Ravenclaw Review – Beauty Queens

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Beauty Queens

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Pages: 396
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: The 50 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.

“In school, they would tell you that life wouldn’t come to you; you had to go out and make it your own. But when it came to love, the message for girls seemed to be this: Don’t. Don’t go after what you want. Wait. Wait to be chosen, as if only in the eye of another could one truly find value. The message was confusing and infuriating. It was a shell game with no actual pea under the rapidly moving cups.” 

Beauty Queens is a satirical novel that follows a group of pageant queens that crash landed on a deserted island. All of the crew and chaperones died in the crash, so we’re left with about 10 girls who are trying to fight for their lives and hope to be rescued, all while trying stay in tip-top pageant shape! Things start changing for them though, once they’re no longer the only ones on the island – can the fully-functioning all-female society survive when men crash the party? Beauty Queens is the ultimate girl-power novel!

“Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?” 

I really loved Beauty Queens! I listened to the audiobook for this one, and it was read by he author – normally I’m not a fan of audiobooks that are read by the author, because usually they don’t have the capability to carry the novel vocally. However, that was definitely NOT the case with Libba Bray! She did a wonderful job, I liked her performance more than a lot of other narrators I’ve listed to! She had wonderful voices for each of her characters (and there were a LOT)!

Beauty Queens is a satirical novel, and I think that the best tell of a good satire, is when you take a step back, and you realize that the “over-the-top” thing you just read, isn’t that over-the-top after all – and I think that Beauty Queens really mastered that! You laugh at all of these antics that these girls get up to, but honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if lady’s hair remover really was only a couple ingredients away from being a chemical grade weapon!

The only downside I have for this book is that there were SO many characters! It was really hard to keep track at times because we were dealing with so many surviving pageant contestants, and they were all introduced at the same time. Trying to keep them all straight was difficult.

I think one of my favorite aspects of this book is that the girls go from actively competing against each other for this pageant, to working together and fighting for each other! It’s a really beautiful look at how women can do so much more if we stop fighting and competing for stupid prizes, and instead work together to get things done! We can do so much, we can inspire so much change, if we just stop trying to tear each other down over the attention of a guy! It’s really not worth it ladies!

“Does my new feminism make me look fat?” 

Overall, this book is fantastic! I really loved this book – it was such a quick read (especially for an audiobook that’s twelve hours long!) I fell in love with so many of these characters (and yes, Ohioans really can make a grill out of anything – we love to tailgate). It was so hilarious, and pretty relatable! I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a laugh!

Happy reading!
Stephanie

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