Sharp satire mixes girl-power themes with violence, sex. Read Common Sense Media's Beauty Queens review, age rating, and parents guide. As far as great books go, Beauty Queens is right up there with some of the most poignant, masterfully crafted YA lit I've read in my tiny lifetime. Beauty Queens (by Libba Bray) is the story of what happens when plane crash survivors/teen beauty pageant contestants must fend for themselves on a.
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Beauty Queens book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was. Praise for Beauty Queens: “'Beauty Queens' is a madcap surrealist satire of the world in which her readers have come of age – reality TV, corporate sponsorship . Free summary and analysis of the events in Libba Bray's Beauty Queens that won't make you snore. This book is a roller-coaster of wacky and snark. Like the.
Searching for streaming and downloading options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your download helps us remain independent and ad-free. Get it now on Searching for streaming and downloading options A lot or a little? The parents' guide to what's in this book.
Both of us love Lost. Ergo, when we heard that Libba Bray would be writing a book that would blend one of our favorite television shows in a satirical cocktail of consumerism, Lord of the Flies , and pageant princesses, we were HOOKED. Unfortunately, for the both of us, Beauty Queens could not deliver. Beauty Queens is the story of a group of contestants for the Miss Teen Dream Pageant — sponsored by The Corporation — and what fate befalls them when their airplane crashes on a not-so deserted island.
Armed only with their sashes, evening gowns and stilettos, the would-be Miss Teen Dreamers must survive the clutches of giant snakes, bad dudes with big guns, an Evil Dictator, corporate espionage, pirates, and, of course, each other.
Unfortunately, I found Beauty Queens to be a painful and pointless endeavor, with all the significance and longevity of a spray-on faux tan. The way I see it, satire is meant to be bitingly funny but subversive, inviting readers to laugh but also challenging them to think about the subject matter at hand.
Beauty Queens is neither witty nor subversive. Instead, Ms. Consumerism is bad! Reality TV is rotting our brains! Beauty Pageants are misogynistic and shallow!
Rather than satirical, Beauty Queens reads like a bad parody — call it the difference between an hilariously cutting romp, like Team America , and a slapstickish, mawkish puddle of drivel, like Dance Movie or Meet the Spartans. My main beef with Beauty Queens is simple: Praytell, where is the satirical wit in portraying a group of beauty queens as incessantly vapid, bleached, tanned, and toned bimbos including one who happens to be named Tiara? In naming a boyband singer J.
Woodland Justin Timber lake, get it?!
The thing is, there is no elegance or metaphor to Ms. There is nothing really clever, insightful, or even funny beyond the cheap laughs about Beauty Queens. Instead of a scathingly witty Stewart or Colbert-ish skewering of society, Beauty Queens is obvious, capricious and preachy. While I agree with the concepts and key ideals that Ms. Bray asserts in this book as, I assume, would anyone with a basic education , the execution of these ideas was sorely wanting.
Also — why is it that beauty contestants or cheerleaders, or models, or whatever are always portrayed in this same derisive way? Chalk this one up to a big, fat, disappointing fail.
The aim might have been satire, but I believe Beauty Queens misses the target completely. As far as I understand the style, satire is supposed to intelligently ridicule outrageous human behaviour by allowing readers to reach their own conclusions. However, the author basically masticates every single point she makes in the novel and the reader has to do no thinking whatsoever because all the ideas are presented on a silver platter.
But satire is not the only thing that the story tries to be.
If only. I would actually propose that Beauty Queens is a much bigger mess than Thea hinted at. There is a side of satire of beauty contests, of reality TV and a dash of parody pirates! The Corporation!
The bad dictator! And a Contemporary novel about important issues body image, female empowerment, sexual and racial diversity and with a VERY preachy yet worthy message at its core: They have a past! They are real people!
These flashbacks are clumsily incorporated into the story seriously, in one scene a girl is sinking into quicksand, and while another is trying to rescue her, she finds herself thinking about her past. And that is not cool either. Each of the main characters learn something about themselves and the world but in a very episodic, clumsy, detached and preachy way.
A few examples follow, in chronological order. And the girls found they could not answer. Have you ever noticed that? It seemed odd to Sosie that she had to make some hard-and-fast decision about such an arbitrary, individual thing as attraction, like having to declare an orientation major: I am straight with a minor in gay.
And THAT is my greatest gripe about the novel: It is the weirdest thing to be writing a negative review of this book. I agree with all of these values, and I agree with all the messages contained in this book. But I set out to read a novel, not a manual on how to be an awesome girl. That is simply not good storytelling. Additional Thoughts: Want a chance to win a copy and an island survival guide?
Make sure to check out our Beauty Queens Official Giveaway for your chance to get some free swag. We specialize in speculative fiction and popgeekery for all ages since , and have been publishing speculative fiction and nonfiction since Mary Lou loses her purity ring, which is supposedly her protection against the curse of being a "wild woman.
