Friday, September 23, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Book:  Beauty Queens
Author:  Libba Bray
Publisher:  Scholastic
Year:  2011
Grade:  A+

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

It took me a long while to read this book.  That is not an indication that it is not good.  To the contrary, this book is brilliant.  This book has a lot of heavy messages all wrapped up in snark and tongue-in-cheek humor.  Libba Bray is a genius.

For one thing, the school year started up again and I have been inundated with work from Real Life.  Sometimes Real Life sucks!  But also, I really needed time to digest with this book.  It is so much more than a story.  This book is a statement.  I loved thinking about the whole idea of women in the world.  I hope that every teen girl, (as well as not-so-teen-anymore girls), reads this book.

This book was snarky, silly and completely absurd.  Yet, when all the absurd is pulled back, there’s a good strong message to girls about defining oneself and not letting society pull you from your dreams because you’re “just a girl”.  I love “Girl Power” stuff and this may be the ultimate Girl Power book!

The best thing about this book, though, is that I think it’s not just a book for girls.  It’s so much fun and so funny that I think guys would get a kick out of it as well.  This is a book that I plan to start recommending to even random strangers on the street.

My grade for this book is A+.  Any book that manages to pull off social statement while channeling Saturday Night Live, all without smearing its lip gloss, is totally win in my book!

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