Customer Reviews for

Beauty Queens

Average Rating 3.5
( 192 )
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5 Star

(82)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(26)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go unscrew my smile!

Wow. I may not have been a crazy stalker fan of Libba Bray beforehand (the Gemma Doyle series didn't do anything for me - yes, you may duct-tape me now), but I think Beauty Queens has me wondering what crazy schemes this author will cook up next because I'm pretty sure ...
Wow. I may not have been a crazy stalker fan of Libba Bray beforehand (the Gemma Doyle series didn't do anything for me - yes, you may duct-tape me now), but I think Beauty Queens has me wondering what crazy schemes this author will cook up next because I'm pretty sure that I will be in that serving line! Even if it is chicken-tasting grub from some random island.

I realize that this book may not be for everyone - I wasn't even 1% sure if Beauty Queens would be my cup of tea. Yes, I was that uncertain of it. I kept glancing at the book in the bookstores, admiring the lipstick bullet belt concept, but unsure if I was ready for a leap of faith. So I borrowed it from the library and took the book out for a spin.

And holy smokes! Did Beauty Queens grab my attention from the get-go and shook me silly in a similar fashion that Miss Congeniality did? Except 200% more to the power of infinity and whatever goes beyond that? I think flying toasters might be involved in the beyond.

As far-fetched as Beauty Queens may sound, Libba Bray really applies her witty parody quite liberally like sunscreen - and I loved all her shout-outs and snark-outs that celebrated (or eulogized) all things pop culture. Everything was outrageous - everything, that is, except the message that it is okay to be yourself, even if that includes a little crazy or ugly or random. I cannot imagine how much FUN Ms. Bray had with re-inventing the world of pop culture because they are truly quite clever!

What really impressed me with Beauty Queens is how the girls were introduced to the readers via pageant bios and then the next chapter focused on digging deep into what makes them tick, even though everything was told in third-person. It really gave me enough time to connect with each girl and then gradually tie them as one large group into the main story arc. With so many characters to juggle around and decide who gets centerstage for certain moments, I give props to Libba Bray for managing to find a way to make it easy for the readers to befriend the characters. It almost felt like 4 years of high school with a class of 200+ individuals - you start off as strangers, but leave as one big family.

I think Libba Bray may very well be the next Douglas Adams or Joseph Heller in my book. Not a whole lot of authors can serve such a ridiculous dish of random that makes me clutch my stomach from laughing too hard and yet I couldn't stop from devouring the pages!

And for your reading pleasure (in truth, this is for my own because I probably inhaled a pepperoni up my nose when I read this snippet), bar none my favoritest quote from the book because the delivery is GOLDEN:

"I count the time like my hemorrhoids."
"TMI, MoMo."
"TMI to you, too, my darling."

Please excuse me while I ROFL with pepperoni up my nose. (Dear Readers, you may just want to go out and try this random slice of paradise.)

posted by epicrat on October 1, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

34 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

Question..Can I have my brain cells back?

I picked this book up off a display and thought it would be absolutely hilarious and a great read because it was by Libba Bray, unfortunately it was a dissapointment. This book should be on the back shelf not on a display for everyone to see. If you can get over the mai...
I picked this book up off a display and thought it would be absolutely hilarious and a great read because it was by Libba Bray, unfortunately it was a dissapointment. This book should be on the back shelf not on a display for everyone to see. If you can get over the main characters ghaustly language and bimbo mindset then it might actually be good, but it drove me insane. There was just to much going on! From lesbian contestants to transexual contestants, to the undercover contestant, the contestant that somehow survives the entire time with a tray sticking out of her head and the contestant that loses her mind that was enough...then we have the reality TV show british hunky pirates that land on the island. You can't forget the military/corporation compound hidden on the island making arms deals with the Republic of ChaCha (??really??) that happens to be with a guy that dresses like Elvis?? AND being from Texas it was a little upseting that the Miss Texas contestant talks like she is the biggest redneck hick known to man..and she is the biggest bimbo of all minus the knowledge of using guns..then happens to be the one that goes completely insane...yeah...not cool.
To much for me..I mean you may like this but I would personally like my time and brain cells back. Saying this book was a dissapointment and a disaster is being nice.

posted by cara_ann on May 26, 2011

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    All the right plot points but...

