it s inspired, in part, by Lord of the Flies and discusses when it s not throwing out pop culture jokes and romance subplots the idea that girls need an island of their own, where they don t have to worry about being who everyone else wants them to be and discover who they really are But it doesn t mesh with the silly, campy mood that defines the rest of the book How can we take these girls opinions about societal pressures seriously when the villains have a secret lair in a volcano with a self destruct system that can be overridden by making a Powerpoint presentation again, not making this up To use a tired expression, Bray is trying to have her cake and eat it too, and the result is a jumbled mess of a book that can t decide where it s going or what it wants to be sort of like the girls in the story hey, maybe the whole format is an allegory Well, you think of a better explanation

  10. says:

    In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the boys wrecked and alone on an island act as Golding says boys being true to their nature will And it ain t pretty, gangs, anarchism, bullying, murder It s a brilliant book.So is Libba Bray s What she has to say about women in Beauty Queens also wrecked and alone on an island, is that even the most dedicated fashionista of a girl with her acrylic nails and furry false eyelashes is solid when she has to be In real life, these girls go home in the evening kick off their stiletto heels, put on some jeans and see to the kids Dinner, homework, ironing school uniform, making lunch boxes, and putting them to bed is the minimum amount of work If they have a partner, it gets even complicated.Only then, only after they have looked after the family do they touch up their acrylics and add another coat to their toenails and ring the girlfriends for gossip, scandal and plans Next day, when the kids have been breakfasted and sent on their way and the laundry loaded into the machine, our heroine will again be ghetto fabulous with glossy pouted lips and looking like she wasn t really made of steel at all.That s women, and Libba Bray got it in this geniusly funny book where every taboo, social norm and anything that gets in the way of women being true to themselves is knocked about and eventually trampled underfoot by all All the girls will come to see their true worth although some of them do hang on to their self image as dumb blonde but pretty until forced out of it by necessity All the girls are different and some when they define themselves as capable women without any need to impress with looks will finds paths far different from that of the beauty pageant they were on their way to enter.This isn t to say that all women are good cookies, no there are the truly evil sociopathic baddies too Close to the ending the plot goes haywire in a good way and a very manipulative woman based on a real life character is revealed A bit of googling and you can easily find out who she is To say would be a spoiler.This should be read alongside Lord of the Flies in school, but it won t be It s too much fun, too many actually not enough lipsticks and definitely not literary enough It is a 5 star read, and a good boost to confidence for teenage girls who think that looks are enough They aren t unless they aspire to be in the Playboy Mansion or be famous like the Kardashian trash which is than sad They should read this book and see that they can do anything at all they want and still like putting on the paint and pouting for a selfie Read Dec 31,2014, reviewed Aug 22, 2015