Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review and Giveaway : Beauty Queen by Libba Bray

Many of you know that I love (ok am obsessed with) Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy. LOVE IT. So I've had her book Beauty Queens on my wishlist since the dawn of time. My Bookworm Santa sent it to me this month. Wahoooo! I managed to read it in three days, which normally wouldn't be a big deal. Since I now have a 1 year old, it is.

So here's the review:

Goodreads' 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.

My Review: When the book started, I was a little iffy. The characters were hard to get a handle on, but I think might have been intentional. As the book went on, we learned more about the background of each contestant. The book alternates between point of views, so that was interesting. There is Miss Texas, who is big and loud and very stereotypical of Texas. She's a proud card-carrying member of Femmes and Firearms and her dad is in the Army. She and Miss New Hampshire, the contestant who joined in order to infiltrate and  show the seedy side of the beauty business butt heads. There's Petra, who seems like the perfect girl but has a big secret. Then there's the two "token" ethnic beauty queens Nicole and Shanti. Once you really get to know these girls, you start to root for them to escape the island. 

Unfortunately, this island isn't what it seems. In a Lost-like twist, there are other inhabitants of the island. Do they have sinister intents or could they be used as allies? And what happens when the bodacious pirates from a "reality" tv show end up on the island too? 

Although it doesn't seem it from the review or synopsis, this book is almost a pro-feminism book. Each of the characters grows in their own womanhood throughout the story. Like Tiara says during her interview "I've learned that feminism is for everybody and there's nothing wrong with taking up space in the world, even if you have to fight for it a little bit, and that if you don't feel like smiling or waving, that's okay. You don't have to, and you don't have to say sorry." 

I gave this book 3.75 stars. I didn't love it like I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty, but it was still a good book. I'll definitely be giving it to my teenager daughter to read someday. 

For now though, I'm giving it away to a lucky reader. 

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  1. I would bring Tom Hanks - he survived in the movie Castaway.

  2. It was a little hard for me to follow the characters at 1st also.

  3. I agree with Susan. I would want a Kindle or some sort of ereader with solar connection....due to lack of internet or wifi I would want it previously loaded to the max capacity, so I would have plenty of material to read.


  4. I would bring my Husband, he would keep me entertained ;)


  5. I would probably want my Iphone 4s


  6. Hi so its me again and I put your button on my blog but it didnt let me put my blog so here it is bookswithtay.blogpot.com

  7. A computer with internet access that has a solar battery.

  8. I did not see I have to comment two time. Honestly, why do I have to bring anyone on my deserted island? I guess if I had to bring someone I might as well bring my husband. Although he might be difficult on a deserted island and there would probably be much yelling.

  9. Thanks for the book! I am excited to read this one.

    Happy holidays everyone!


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