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Most Helpful Favorable Review
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go unscrew my smile!
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 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, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
28 out of 53 people found this review helpful.
Question..Can I have my brain cells back?
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, 2011Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2012
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 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 9, 2014
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!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2013
Posted July 27, 2012
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 5, 2011
Hilarious as it is bizarre
A raucous, crazed, wonderful satirization of everything. Inciteful storytelling that is at turns laugh out loud funny and utterly heartbreaking. And, while it is very good, the sharp tonal shifts can be a touch jarring especially as the excitement builds to the brilliant crescendo. Great read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 23, 2011
A must read!! really :P
Well it starts quite well trying to get you up to date with what has happen to these Miss Teen Dream contestants. It starts very well but it turns quite annoying after a few chapters. why? because it is really annoying that these girls are introduced as totally stupid girls. They said pie and they all sing a song that has pie in it or start talking about pie with out letting the person speaking finish. There is no main character. Is told in third person. I kind of quit at around page 145. Afterwards I told myself to read it, that it might turn quite well. Bloody hell I was right, at around page 200 the book turns quite amazing. The book tell us how these girls find themselves and grow as a person. The book was funny and interesting and long. Even though you will feel like stopping reading the book at the beginning, don't do it and finish the book is really awesome. Taylor was one of my favorite character. Spoiler: Miss Texas turns crazy, but I still love her. She made this book very funny and surprising. I believe that Miss Texas is suppose to be the girl in the cover. Even though she turns crazy, she kills the majority of the black shirt guys that are trying to kill the Miss Teen Dream contestants and save all their asses at the end. She stays in the island with her new pet The Snake.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2011
This is SATIRE!
This is a wonderful satire by Libba Bray which shows how materialism and commercialism has deeply penetrated everything we do. However, you MUST be able to read and understand this book as satire or else you will only be reading a story which comes across as brainless.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2011
Posted July 6, 2011
Not to be taken at face value
If you read this book mindlessly, this book will come across as a stupid story. However, this book is really satire. The book (when considering the satire) is so good and makes such strong statements about large corporations such as Disney and American States.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2011
Funny and original
I liked "Beauty Queens" because it was absolutely nothing like I thought it would be. Honestly, I almost didn't buy it because of the books cover, but then I read the preview, and I thought 'what the heck?' So I bought it and I read it in about three days. I liked that Libba Bray took the stereotypes about beauty pageants and contestants and completely reinvents them. If your a big fan of the pageant lifestyle, you may not like this book, or you may like it because it makes you think. But I laughed and I enjoyed the twists and the fresh view on the old cliches of what beauty is and what courage is, and who can be beautiful or courageous. I would recommend this book to anyone age 13 or up, male or female. There is a strong message of "think for yourself and BE yourself" that a lot of people may benefit from or enjoy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2011
Not too bad
I first saw this book in some magazine and when I noticed that it was by Libba Bray, I totally freaked out! I bought it mainly because I love her other books and it sounded a lot like "Lost", which is one of my favorite TV shows. But this is nothing like her other books. At first, it was pretty hard to read. Most of the main characters seemed so shallow and stupid; I was pretty irritated by some of the things they were saying. But after I read about the pasts of the girls, I became more understanding. (This might also have to do with the fact that they quit whining about the pageant all the time). I still didn't like Adina, though. She was just too whiny for my taste. Then, once I was finally able to tolerate the girls, the reality TV pirates showed up. Of course, I was instantly irritated by them. The same thing happened - once I learned a little about them, they were okay.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book. Once you get past the beginning, it becomes a really enjoyable story. And all the dumb comments are pretty funny (after you get over the initial "How could ANYONE be that stupid?" phase).
Posted June 29, 2011
Thought provoking themes that are disguised as fluff.
What would happen if a handful of beauty queens crash-land on an island? Not what you'd expect. In fact, I would consider this to be the anti-Lord of the Flies. Instead of ripping each other apart, they form a community. Bray has brilliantly created a novel with thought provoking commentary on pop culture, politics, gender norms, race, and sexuality that are in-your-face but well balanced with comedy. It's a page-turner from page one and laugh-out-loud funny; but if sarcastic over-the-top laughs is not what you enjoy- then this isn't the book for you. I would highly recommend this book as both light reading and for the academic circles-- especially at the college level.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2011
Keep in mind, It's MEANT to be sarcastic...
SYNOPSIS: A plane full of "Miss Teen Dream" beauty contestants are on their way to the Teen Dream pageant, when their plane crashes, leaving the 15 of the 50 contestants alive and stranded on a seemingly deserted island. While trying to figure out ways continue practicing their pageant skills, eat and survive while waiting to be rescued, the teens beauties somewhat reluctantly band together, and begin to forge friendships with those who would be their competition. The tasks and trials ahead will not only strengthen the girls, but will also reveal abilities and truths about each other that go far beyond the surface of a beauty queen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
REVIEW: So, what we've got going on here is a book that has practically everything. People from all kinds of races, walks of life, status. You've got Valley Girls, Emo-Girls, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals, there are Pirates, Terrorists, stupid teenage (or young adult) boys, disgruntled government officials, and extremely business-savvy corporation mumbo-jumbo. You've got people who are happy, mad, sad, people who are obsessed, and people who are fed up with life or their circumstances. You've got extreme sarcasm.
I sort of wonder what we've really got here is an author who got fed up one day. Maybe she became completely disenchanted with government, politics, consumerism, fakeness, stupidity - and then she sat down and began to flesh it out on paper.and just kept going. Now I do not know Mrs. Libby Bray, and I do not pretend to know her mind, I'm just trying to figure out, why?