    Perhaps my expectations were impossibly high, how could they not be after a masterpiece like Going Bovine?
    Beauty Queens starts off beautifully (no pun intended) - a mysterious plane crash, quirky characters, and the challenge of surviving without food, shelter, and -gasp- lip gloss! Libba Bray makes it clear that this is not aLost or Lord of the Flies inspired story, but it could have been a brilliant and witty comeback to both. A female alternative to Golding's story would have made for great discussion in schools and public libraries. With generous influences from fellow 'dystopian' novels like M.T. Anderson's Feed, a materialistic world run underhandedly by The Corporation and fellow countries with Chavez-inspired dictators produces shallow, narcissistic teenage girls, and what archetype is more extreme than the beauty pageant girl. The demand is there with shows abound on cable networks and the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant's Miss South Carolina interview fiasco.
    Unfortunatly, all the sarcastic commercials and witty dialogue could not save a potentially awesome story. If the intention was to show shallow teens finding their inner Girl Power, or bridge the gap between petty differences to encourage girls across the spectrum to unite against a world that demands skinny, perfectly coiffured, pleasant and unopiniontated girls, then it was an 'epic fail'. Bray should have focused on one goal instead of branching off into weak tangeants. Is it a survival story? If so, leave out the government and corporation conspiracies. Outside characters were two-dimensional and drew away from the already too-large cast at hand. And what was with the ship full of cockney-accented actors and the Australian eco-warrior that popped up out of nowhere to woo the girls. Was a love-plot that necessary? The romance that blossomed briefly between two of the girls could have been an all-encompassing focus on positive relationships in general.
    All-in-all, I cringed more than I smiled, and said, "Huh?" more than "Ha!" The potential was strong, but the inconsistent messages, thin characters, and silly plot-twists left me disappointed. Libba Bray has shown true talent in past YA novels, but this one felt rushed and un-loved.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    I love Love

    I love the way that the author wrote this book and I felt like she really connected with the readers. It was so funny and it made me laugh. I love all of the characters and it would be hard for me to pick my favorite character. The ending though is quite strange but yet it is delivers a powerful message at the end and is developed throughout the whole story. I would recomend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Poorly written

    This book was hard for me to follow. While there were entertaining parts about the characters, I felt they were under developed. Very strange read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Don't waste your time or money

    I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would publish this. Let alone why the author, who's name I fail to remember but should because her writing is horrible, is a claimed best selling author. The characters were poorly developed and so alike it was hard to distinguish between who was who. The events in the story became so ridiculous that I only continued to read to see how horribly worse it could get. I knew it would but even I wasn't prepared. Don't waste your time or money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great, fun, summer read! I didn't think I was going to enjoy thi

    Great, fun, summer read! I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book because usually I don't like to read about a bunch of stuck up girls, but this book was excellent! A little predictable, but definitely deserving of a second read! If you're looking for a book that is fun but still exciting, this is the book for you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I want to make something very clear as you move on to the rest o

    I want to make something very clear as you move on to the rest of the post.

    This book is bloody brilliant and everybody needs to read it.

    Understood? Now let me explain.

    Upon finishing this book, I pronounced the fact that I wanted to marry Libba Bray on Twitter. She's a bloody genius and I absolutely adore her and will read anything she writes until she decides not to write anymore.

    I mean, look at this summary. I knew it was going to be funny going into it. What I didn't expect was for it to be a commentary - a brilliant, hilarious, accurate commentary - on the world we live in today. Can you think of any debatable issue at all? Trust me, it's mentioned.

    There's a reason this book made #8 on EW's list of things to watch out for this week when it was first published - it's genius. The plot, the commentary - everything is fantastic.

    And the characters! Oh, what a fantastic cast of characters! I want to say Nicole is my favorite - I have a huge soft spot for her, but that may be because we share the same name. SinJin and Petra are fighting for that honor, though. My dreams of reading about an evil villain named MoMo B. ChaCha have also been satisfied.

    And as much as I shall be recommending this book to everybody and their mother, it holds a special place in my heart as a YA fan because of some of the shout outs. (There's a character named after Scott Westerfeld and David Levithan ends up in one of the scripts.)

    Just - I could go on forever. So, so, so much love for this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    Fantastic Social Commentary Adventure

    Oh, Libba Bray. I want to marry your brain.
    Once again, she's pulled out a great novel that marries a fun story and characters with biting social commentary. Like with Going Bovine, Bray managed to force me to set the book down and think about life, the expectations of the world on myself and women in general, the sad state of a corporate culture, and the issues facing women as they search for empowerment and identity.

    That sounds heavy (and those ARE heavy issues), but actually the book was hilarious, snarky, and very fun. She manages a rainbow of characters with issues that most folk can relate to in some way, and she creates a very empowering story out of it.

