Author- Libba Bray
Publish date- 2011
What I thought:
I tried to read Beauty Queens about eight months before deciding to just go audio, and I definitely didn't find an appeal in it at that time. After reading some reviews, however, it came back to mind, and when I saw tha my library had a copy on audio I went for it.
The story seemed ridiculous- beauty queens from around America stranded on a desert island, one with a plane table stuck into her head- it got more ridiculous as it went along, as well as hilarious and completely ludicrous. And I loved it.
The characters are diverse and virtually all of them took my preconceived notions and shoved them out to sea, telling their own stories in a way that was unexpected and moving.
The reasons for their entering the Miss Teen Dream pagent in the first place are explored, as are their history and how the pressure (from family, society, themselves) changed these growing women. They become more than just beauty queens, and I formed attachments to these characters, none of whom are perfect (by their standards, which are the only ones that matter) but the point is that they try, and they fight, and they become... they become so very human.
Whislt Adine felt, at least in the beginning, like the protagonist, I liked Petra and Mary-Lou more than her, and was surprised (again, be cone preconceived notion) by my love for Tiara; the diversity was huge and there was no lack of tense moments, of painful discoveries and tragedy, but it was often de-tense-itised by ads from "The Corperation!" which were terrible and hilarious and fairly believable.
Rating: Big Explosion MIND BLOWN.
Like pirates, surprises, advertisements, disaster-stories, teen dreams, reality television, pagents, explorations of sexuality, open discussions about sec, inequality, periods, expectations and surviving in a jungle? Well, you'll love this- or like it. Or maybe you will find you don't, even if you love all those things. I'd recommend it with a hearty pie and jammie-dodger, but it's up to you.