Am I saying that this is a bad book? Absolutely not! That is probably the last thing I would ever say. Go read some other reviews, everyone seems to love it, as do I. It's funny and cleaver, and (my favorite) sarcastic. I love that the whole thing is done so extremely sarcastically, every aspect of American life, only looking through the reflection of a make-up mirror - you know, everything is so large and noticeable, and hideous looking. It's like looking at the faults of an individual, of body of believers, of a country and seeing all the gross imperfections laid out before you and thinking, "what have we done?" On the other hand, if you just read the book, look at it only on the surface; and it's just a silly, funny book. How can you not love a book that has commercial interruptions, foot notes and detailed descriptions that would put a romance novel to shame? The characters are great, and they do each have internal growth in one way or another. I had actually written down names and respective states, but listing them out here is going to do you no good. There are not two main characters (as a typical book would have) there are many individuals you get to know and really enjoy. Telling you about them would, in my opinion, take away part of the fun of this book. I loved Libby Bray's narration. I have heard other authors narrate their own books, and none of them can absolutely hold a candle to Libby's production. She seriously should win an award. I was so impressed with the fact that each of the characters had their own specific voice, tone and attitude, and it was very distinguishable. I always knew who was talking. I LOVED the details during the commercial interruptions! I cannot imagine having read this in book form and enjoying the book nearly as much as I did listening to it.
Posted June 26, 2011
Hilarious parody--as long as you read it as such!
Libba Bray's newest stand-alone YA novel was a real treat to read! I listened to the audio, which was read beautifully by the author, and I really recommend that version if you have the option. (It gets a little bit confusing in the beginning, trying to remember who is who, but listening to Libba's fantastic reading completely makes up for it.) The premise sounds rediculous--a plane full of Teen Dream Pageant contestants crashes en route to their pageant, stranding the girls on a deserted (or is it?) island, and the girls must do or die, literally. The adults have conveniently all died in the crash, along with slightly more than half of the queens. Miss New Mexico has an airline tray table imbedded in her skull. Miss New Hampshire has really just joined the contest in order to expose it in her school newspaper for the shallow, sexist charade it is, and the plane crash hasn't improved her attitude. Miss Texas takes over the motley crew of girls drill-sergeant-fashion, insisting they keep their "beauty queen skills" honed, even over their survival skills. There's giant, people-eating snakes. There's lost wanna-be rock-star/pirates. There's a crazy evil dictator, and an even crazier former beauty-queen-turned-CEO. There's absolutely hysterical commercial breaks, brought to you by The Corporation, the same group that has brought you everyone else (except maybe the snakes. Though I wouldn't put it past them.) Libba Bray totally makes it all work. Girl power all the way!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2011
I Also Recommend:
Wondrously Strange - A Ruckus of a Good Time
Beauty Queens is.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
One freaking crazy book about beauty queens (duh!) who are stranded on an island after their plane crashes. It's rife with death, stereotypes, an almost audible laughtrack, product placements, self-esteem issues, a transgender contestant, a lesbian, sex, a deaf girl who can boogie, an undercover reporter, a controlling government, the undermining of women, and even a very short bad guy who is obsessed with Elvis and his dead, stuffed lemur. Weird, right?
Libba Bray has somehow combined all these things to create this chaotic mess of a book that is both an uproarious riot, but also a satirical look at our society where sex sells and beauty queens are the ideal image for women. Beauty Queens spotlights some obvious qualms with society, but it does so a little too blatantly. It's funny, sure, but that humor tends to undermine the impact of satire. After a while, I felt like the book was beating me over the head with glaring ads about the perfect body, but maybe that's the point.
The cast of characters, while fun, are difficult to keep straight at the beginning. There are so many girls and they go by their states, not names to begin with, but once they start coming into their own, I could begin to distinguish them from one another and they become much more likable in the process. Adina (Miss New Hampshire) has this dry sense of humor and a very 'stick it to the man' attitude that I loved. Petra (Miss Rhode Island) is just, 'wow, didn't see that one coming,' kind of cool. Then Shanti (Miss California) and Nicole (Miss Colorado), the minorities, being an Indian and a black girl respectively, bring this unexpected humor, but heart to the story. Mary Lou (Miss Nebraska) is a welcome surprise with her purity ring, wildness, and a bit of wisdom thrown in. Then there's Taylor. She's the queen bee, Miss Texas, and as much as I enjoyed seeing her get knocked down a peg or two, her craziness thrilled me.
The quippy one-liners - courtesy of Adina, most of the time - lend to the book's laugh-out-loud funniness, but it's the girls' realizations and motivations to be different that make it a great read. Beauty queens are nothing more than a pretty face, or at least that's what we're told, but these girls are so much more than that and getting to see them for who they really are was a pleasure. Also getting to see them be resourceful, battle pirates (sort of - don't want to give it away), discover a secret government operation to illegally trade arms with the aforementioned very short bad guy, and put on a beauty pageant are cool too.
Beauty Queens is wild ride of consumerism, human rights violations, a whacked out blonde girl with a gun, super secret government projects, Lost references (page 21!), Doctor Who references (can't remember what page!), funny names (David L. Evithan!), stereotypes that ridicule themselves, girls with brains (shocker!), some swearing thrown in for good measure, and a ruckus of a good time (despite all the death!). It's insane (as I've said before) and quite possibly the most wondrously strange book I've ever read.
Posted June 11, 2011
Posted August 8, 2011
Posted May 28, 2012
No text was provided for this review.