Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bookanistas: Beauty Queens

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. 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.

It's been awhile since I have literally laughed out loud at a book. That's why I love Libba Bray so much...she is freaking hilarious, and it shows so much in her writing. I had the pleasure of stalking meeting Libba this past summer at the SCBWI LA conference, where she made me laugh until my stomach hurt at both her keynote talk (which inspired the post-it that lives on my computer keyboard, pictured over there -->) and her breakout session. I hadn't read this book at the time, but I did get it signed, and I had been waiting for just the right time to crack it open.

I knew it was a satire, but I had no idea how much of our world and popular culture it was satirizing. Nothing is sacred in this book, and that's what makes it so much fun.

I thought I would be confused with all of the different beauty pageant contestants, but they all have such distinct and sparkling personalities, they are very easy to keep track of. I also loved how diverse the cast was. It's always a relief for me to read a book that isn't made up entirely of straight white people. Libba always does a great job of keeping things diverse (hell-o Kartik), and the diversity was actually one of the issues that was touched upon in this novel. (In a funny way, of course.)

This is a book that challenges our society's view of beauty and culture, but does it in a way that will have you laughing out loud throughout. If you haven't been exposed yet to the crazy, twisted mind of the hilarious Libba Bray, grab this book and get to know her. She's awesome.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...

Christine Fonseca  takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS
Carolina Valdez Miller falls for FRACTURE
Jen Hayley surrenders to THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED
Stasia Ward Kehoe is dazzled by DARK COMPANION
Nikki Katz wonders at THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Debra Driza is overwhelmed by UNDER THE NEVER SKY
Jessica Love gives a trophy to BEAUTY QUEENS
Shelli Johannes-Wells takes you on a tour of The Reading Room
Tracy Banghart has double-love for THE SILVER PHOENIX and FURY OF THE PHOENIX
Hilary Wagner is in the grips of THE GATHERING STORM

21 comments:

  1. I've really been dying to read this one!

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  2. I just read this over the holidays, and you're right--it's hilarious. It's a very different story than most of what is out on the market, and I was honestly surprised (in a good way) at how much political satire was involved.

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    1. You're right...it is really different than what is out there. I think that's part of why I enjoyed it so much.

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  3. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf forever. I'm going to move it up on my TBR list :)

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  4. I loved this book--it was so smart and so hilarious.

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    1. Yes, smart and funny...the best kind of book.

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  5. I have seen this book everywhere. I really need to read it.

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  6. It's been a while since I read a good satire. Probably not since Swift in college. Ha! I've been meaning to pick this up. I could use a good laught! Great review!

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    1. Well then you are DEFINITELY due for a more modern satire!

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  7. This was such a funny book!! I loved the "pirates". ROFL!!

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    1. YES. Those pirates were something else. ;-)

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  8. I haven't read this yet but it's on my shelf so I plan on reading it soon. I love Libba Bray. I saw her speak at the NYC SCBWI conference a couple of years ago and she was really nice at the signing. I'm so amazed by how funny she is! I'm trying to insert humor into my WIP and it's not easy.

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    1. She's like a comedian, isn't she? I love her. And you're right, humor is so much harder than drama. It's tough to be funny!

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  9. Like others, I have a copy of this but haven't had a chance to read it yet. But now I know I need to!! Thanks for the great review!

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  10. This book was so silly and fun, and at the same time a brilliant satire. Have you read any of Libba Bray's other books? I have both A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY and GOING BOVINE, but I've yet to pick either of them up. I think I need to in the very near future!

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    1. I haven't read GOING BOVINE yet, but I enjoyed the Gemma Doyle trilogy a great deal. It isn't as laugh-out-loud funny as this one since it is Victorian, but, as Libba said at the conference this summer, it's not your mother's victorian.

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  11. This book as been on my TBR for awhile and I think I need to move it up :D It sounds hilarious!
    Thanks for the recommendation Jessica :D

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