Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (3 stars)

Beauty Queens

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: May 2011
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Format: Hardcover , 400pp
  • Sales Rank: 341
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Lexile: HL690L What’s This?


From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A “Lost”-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.


I have to start off this review by stating that I love Libba Bray. This makes me slightly biased when I review and read her books. I was immediately drawn into Beauty Queens. I laughed out loud at some of the rather ridiculous things that popped up in the beginning of this book. Honestly, what could be worse for a beauty queen then a tray getting lodged in her head? Unfortunately as I kept reading, I still kept finding myself laughing at the ridiculous things and not falling in love with any characters. In most cases, I find myself transfixed with a character and that is what keeps me wanting more in the story. I’m an action person, so the action/mystery part of this story was great, but the characters weren’t good enough to draw me in. This is not Bray’s best work. It is still worth reading for a laugh though. My favorite parts are the absurd things that pop up and are intermixed throughout the story. The price of beauty is pain apparently, and they do everything to show that aspect up. When they find out that bad things are happening, I find it completely hilarious that the most dangerous weapon is hair remover. That’s such a great play on pain and beauty.

Anyways, this wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the greatness that I expect from Libba Bray. I have handed it off to one of my high school students who has told me that she loves the little biography pages slipped in between chapters. Perhaps, it is carefree enough that it will tie well with Meg Cabot’s Airhead series, instead of trying to meet up with my Lord of the Flies expectations.

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