    I truly wish that I had been able to read this book in high school. And then in college. And then after college. And maybe in my mid-twenties. Some of her turns of phrase and simple observations on the state of our American culture and what it means to be a woman are things it took me years of observation, experimentation, and a lot of tears and mistakes to learn. That she so gracefully sums them up in an absolutely accurate sentence or two is awe-inspiring.

    And while I think women, and feminists of any gender, will get the most out of this book, it's a fun read for men as well. I recommend it for anyone who is literate and alive, especially if you live in the US. I am considering buying copies of this book and sending them to my friends with young daughters. My copy I'm keeping to re-read, and for my future progeny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Random

    Good story, but everything that happens in it is random

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Fun Read With an Empowering Message

    I've been a fan of Libba Bray since A Great and Terrible Beauty came out, so of course I bought this as soon as it came out. Though it's been awhile since I read the book, I think the negative reviews need to be balanced out so potential readers can get a better sense of what the book is like. This story is not ment to be a realistic tale; it is a satire of modern pop culture and the difficulties girls face growing up with the pressures this pop culture imposes. Yes, there are elements of the story that are exaggerated, but they help to add humor and call attention to the absurdities of modern life. I found this book to be a quick and enjoyable read with a message that empowers young women to take control of their own lives instead of bending to society's expectations. This story is definitely more similar in tone to Going Bovine than the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, but fans of Bray's first novels will be glad to encounter the same girl-power theme that was present in Gemma's story, just in a funnier, more satirical format.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    I got this book because I heard it was really funny. It was sort

    I got this book because I heard it was really funny. It was sort of funny, but the stupidity of some of the girls was just hard to read. And some of the things that happened seemed really unrealistic. Like the snake that had swallowed Sosie. Also how Miss New Mexico had survived with a tray in her head the entire time. Some parts were extremely predictible, too, like Petra's big secret. I found that out almost right away and was just waiting until they finally said so. I didn't understand the random commercial breaks and all the notes on the bottom. Why were they there? I know everything with Agent Jones and such helped end the book, but throwing it around at random confused me a lot.
    So this book was okay. I don't think people need to get offended about how people from their state were dumb or went crazy, because that wasn't really the point. I wouldn't really suggest reading this. At least don't buy it, if you want to read it, check it out from the library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    hmmm..

    What age would you recomend this?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Nicole

    Nicole is my favorite because i have alot of Nigerian friends and their tribe is also Igbo! Who is nigerian write "nigeria" @$ their subject

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    i would return it if i could...

    i saw the book on display and thought "what the hell!" but no... this book is so mindless and boring, the characters are so dumb y just had to put it down... i don't think i'll ever finish it... what a wate of time/money

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2015

    Continued from last review.

    I also hated the fact that it incorporated transgender and lesbian people into the story. That is against my beliefs and many other people's beliefs too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2015

    Slow

    Slow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2015

    Don't tap if you hate this book!!!!!!!

    Loved the book & the free trial sample!!!!!!!>:-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2015

    This book doesn't belong in the teen section.  It has graphic se

    This book doesn't belong in the teen section.  It has graphic sexual content.

    It's also poorly written-and not likely to appeal to more sophisticated adult readers--so is being pawned off on younger readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2014

    Trust me, I love Libba Bray. That's why I tried this book out. I

    Trust me, I love Libba Bray. That's why I tried this book out. I was sorely disappointed. I have absolutely loved Libba Bray's historical fiction books. They were amazing, but this book just disappointed me from the beginning. The idea had the making of a great book, but Libba wasn't able to execute correctly. She tried to make a comedy when she should've just stuck to historical fiction. That's what she's good at. She tried to make too much stuff happen at once. She tried to make it so people would accept  Lesbians, Transsexuals, and body image while having an insane Elvis impersonating tyrant with a lemur. I have nothing against homosexuals or transsexuals, but it's hard to take you seriously when there's a slur of bad jokes that might make a little child laugh. Libba also had it so the girls still were worried about winning a stupid pageant when they have are deserted on an island with no water and little food. It's not at all realistic. I think if I was stranded I'd try to get water and food before worrying about a beauty pageant title. I'm warning you right now. Do NOT red this book. It'll be a waste of your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2014

    Im confused

    Is it good book or nah becasw people are sayin it is and it isnt reply with the headline book to answer my question

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2014

    Wow it worked

    Thanks for the lie and thats sooo funny lmao

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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