Here is a quick book review for you today:
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
When a plane full of teen beauty queens crashes on a seemingly deserted island the survivors are stranded without food, water, and basic beauty necessities. In true, unflappable, pageant fashion the girls set out to tame the jungle and perfect their talent. On the other side of the island, the pageant’s sponsor, The Corporation, has established a fortress and devised a plan to kill the girls for financial and political gain. Throw in some hot, teen pirate musicians, an insane dictator, and the deepest, darkest beauty queen secrets and hilarity abounds.
Please be advised, this book is a work of satire. Keep this in mind when you are deciding to read it and as you read it. While I am confident I know it when I see it, I still wanted to make sure I could define satire for you. I will let dictionary.com do all the work:
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.
So, now that we are clear on the fact that Beauty Queens is full of irony, sarcasm and ridicule, let’s move on. On the surface this book is ridiculously fluffy. As in, “OMG, I like, totally broke a nail when that mean old plane crashed” fluffy. Pretty, vapid girls kind of fluff. The entire premise is really quite insane. Libba Bray doesn’t pull any punches, nothing is off-limits, and just about every issue out there is touched on. There really is a lot going on here. Underneath it all, however, you will find a pretty cool, girl-positive message that encourages young women to defy stereotypes and social expectations and just be who they want to be. The book is heavy-handed with that message at times, but it’s an important lesson for girls to learns, so I am a-ok with that. It turns out these beauty queens are actually more than just a pretty face and an empty head. Who knew?
This book is not going to be for everyone, especially younger readers. There is drinking, sex, homosexuality, transgender identity, corporate brainwashing, political corruption, and violence throughout. But, if you can handle all of the above and want a quirky, fun, read, Beauty Queens will not disappoint.