Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Bought from local Indie.
Published May 24, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

The fifty 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. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Beauty Queens was the first book I ever read by Libba Bray, so I wasn't too sure what to expect. The main reason why I picked this book up was because it's loosely based off of Lord of the Flies, which I really enjoyed in high school. I honestly didn't think I'd love this one, but oh my goodness it was incredible!

Everything about this book was perfect. I loved the progression of the plot and how I was introduced to each one of the girls a little bit at a time. Each character is totally unique, not only from one another, but from any character I've ever read about. All of the girls are overcoming their own internal battles and it's awesome to see each of the beauty queens come into their own.

The scenery is just amazing thanks to Bray's incredible descriptions, I literally felt like I was stranded on the beach with the girls building huts and hunting for food. It was incredible to see these girls defy society's expectations and succeed, not only with surviving, but discovering who they want to be as people and not what society wants them to be.

This book is definitely full of memorable quotes, most of which made me laugh my butt off! I loved how the characters poked fun at each other and well, pretty much everything! Their sense of humor was sometimes sarcastic and just oh so perfect! I've never laughed so much while reading a book before, it was great! There were also these commercials from the The Corporation that poked fun at society's views on beauty and it was just too funny!

I loved the message of this book. I know I'm not going to give it justice because it handled so many hard hitting topics. Everything from sexuality, body image, feminism and so much more. It does such an incredible job of getting the point across: do what you love and don't let anyone stop you. Accept people for who they are and love someone for their differences. Discovering this things slowly with the girls was one of the best parts of the book. I didn't feel like it was being shoved down my throat, it was a slow realization, just as it was to the girls.

Amazing Quote:
"I love myself. They make it so hard for us to love ourselves."

One of the Many Hilarious Scenes:
   (They're torturing someone for information)
Jennifer ripped off his maxi-pad gag...
"You want to know what pain is? Try running out of Advil when you've got a Category Five period. I've had cramps that would make grown men beg for a bullet between the eyes." [...]
"If you keep threatening us and telling us lies, I will personally give you a Brazilian." 
"She won't warm the wax first either" Petra said. 
Tiara shuddered. "I've had so many bikini waxes, I cry every time I see a Popsicle stick."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Impact: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

There's so much more that I loved about this book, but I could probably go on forever and spoil it! Every girl needs to read Beauty Queens. It is not only laugh out loud hilarious, but it has an important message about loving yourself and not letting society dictate your thoughts. Watching all of the girls pull together was so awesome and left me with a lot of pride about being a female! Beauty Queens is a definite must read full of  surprises around ever corner that will leave you with tons of smiles and an incredible message.


  1. This is a Girl Power book for sure :) Katie, I thought your review was awesome. You touched on all of the highlights, and your quotes at the end made me miss the girls!

  2. Your review has sold it to me - I've heard about it but not been really sure if it was my kind of thing - this has kind of changed my mind!

  3. It sounds amazing Katie :) !! I haven't read anything by Libba Bray but I'd love to pick up this one because it seems great !! Thanks for the fabulous review Katie :)

  4. I loved this book too. And your right every girl should read it. :)

  5. I've seen this book and never given it a second glance, if I'm honest, but when you said it was inspired by Lord of the Flies, that made me realise that it must be a very different book from what I assumed it would be. I wonder how a female LOTF would work... guess I could find out by reading this.

  6. I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy this book, but you have definitely convinced me! I hope I enjoy it as much as you have!

  7. I thought this book was really funny too especially the questionnaires and commercials. A fun and important book for young women to read!

  8. I don't know anything about this author, but the reviews are so good for this book. I just may have to try it out.