A special thank to Jen at I Read Banned Books for sharing her ARC!
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Before I share my thoughts, take a peek at this quick little video of Libba Bray…
Let me begin with my thoughts of the cover. When I saw the cover I knew there was going to be a bit of humor within the pages. While I found it cute and comical, I did have a little bit of an issue with my 7 year-old daughter’s constant comments and questions. Overall, I found the cover to be quite fitting of the story.
This is the first Libba Bray book that I have read (I know, I am a little slow), and it really has me wanting to read more of her work. I love humor, whatever the form. Well, that’s not true, I don’t like to hear vulgar humor. Anyway when I began the book I couldn’t help but think of Sandra Bullock and her beauty contestant castmates in Miss Congeniality. I found the book to be as comical as that movie was. Although both contain comedy/satire, they both contained a bit more than just that.
The introductory “word from your sponsor” set the tone for funny right from the start. Everyone loves a happy, shiny story right? From the very beginning I found myself laughing out loud. I enjoy when a book can tell a story and make me laugh. It has been a while since I have read such a book. Unfortunately, while reading the book, I could not get Madonna’s song, La Isla Bonita, out of my head…still haven’t.
The characters were a little hard for me to keep up with at times. More than likely my fault due to parental fatigue (and probably age), but there were a lot of them to keep up with. I completely understand though, it would be pretty boring if only 1 beauty queen of 50 survived. And to Ms. Bray’s credit, she did try to give each character a solid, detailed identity without going overboard on useless information.
There were so many fun and funny quotes that I would have to almost cut and paste the entire book to my review. The footnotes were so unique and revealed even more humor. Even her acknowledgments had me giggling. If you enjoy humor and can take things for what they are without being too uptight of offended, then you should pick up a copy of Beauty Queens.
I think that I would love to have an afternoon lunch with Libba Bray and get inside of her head a little bit. I feel quite certain that she livens up the party! I certainly enjoyed her writing and look forward to reading more of her work.