With it off, she runs naked through the jungle and encounters a boy name Tane, who claims to be a student studying the science of birds on the island. She kisses him, because that's the natural response to bird students. The next day, Tane tells her the truth: his people are actually from the island. A company called The Corporation kicked his people off the island and now he's trying to find The Corporation and spy on it.
Nicole heads out into the jungle and finds the ruins and temple. Shanti, who has followed her, accuses her of trying to get ahead. When Nicole asks why Shanti doesn't like her, Shanti admits it's because she sees Nicole as competition.
Um, aren't they all competition in this pageant thing?
But specifically, Shanti thinks the judges will only allow one non-white contestant into the top five. Getting too real? Well, that's when she starts to sink into quicksand.
As she calls for Nicole to help her, her voice changes from a British-inflected Indian accent to straight-up Valley Girl. Shanti admits that she pretended to be more like the judges' dream version of an immigrant to be more likeable social commentary alert! Nicole tries to help her but gets pulled in, too. But after that much racial awareness, the two main characters of color—and more social commentary—can't be killed off, so eventually the girls find a root and pull themselves out.
When they return to camp, Jennifer has fixed the radio. The contestants listen to an interview with The Corporation CEO Ladybird Hope, who says that they've called off the search, presuming the girls dead. Taylor can't believe the pageant would abandon her, so she runs into the jungle. Taylor comes across some men in black shirts talking. They say they're going to kill the Teen Dream contestants because they don't want any rescuers arriving and observing their activities on the island.
Taylor reveals herself and beats them up like a ninja seriously? Tay Tay? Thinking she ate the fruit, the girls find Taylor and carry her back to camp, but Taylor, mind-addled, sneaks into the jungle. They find her babbling to herself and constructing a fake sculpture of a beauty pageant contestant. Needless to say, they don't realize Taylor's been beating down on black shirts who keep trying to sneak toward the beach to kill the girls. Adina takes charge of the group. Mary Lou tells them about Tane, but when she tries to lead the girls to him, he isn't there.
Time for another twist. A boat sails toward them and hits a rocky cliff, tearing a hole in its side. The girls rescue the boys on the ship, who turn out to be the actors on Captain Bodacious, a reality TV show about good-looking British schoolboys-turned-pirates.
The captain, Sinjin, likes Petra, while a crew member named Duff chases after Adina. This paragraph sounds like a joke, but it's not. The beauty queens and pirates get to know each other as they repair the ship. Sinjin and Petra pair off, and that seems to work out. Duff, on the other hand, convinces Adina to have sex with him, but Adina finds out the next day that he filmed it, which puts him up there with The Corporation in terms of bad eggs.
Adina finds a body in the water. The pirates, who are on the run from The Corporation after witnessing human trafficking, worry that they've brought danger to the girls.
They secretly sail away in the night. Way to not take responsibility, guys. Are we feeling the critique on gender relations yet? In the morning, Mary Lou searches for Tane. She witnesses men going into the volcano, but a gun is put to her head before she can return to tell the others. Even Ms New Hampshire--whom, might I add, is this story's Marysue--is feminist to a fault, goes around feeling superior to the other girls on the island because she's "enlightened" and they're just a bunch of "stupid fools".
There were a few others who had even less going for them. Ms New Mexico, for example, had a tray table embedded in her skull. That was her only defining quality throughout the entire book. I kid you not. She's probably the only reason anyone should read this book. The rest of the ladies?
Were really irritating and irrational and totally rubbed me the wrong way--go figure. You know how every chick flick has at least one painfully ridiculous cringe-worthy scene? The sort of scene that makes you wonder how stupid Hollywood thinks women are. The sort of scene that makes you vow to never see another chick flick again, like that random musical number with synchronized dance moves in My Best Friend's Wedding.
Or the 'Bend and Snap' scene from Legally Blonde. Or the entire length of the movie Mama Mia? Yeah, this book has that. It ENDS with one of those scenes. Read this book or not. It's totally up to you. I didn't like it, clearly, but I'm not pleased with a lot of books these days. Like, especially their bodies are super beautiful, and the MC can't shut up about how physically beautiful her love interest is.
How come female MCs don't fall in love with guys who have great personalities but are lacking in the looks department?
Why can't it just be about a meeting of minds? Especially when we go around telling ourselves that looks shouldn't matter, to anyone especially men. Isn't that more than a little hypocritical? Oh, yeah, I forgot. No one wants to read about ugly people falling in love. I'll have you know, starting when I was 12 years old my parents sent me to a girls camp in Colorado--five summers in a row. No electricity. No cabins.
No toilets or showers or mirrors. No boys. Just a bunch of girls forced to sleep in tents with a bunch of other girls their same age.