Monday, July 4, 2011

A New View of Beauty

 Looking for a funny read for the summer? Try Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. There were so many points in this book where I laughed out loud, and I don't do that very often when I'm reading a book. Beauty Queens is about a group of pageant girls that crash land on a desert island. Only a handful of them survive, and the ones that do believe that they will be rescued soon, so instead of doing things like building a shelter and finding food, they continue to practice their routine for their pageant. Will someone come to save them, or will they be stuck there forever? I guess you'll just have to read it to find out.

What I really liked about this book was how eccentric all of the characters were. They all had different personalities and quirks, and it was really fun to learn about each and every one of them. At the beginning, there are some that you really, really hate because they are your typical beauty queen. But as you learn more about each one of the girls, you start to like them more and more. You find out that underneath all that make-up and fake tanning spray are actually real girls that are capable of more than you think. That's what is absolutely fantastic about this book. Libba Bray re-defines what beauty means. It doesn't mean to sit and look pretty, it means to be smart and take charge of your situation, no matter the situation you find yourself in. Instead of a novel where the girls are always waiting to be saved, it's a novel about female empowerment, and that's not something that I find too often.

Another fantastic thing about this book was the footnotes. Libba Bray created this whole world, where this thing called The Corporation was running everything, the TV shows, movies, products, everything. It kinda shows how ridiculous we have become in things like that, obsessing over looking "right" and making sure we're perfect in every way. In Beauty Queens, Libba Bray is making fun of how much we desire that perfection by way over-exaggerating it. It's a satire of sorts. And it's fantastic, with the footnotes and commercial breaks. A really brilliant mind had to come up with those things.

While the book was completely unbelievable at some points (pirates, just saying), it kinda fit for the story she was telling. I'd have to say, this book isn't nearly as crazy as her last book, Going Bovine, which I would highly recommend. It's a completely crazy adventure, but the main character gets Mad Cow Disease, and you've gotta have crazy with that. I loved that book because of the way Libba Bray weaved what was happening in real life into the hallucinations that were happening. It's absolutely fantastic, I'd recommend that book too.

Anyway, overall I enjoyed Beauty Queens quite a lot. It has a great message, and it thoroughly entertained me while I was reading it. Books like that are sometimes hard to find. Libba Bray, you are a fantastic writer. I can't wait to read what you come up with next.

Next, I will be reading Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones. Odd so far....but we'll see how it goes.

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