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magicalmartha in thosebooks

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray




It's amazing.  It's by Libba Bray; the only thing I'd read by her before this was A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I thought was beautifully written but kind of a boring story, but THIS.  THIS is a work of art.  It's called Beauty Queens, and the best way I can think of to describe it is "Lord of the Flies meets Malibu Barbie."

Check out this cover:

So in this book, the finalists for America's Miss Teen Dream pageant are on their way to the finale when their plane crashes on a deserted island.  They have to get over themselves and their shallowness and figure out how to survive, and it's totally beautiful.  The book is heavily satirical of consumer culture (Bray includes the scripts of commercials and footnotes and product placements, and it's all seriously hilarious), making fun of the media's standards of beauty, reality television, anything Bray can get her hands on.

I also appreciate that she gives each girl (the survivors, anyway) proper time to develop.  They all start pretty annoyingly perky and conventional, but everyone's got a secret and it's really touching the way she gives each one attention and sympathy.  For many of the girls, their time on the island is about them discovering for themselves that they're not just another pretty face.


I haven't read the new Gossip Girl book - I heard about it recently, and I kinda don't have time to read anything that's not part of my YA class syllabus. It's on my to-do list after the class is over, for sure; I've read all the other ones, I can't stop now!

You Killed Wesley Payne was on my list two weeks ago when we were reading mystery/suspense/horror, but Rotters by Daniel Kraus ended up taking me much longer to finish than I'd planned for (that one is also super good, but really DENSE - it's about a father/son graverobbing team, and parts of it are very...mechanical? Bits read like a biology textbook. Also it's SUPER gross.) so I didn't end up having time for it. But it's one I want to go back to.

I have read SO MANY BOOKS this semester. I'll have to do a recap at the end...there have been some EXCELLENT THINGS on my reading list.