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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray

Release Date: 1st June 2011

My Rating: 5/5

Teen beauty queens.
A lost island.
Mysteries and dangers.
No access to email.

And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives deep in the heart of every girl, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

The horror, the horror!

Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Join Libba Bray in this wicked satire of beauty pageants, reality TV and pop culture.

In A Nutshell:
A hilarious story filled with sexy pirates, killer snakes, temperamental beauty queens and accessories that can be used as weapons, Beauty Queens shows that just because you may be pretty, doesn’t mean you can’t fend for yourself when everything turns to mud (literally!). Highly recommended!

My Review:
I totally loved Beauty Queens! It has been described as Drop Dead Gorgeous (the movie) meets Lost (the TV show) but what I found was that Beauty Queens is so much more. While it is absolutely hilarious and does take the mickey out of beauty pageants, it is ultimately an uplifting story filled with heart and featuring a great cast of characters. It is a story about personal discovery, empowerment, comradery and the pressure put on girls, not just in beauty pageants but in today’s society.

When a plane carrying the contestants and crew of the Miss Teen Dream Beauty Pageant crashes on a remote island, the girls must set aside their competitive streaks (although they certainly still appear every now and then!) to join forces and survive.

There are only twelve survivors, all beauty queens, and with only suitcases full of beauty products and accessories at their disposal, the girls have to fend for themselves and avoid the unknown perils of the island. And what do they come face to face with? Killer snakes, quicksand, secret agents, sexy pirates, a stupid trust fund Yale graduate, an arms dealer with a love of Elvis, hallucinogenic berries, a former Miss Teen Dream who is no dream at all and of course each other! Oh and not to mention a lack of food, water and bathroom facilities!

Over the weeks following the crash, the girls begin to discover who they really are, now that they are not being influenced by their pageant obsessed mothers and coaches. They start to realise what they really want for themselves in life, discover talents they didn’t know they had and allow their real passions to come to light.

As friendships are forged and secrets revealed, we get to see some amazing uses for beauty products, hair-straighteners, eyelash curlers and ugly evening wear as the girls create new homes and an interesting but effective range of arsenal to protect themselves from the unknown dangers of the mysterious island.

I loved almost all the girls but my favourite beauty queens would have to be Adina (Miss New Hampshire), Jennifer (Miss Michigan) and Mary Lou (Miss Nebraska). I highly recommend Beauty Queens and am now looking forward to reading Libba Bray’s previous novel, Going Bovine.

Thankyou to Allen and Unwin for this review copy.

Second Opinions
bean there, read that
Words on Paper


  1. Sounds like what I wished Lord of the Flies was! (JK, LOTF is one of my most favourite books), just added it to my list :-)

  2. Excellent! and oh I'd almost forgotten about the berries, one of my fave parts. Hilarity.

    I hope you love Going Bovine. It's a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

  3. Highly recommend do you? Well I must read it than. It sounds like so much fun. Great review Jess :)

  4. i've been curious about this book for a while.
    it sounds like a fun read and i love the sound of sexy pirates!
    great review

  5. I have thought about reading this for a while. I am definitely going to put it on my list now. It sounds awsome. Great review!

  6. oh you write a fab review jess :)

    i am not sure it is my kind of book though? i never managed to finish going bovine :/

    (hows the bill condon book going? i have heard so much good stuff about it :)


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