Review : Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Pages : 406
Genre : YA, Fiction, Humor
Stand Alone
My Rating : 

From GoodreadsThe fifty 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.

My Thoughts :

Before I comment, I feel I should really insist that you do not take my word on this one. If you have any interest in this book, try it – or read more reviews before taking your decision. The truth is, not everyone loves satire, and even when you do (I usually do), it’s no guarantee that you will love this particular one.

Looking at my reading notes on Beauty Queens, I can see there were two things that didn’t work for me. One : the numerous messages delivered with little subtlety made the book feel more like a lesson than like a fiction. I think the author successfully included a lesson on almost any issue you could think of, which is not bad in itself, but it did take away from my enjoyment.  Two : the satire was just too over-the-top for me. I know what satire is, but at some point I felt like it took away from the story being told.

I really had to push myself to get through it, and that’s not something I want to do when reading anymore. Luckily, I did have some fun with the book. I liked some of the characters and scenes, some of the jokes gave me a giggle or a smile.

I really don’t believe it’s a case of bad writing, or bad plot, or bad characters, and that is why I can’t advise anyone to stay away from this book. In this case, I really, truly felt that Beauty Queens and I just weren’t made for each other. I’m sure I would have loved this book at fifteen; not because I was fifteen but because of who I was at that time of my life. I loved anything that had satire, irony, sarcasm, anything that was over-the-top but also had something to say. And Beauty Queens was certainly all of these things! 🙂

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8 responses to “Review : Beauty Queens”

  1. Juju at Tales of Whimsy... says :

    Lessons? I’m intrigued. I think the part you didn’t dig has me considering reading it. Thanks for the review.

  2. zibilee says :

    I have been wanting to read this one for some time now, and your reaction only intrigues me all the more. It does seem like it’s heavy on the messages, but I am wondering if I could get behind that, or if it would annoy me too. Great thinking points today. I am going to have to give this some consideration!

  3. BermudaOnion says :

    I really like the premise of this book so I’m disappointed to see you didn’t like it. I may give it a try though.

  4. Lisa the Nerd says :

    You put it so well. This book felt so weighed down by the continued efforts at social commentary and satire that the plot was in the background for me.

  5. christina says :

    The book was definitely a PSA for nearly everything, but I still found it to be pretty hysterical. And even though the characters were such caricatures of what they were criticizing/introducing/etc it worked for me. But, you know, this is definitely a book where people have been one way or the other.

  6. Kailana says :

    I started this book, but I just couldn’t get into it and that made me sad…

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Libba Bray – Beauty Queens « Fyrefly's Book Blog - April 4, 2012

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