I don't usually write reviews but I bought this book largely due to the reviews that I read, hence my 2 cents worth: This book was really hard to finish. I have a very eclectic audible library and rarely add something that I truly hate. Sadly, this book was forgettable enough to fall into the "hate" category. The plot was contrived, I didn't find it funny, sarcastic or particularly well-narrated. I really tried to find some socially-redeeming message re gender identity or "real" beauty but came away feeling that it is a sad commentary on our obsession with greed, violence and sex. I do not recommend it to anyone, particularly 11-13 year olds!
I am a library media specialist at a middle/high school. I love classics, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, YA books (especially dystopias!) and picture books.
I struggled with this book at first- so many stereotypes, so many cliches. Once I let that go I just enjoyed the hilarity. This book is supposed to be over the top and once I embraced the exaggeration it made me laugh out loud. I still chuckle just thinking about the characters in this book.
Yes, Libba Bray is a perfect narrator for a hilarious book.
Definitely burst out laughing often. I was glad I mostly listened to this by myself in the car.
The story was cute, and it was a fun satire. It was pretty predictable and not really interesting but a nice fluffy bit of entertainment.
Libba Bray does a great job with the voices and intonation of the different characters. Her reading this story is at least 50% of the reason it is so entertaining.
American culture at its finest. A story of nature vs nurture. Once the racism, elitism and beauty are taken out of the equation, the girls transformation is wonderful to watch.
No one character stood out, all had great little quirks and personalities.
Yes, but not realistic.
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
Libba Bray deserves an award for giving each character a unique voice. Each state represented in this book is highlighted by taking for example slang used in Texas into the character Taylor from the lone star state. In addition the book is not a simple Youth book,it makes fun of beauty queens,IQ, and chick-lit. How this could or can be seen as a book for young teens is beyond me. It is satirical on every page laughing at the many teen obsessions it covers. The language is not P.G… I wish Libba wrote "Love unscripted" she would nail it. The genre is so her.
Yes, too sad she does not read the others herself.
When Petra shares her secret.
Yes, when the girls decided to back Petra.
This is a great listen for those days when beauty magazines fail, you need to relax etc
PJV Quickie: My initial thoughts with ‘Beauty Queens’ were, of course, captivation with the cover, but the concept threw me through a loop. I hadn’t read Bray before, so I wasn’t familiar with her writing style or sense of humor. This led to an initial trepidation, satire is not always my cup-of-tea, along with force-fed cultural messages, but I think I made a wise choice in partaking via audiobook. Libba Bray did her own narration and the added benefit of some extra “special effects” made ‘Beauty Queens’ via audio a pleasure to experience.
The descriptor, Lord of the Flies with Beauty Queens has been touted around a lot in regards to this book. And while on a base level, yes the two novels can be synonymous with the coming of age on a deserted island motif, but I think it is doing ‘Beauty Queens’ an injustice to be described as such. The novel is basically about the pressures of the teenage years in a materialistically saturated environment and how this crash landing actually enables these girls to shrug off the yokes their parents and society have placed upon their shoulders and become the women they can be and should be. But, in a fun and sparkly way of course!
In ‘Beauty Queens’ we meet a host of larger-than-life characters, like Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, who is a card-carrying member of Femmes and Firearms and practically worships LadyBird Hope, one of the corporations Big Wigs and presidential hopeful, a former Miss Teen Dream winner. Then there is Adina Greenburg, Miss New Hampshire, who is actually on an under cover mission from her schools newspaper to expose the Miss Teen Dream for what it is, a subversive instrument of female repression. Or there is Mary Lou Novak, Miss Nebraska, who comes to the island wearing a purity ring, but later realizes her inner wild girl needs to roam free…
I could go on and on about the sheer hilarity of this novel and the great characters that Bray created. Even her villains were brilliant, MoMo B. ChaCha, is the leader of the Republic of ChaCha and is obsessed with American Reality television and Elvis. I was thinking Gadhafi every time his character came to the forefront. Bray paired Momo and Ladybird together and I was literally gagging imagining Sarah Palin (Bray used a nasally northern accent to represent Ladybird which had Sarah Palin written all over it) and Gadhafi going at it in a heart-shaped hot tub. Yeah — sorry for the mental image.
Take all those great characters and weave within it, off-the-wall marketing schemes, hilarious product placement and just brilliant, brilliant story creation and you’ll have an almost perfect read. Then trump that with the audiobook, which had Bray as the narrator (She did like a million different voices impeccably!). It also had sound effects with the footnotes (when the characters would mention products a footnote would appear) and commercial breaks which would have me laughing out loud and then the finale of a great interview with Bray herself – this is one I highly recommend grabbing up in audiobook form.
You don’t want to pass up this novel. Nope. Don’t do it.
This is for a more mature teen audience, sexuality, violence and cultural stigmas, along with alternative lifestyles are all covered. Fans of more wittier satires should really enjoy. It is sometimes described as a dystopian and if you are looking for this genre, I wouldn’t call this title a dystopian. The world, is a satirical depiction of our own society and while yes, it seems more nefarious then our own society, it was pretty much on target. I would not put this one in the dystopian category, more of a modern commentary.
Other AudioBooks You Might Enjoy:
Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin by R. L. LaFevers
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Beauty Queens makes you laugh out loud--any girl/woman who has ever watched television or perused a fashion magazine will be able to relate to this story!
The narration for this book was superb! The voices match the characters so perfectly that it is hard to pick a favorite. I would have to say that Miss Texas, Miss New Hampshire, and Miss Nebraska are great--but Miss Mississippi really takes the Gummi Bears!
Number 2 out of 3
The fact that the girls started out being superficial, and ended up being heroes.
She is a very talented voice performer.
It made me laugh.
My daughter recommended this book to me-- I suspect it was partly to get me off her back about her appearance.