Oh Libba Bray how I love your mind....
“From bestselling, Printz award-winning author Libba Bray comes 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 email. 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 have loved Libba Bray since I did a video book trailer for her book Going Bovine. I have read/listened to most if not all of her books. I love that they are all different! Her trilogy about Gemma Doyle (The Sweet Far Thing, Rebel Angels and A Great and Terrible Beauty) brings romance, mystery and magic together for a lovely fantasy. Going Bovine is a Kerouac-esque coming of age/dying story involving a Garden Gnome and an Hispanic Dwarf.
Beauty Queens brings cynicism and sarcasm to a fabulous level! A plane goes down on a remote island. The only survivors, teens headed to a beauty pageant. It is Lord of the Flies meets Survivor meets Gilligan’s Island. This book starts funny, and gets funnier. In between we learn about tolerance, stereotyping, bullying, and properly applying mascara. The book tackles topics ranging from lesbianism to disabilities and transgender to purity and religion. All with a dose of product placement and a few “characters” stripped from modern politics. There is little doubt that Ladybird Hope is Sarah Palin and Mo Mo is Kim Jong-Il. There is a George W. Bush character and, of course, discussions of boy bands and pirates!
I would highly recommend this book to teen girls. The lessons about getting along with other girls, about tolerance of people who are different and the humor would appeal to many teens.