Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Libba Bray's Beauty Queens is one funny book.
Let's see, how would I describe it? Well, for starters I'd say it is partly about a beauty pageant and its contestants. Duh, that is fairly apparent by the title and cover. But it is also part Lord of the Flies. You know the disturbing book you had to read in high school where a bunch of boys who survive a plane crash end up on a deserted island and basically all hell breaks loose?
So now you know that our contestants end up on a deserted island after a plane wreck. But the comparisons don't stop there. I'd say it is also part Gilligan's Island, the zany '70s sitcom where goofy things happen all the time, all of them very improbable based on the supplies at hand. Our contestants carry out many of their kooky tasks with eyelash curlers, flat irons and other beauty supplies.
I know what you are thinking. This books sounds like a girl book. Think again, because this book has what every Caribbean island needs to be authentic: pirates, like those in the Pirates of the Caribbean. What boy can resist gorgeous babes and swashbuckling fun? And to add to male gender appeal, the book also has action you might expect to see in a 007 movie (minus James Bond) and the government sounds a bit like one you'd expect to read about in any good Dystopian novel, think Hunger Games or The Maze Runner. The action is both exciting and funny at the same time.
In addition to all the silliness and improbable situations, this book actually has some meat to it. Without being preachy, Bray deals with important topics such as the sexual objectification of women, LGBT issues, stereotyping (such as "The Dumb Blonde"), gender and sexuality issues, and the meaning of friendship. The book actually would be a treasure trove for discussions on a plethora of topics.
Hope I've teased you enough to entice you to read this book yourself. Happy reading