Aug 25, 2011

Review: Libba Bray - Beauty Queens

Libba Bray - Beauty Queens

• Pub. Date: May 24, 2011
• Publisher: Scholastic Audio
• Format: Audio Book
• Duration: 14 hours, 30 minutes (12 audio CDs)
• Read by: Libba Bray, author

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

I received an ARC of this through a giveaway but I listened to the audio version. Here is my honest review:

I thought this book was hysterical!! It took a bit to get into the groove of this one since it's so different than anything I've read, but I really enjoyed it. The whole premise is fantastic, and Libba Bray really took it to a level of crazy that made it so amazing. It's like Miss Congeniality, Lost, and Pirates of the Caribbean with teenage girls all smooshed together.

It's supposed to take place in a time where this big time company really drives what our country does. The Corporation, as they're called, tells this story of beauty queens who crash in an airplane on a hostile island. This book is highly entertaining with its commercial breaks and words from the sponsor. (And if you listen to the audio, Bray explains how her background in advertising really allowed her to get it right while poking some fun at it.) It's just dripping with comedy, satire, and fun.

Each character is so different, and there are many characters!! Each one has her own personality and character traits. It's so amusing to see them all come together and try to make the best of their unfortunate situation. They each kind of fill a stereotype, but the point is to overcome all that. Then there are pirates and conspiracies, action and suspense, etc etc. Woweeee.

My review is not going to do this book justice. You really just have to check it out yourself. If you love YA, beauty queens, pirates, action, and satire all rolled into one, check this out!! And if you have the option, listen to this one. It's read by the author, and she's seriously brilliant. I've listened to many different narrators, and she's now one of my favorites!!

More like 4.5 stars because I was kind of confused sometimes, but I seriously enjoyed this one!! And as a side note, there's a bit of sexual reference and language, so it's not recommended for the lower YA set.

What I liked:
  • The humor. I can't say enough about how funny this book is. I laughed out loud quite a few times. It also helped that Bray's narrating was amazing. (See below.)
  • The narration. Oh. My. Goodness. Libba Bray is a seriously great narrator. It helps that it's her own book, so she knows exactly how she wants her characters to sound, but it was SO entertaining!!
  • The satire. I used to watch Miss USA/Miss America pageants with my grandma all the time. This took me right back there, like I was back stage with all these girls, except with the stereotypes turned up to MAX. Taylor is a good example. And the commercial breaks!! Oh my, and Ladybird Hope!! AHHH! This is just so great and different! (I could go on and on..)
What I didn't like:
  • Confusion. I was slightly confused through part of it about some things. I don't want to get spoilery, so I'm not going to say what it was.
Bottom line: READ THIS. NOW! And laugh. It's not serious, just great entertainment!


4.5 / 5 book sharks!!


  1. thanks for the awesome review i cant wait to read this book.
    I really like how you pinpoint exactly what u liked and didnt... it makes an awesome review

  2. Aww thank you! I usually write what I would like to know from someone else's review. I would want to know why you liked or didn't like a book, so I try to include that kind of stuff. Ya know? :o)

  3. I have a copy of Beauty Queens!! I can't wait to start it!!!

  4. I started to get a tiny bit confused to, kinda near the end... you're right, there's really know way to say what part it is without being spoilery.

    Awesome review though. I agree, this book was fantastic!

  5. I loved this book! I cracked up so many times my boyfriend thought I'd lost it. I'm glad you liked it too. I was particularly fond of the most annoying character suddenly morphing into a schizo ninja. I'm curious to know what part confused you since the bits that confused me were in character traits, not necessarily events.

    I think I'll have to listen to it if the library has it on audiobook. Sounds like it would be a fun way to spend time in traffic.

  6. I LOVE Libba! Still havent had a chance t get my hands on this but she is definitely the booomb!

    thank you SO much for this review.

  7. I loved it too! Good stuff. I don't listen to audio books, but I bet this one WAS great to listen too. I've heard good things about her other books, but probably won't get to read any of them soon.

  8. GREAT review!! LOVE it! :) I've been dying to read this book for so long! I love Libba! I have a copy that I haven't read it yet, but now I feel like I need to make it a priority!

    Charmaine Smith (Learn more about Pheasant Bonanza Hunting Nebraska)


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