Friday, August 12, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

This book wins the prize for the most original book I read this summer. Libba Bray takes what sounds like a cheesy concept—a plane full of teenage beauty pageant contestants crashes on a mysterious island —and turns it into a satirical statement about corporate greed, pop culture, and the objectification of women. She manages to do this in the context of an action-packed, hilarious story with a cast of many multifaceted beauty qreen wannabees. The girls practice dance routines, build a functional society, flirt with pirates, and thwart an evil plot that would kill the girls off and blame it on a crazy dictator of a rogue state. The language and sexuality, as well as the sophisticated tone make this appropriate for high school, college, and even adult readers looking for something completely different.

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