Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: May 24th 2011
Source: Allen & Unwin for review

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?

Libba Bray has been on the crazy pill and I will gladly be her supplier if she continues to pump out magnificent comedies such as Beauty Queens. What begins as a funny satirisation of beauty pageants and reality television transforms into a rich story about friendships, trust, survival and secrets. Enemies become friends, friends become enemies, friends become lovers… Every change you could possibly imagine is present in this novel, as is almost every race, sexual orientation and IQ level. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to everyone!

In the beginning, a plane full of beauty queens and crew members flew high in the air. Then tragedy struck, and they all came tumbling down, down, down, down, onto a deserted island. Less than ten remained. At first, I found it difficult to relate to the many characters and to what was happening. Adina? Petra? Who are these people? But funnily enough, after the first few chapters you will know who they all are, what they look like, what their aspirations are and what personalities they have. In a very short amount of time, you will feel attached to these girls and you'll find that one or two will rise above the rest to become your favourites. Whether you like the strong but vulnerable type or the dumb but adorable type… There's a beauty for you! Personally, I adored Miss Mississippi the most. Tiara isn't the sharpest tool in the shed but she has a sweet heart, adorable humour and a brain hidden away behind those looks!

What I love about this novel is the way each of the girls have a story, which have shaped them into the people they are today. Their seemingly useless extracurricular activities and assignments help them to survive on the island by building shelter, finding food, attracting planes, and more! Way to rock our world, Bray! Each individual storyline is gripping and I could have easily read much more about each. The friendships formed are so endearing and you can only hope that they'll all make it off the island unscathed, still good friends and as better people than they arrived as.

There's a mysterious Operation Peacock at work on this island, run by a group of people preventing the rescue of these beauty queens. Who are they and what do they want? This was more comical than anything else. Paired with hilarious "commercial breaks" and product advertisements, I could not stop laughing! Despite this being a comedy, there are some big twists in Beauty Queens. Some people aren't who they say they are and this leads to some interesting outcomes... Be prepared for your jaw to drop!

All in all, this is a wonderful book that everyone must read. It's not all jokes and laughs - there are serious moments, sad moments and sexy moments too! Many will enjoy the abundant pop culture references and the not-so-subtle jokes. Thoroughly entertaining through and through, Beauty Queens will steal your heart and make you laugh until you cry!
Who else loved it? Annoyed with myself for having taken so long to get my hands on this! Saw it everywhere at the beginning of the year and didn't even think to read it! The cover (which I now love) looked strange and so I never bothered to read the plot summary! Yeesh. Silly me.

Find Libba on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Beauty Queens from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.
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