Beauty Queens by: Libba Bray

Summary:

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

The Review:

This was a book on my TBR for quite a long time, and I would usually pick up the book and than put it down and it wasn’t until after the announcement of an all-girl version of Lord of the Flies and the subtle shade by Libba Bray that I decided to finally read the book, and I was surprised about how good it was.

The book picks up right at the start of the plane crash, and everyone trying to figure out what happened. When I was reading it I was picturing the crash scene from the show Lost, seeing explosions everywhere.

The book is told through multiple perspectives, one of the main ones being of Adina, or Miss New Hampshire. She is the closet the book has to a main protagonist, and her arc stems from he trying to bring down the Miss Teen Dreamers pageant from the inside because she never really believed in the whole thing. She has a really good arc throughout the book.

There are also other characters who are also fully fleshed out out. The is Taylor, miss Texas, who acts as the defecto leader of the surviving girls, who still wants to girls to prepare for the pageant in case they get rescued, which of course causes friction between her and Adina, mainly because Adina wants to try to get the girls to survive on the island.

There is also Nicole and Shanti, the two characters and pageant contestants of color, who I love how they speak about the subtle racism of Miss Teen Dream. I also like their relationship with each other and how they realized that they shouldn’t see each other as competition, being the only two minorities in the pageant.

The book has a lot of great characters who are very well rounded and fleshed out, and I like that Libba Bray didn’t resort to just the archetypes of the characters and actually gave a lot of the characters distinct personalities. It also has a nice set of diverse characters who are LGBTQA and also disabilities.

The world building is also great. Libba Bray sets up a world outside the island, with the use of movies and TV shows set within that world. She would write “a word from our sponsors” which also includes products such as Lady Stach Off. She sets up a world which is also run by “The Corporation” who sponsors the pageant and also produces hit programs such as; Patriot Daughters and Captain Bodacious.

One of the strength about the books is how the girls relate with each other, and ever since the news of an All-Girl Lord of the Flies is that the girls would probably not go in all violent, but will try to work together to help each other. I also liked the satire of girly culture that the book had. I also liked how even if the girls would hate each other, they would still work together to get the job.

I did feel that the book was very slow, towards the middle of the book, but it did add a lot of great character development and to flesh out the plot a bit more. Also while did sort of like the end twist, I thought it could have been a little bit better.

In the end, Beauty Queens was a great read, and I am so glad that I read this book. It had great characters that were fully fleshed out and a nice world setting. I honestly would rather have an adaptation of Beauty Queens, than an all-female Lord of the Flies that Hollywood is working on.

Grade: 4.5/5

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