Load your blow dryer and stockpile lip gloss: Beauty Queens hit the beach

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray; published by Scholastic, New York, 2011; 390 pages.

When a plane loaded with 50 Miss Teen Dream Pageant contestants crash lands on the island on which they were supposed to parade around in their state-approved costumes, well, it’s not pretty.  What’s a girl to do with no electricity, little food, and missing luggage?  Should they continue practicing what their coaches taught them or figure out how to get fresh water?  What would pageant sponsor, The Corporation, want them to do, especially when The Corporation’s most-watched television stars, a boatload of sexy pirates, finds their way to the island?  And who’s this Elvis-wannabe; is he really the leader of a nation?  There’s so much more than a title to win or lose here.

I love Libba Bray’s sense of humor and nothing-is-sacred style.  I love this book for those reasons.  I especially love that she slips in a few commercials (approved by The Corporation, of course), some of the contestants’ profiles, and an homage to Lord of the Flies.  Every girl, whether she’s a make up maven or a mole out to uncover the unpretty pageant world, will devour this book.  I had planned to take it to the beach with me, but I couldn’t wait and read it in one night.

5P     4Q     Grade Level: 9+ (adults will enjoy it too)

Cover art: The bikini clad torso is armed with a bandoleer loaded with lipsticks of many shades.  Armed and ready to do battle, this Beauty Queen is the perfect cover image for this book.  It says it all and young ladies will pick it up.

From Reading List: Best Fiction for Young Adults (YALSA) nominee 2012

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