Friday, 6 July 2012

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Judge this book by its cover. Seriously. Like the cover, this story is quirky, dangerous, and full of intriguing details if you look close enough.

The premise isn’t difficult to wrap your mind around. A plane full of Teen Dream beauty pageant contestants crashes, stranding a group of them on the island with few resources. While this may sound like a cheesy mashup of Survivor and Miss America, the story is pulled off seamlessly. Without the pressures that they face back home, the girls open up, reveal their secrets, and learn something about themselves.

This book is hilarious, in a witty and satirical way. Product placement, clueless blondes, and crazy pop culture references (with no possible inspiration from our pop culture nowadays, of course) make this book an original and refreshing read. It attacks the perceptions that our society has about the ways girls should act, think, and look with a lighthearted and sardonic tone. As you get into the heads of different girls each chapter, you get a unique look at what drove them to compete in a pageant, their insecurities, and the things that they’re hiding. There are more than enough surprises and mysteries to keep things interesting! While some people will complain the dialogue can be sappy, the realizations forced, and the storyline unbelievable, I think this book is like its characters: you shouldn’t take it too seriously, but it definitely has something special to share with you. At the end, you’ll feel tears prick your eyes- proud tears, because you will have watched a group of girls grow in so many ways and you won’t want them to let them go. An enjoyable, empowering, and unforgettable story.  

Loved this book? Then you'll like:

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby (and series)
Books by John Green
...yeesh, I don't know. I can't think of another book that matches the randomness and off-the-wall humour of this one.

To give you a sense of the writing style, here's the opening few lines. "This book begins with a plane crash. We do not want you to worry about this. According to the U.S. Department of Unnecessary Statistics, your chances of dying in a plane crash are one in half a million. Whereas your chances of losing your bathing suit bottoms to a strong tide are two to one. So, all in all, it's safer to fly than to go to the beach." -Libba Bray, Beauty Queens

It goes on like that, but a little more on topic, don't worry!

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