The 50 contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up? Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.
©2011 Libba Bray (P)2011 Scholastic Audio
Libba takes a shot at everyone in this book. You can't take it seriously even though there are some serious messages hidden in the humour. This is NOT an 11-13 year old (which is the category it's in). Save it for your older teens. Near the end Bray starts to lose focus and like Going Bovine, needed an editor to say "reel it in" but overall the book was a keeper.
I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. It's laugh-out-loud funny and manages to get important messages across about beauty ideals and gender without being preachy. Bray sends up the pageant world while treating the girls with tenderness and care. She manages to combine a plane full of beauty queens, a secret island hideaway for evil corporation agents, an Elvis-loving South American dictator and a boatload of pirates in a farce that is chock-full of wonderfully fleshed-out characters and tons of social commentary about the pitfalls of commercialism and capitalism.
I loved the backstories we got on all the girls - especially Mary Lou's suppression of her 'Wild Girl' side and the way she rediscovers it on the island. You might not expect swoon from a book that has a plane full of girls crash landing on an apparently deserted island, but there's swoon aplenty.
Libba Bray brings these characters to LIFE with her narration. I don't know how she kept all the accents straight - but these beauty queens are in a national competition, so they represent several different states across the U.S. Each character had a distinct voice and that really helped to bring their personalities to life.
There's also wonderful, very professional production of the little 'commercial' interludes - with perfect accompanying music and sound effects.
Seeing the girls come together and get past their differences in order to survive was very touching. Hearing them form unexpected bonds and get to know one another in a much more in-depth way than they would have if they had only competed against one another in a beauty pageant was great.
There's a bonus interview section with Libba Bray at the end of the book where she answers some questions and explains some of her influences. It's hilarious!
The main problem I had with this book is the action/humor where not consistent. Half a dozen scenes could have been edited. With that said...this is the ONLY thing negative about this book. This book was LOADS OF FUN to read. Very funny. Drive-thru Plastic Surgery? Christian Pole-Dancing. Love it. Bray as a reader? BRILLIANT. One of the best performances I have listened to. Teens will eat this one up. Very new. Very fresh. I can't wait to see the movie.
I enjoyed this book because it kept me chuckling over the absurdity of beauty pageants and one that has gone awry. If you're looking for a light read that will keep you smiling, buy this book.
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
Say something about yourself!
Fun and quirky story made all the better by the author's narration. Fast paced chick-lit/YA novel.
Just Listen to it! All I have to say:)
Tiara- super funny!!
All of the Characters voices! She did a Fantastic job!
Laugh out loud!
Hilarious, entertaining, great characters. I usually don't like when there are too many story lines, but I loved getting to know all the girls and their backgrounds. The author doing the narration was great and I thought really added to the book!
If you like witty satire of American culture - this book is for you. This book pokes fun at everything - beauty pageants, TV commercials, hair removal products, reality shows, boy bands, corporate America, and even has a Sarah Palin-esque presidential hopeful and a Kim Jong-Il type with lots more than world domination on his mind.
There's also a serious side to all this silliness - a look at how women are portrayed in the media, the expectations that women are faced with from society, how it's ok if you haven't got it all figured out by the time you're 16 years old.
All of the "footnotes" got a little annoying - I found they interrupted the flow of the story. Other than that - I think this is a great book for young women especially.
This is the funniest audio book I have read. Couldn't stop laughing throughout
I think Tiara was my favourite from an audio/voice aspect. Couldn't pick favourite from character aspect
The girls reactions when the pirates arrived
I wish I could have listened to it in one sitting, unfortunately I was listening to it at work and it was too long for that
A great book and Libba Bray does a fantastic job as the narrator of her book. Don't think anyone else could have done it better
"Beauty Queens - Absolutely Awesome"
Certainly, I'd recommend it to anyone even if it doesn't seem like your genre of choice. Look beyond the bright cover and stereotypes and you will be, in the very least, pleasantly surprised. I have convinced my friends to listen/read Beauty Queens as soon as I finished myself and all feedback was positive.
I loved all aspects of this story: from the girls exploration of personal values to the fast-paced action and the government conspiracies. The multiple story-lines also added a lot of depth to the book which is one of its strongest features. Eventually, all the story-lines are combined for an epic, unpredictable finale.
Each character was unlike any other I have read about. All were outstanding and the diversity of the contestants meant they appeared realistic and relatable. Libba Bray's performance was excellent and by far my favourite in comparison to other narrators in my Audible library. L.Bray did a magnificent job of making each character sound unique. I could differentiate between the large cast of characters due to her performance which made it easier to follow the story right from the start. She brought the book to life with her accents, footnotes and 'advertisements'.
This book occasionally caused my to burst into laughter on public transport despite my best efforts so listen at your own risk. The dialogue and satire is witty yet much deeper than it appears at first glance. L.Bray effectively displays the social issues that are often overlooked in an ironic manner which may change one's perception of common stereotypes that we have grown to accept.
Listened to this book during the summer and it was my number one favourite read/(listen) of the year. I did not expect to love this book but was instantaneously impressed. Libba Bray's performance made me glad that I bought it as an audio book although I'm now tempted to have a physical copy of this book too.
Hilarious (meaningful?) parody
Too hard to decide.
Huge enthusiasm and crazy enjoyment
A lot of moments when the girls come to recognise their own abilities. Also a lot of the stuff about Petra and Tiara.
It is completely ridiculous but I enjoyed it massively.
"Best book of the year, hands down!"
I am so glad I downloaded this book. It is, hands-down, the best book I have read/heard in ages! I found myself wishing it would never end.
It is truly hilarious while still delivering biting satire on our culture and the roles, expectations and double standards assigned to girls in particular.
The author reads the book herself and her delivery is an absolute treat, especially her delivery of the differing US accents.
Do yourself a favour and get this one - you will not be disappointed!
"My fault - I should have read internet reviews."
This story occupied several long car journeys but as the storyline became more ridiculous I started to long for it to stop. There were some very funny bits but probably not intended by the author who had written it tongue in cheek anyway. The reading of it was well done and made the plot bearable. I think that I was probably 50 years to old to really like it but then I would likely not have appreciated the irony at that age.
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