Review: BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens 
Libba Bray
396 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: May 24th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating:  LIKED

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 stranded on an island. That one sentence was enough for me to scout out this book. Libba Bray’s latest is hilarious, silly and everything in between.

   What I loved most about Beauty Queens was the very different personalities of each contestant. I’d have to say Adina was my favorite, but each girl had their special part, and each stood out differently in my mind. In the beginning the beauty queens weren’t exactly likeable, but it was nice to watch them mature and finally see things the way they should be seen.

   Though the storyline was sort of silly, I had a fun time reading. It was a break from all the serious, heart-pounding dystopia and action I’ve been reading. The commercial breaks in between chapters were downright hilarious. Yet hidden beneath the funny was a little bit of truth. You’ve got to read it to know what I mean.

   If you’re looking for the perfect book to take with you to cool off at the beach, Beauty Queens should definitely make your list.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

May 20, 2011



  1. Reply


    May 24, 2011

    I've heard good things about this book. I think it will be a good “mind candy” book to add in to my mix of reads.

  2. Reply


    May 24, 2011

    I'm reading this one right now! I love how is is a subtle parody of modern media influence…. Wow, yes, I did just write that sentence! Haha. It is really good.

  3. Reply

    Julia :)

    May 24, 2011

    I'm definitely interested in reading this one! Good to know there's truth mixed in with the craziness! Haha. :)

  4. Reply

    Avalon Cat Cartoons

    May 26, 2011

    This book looks hilarious! Unfortunately, I was born on the wrong continent and can't enter :-s

  5. Reply


    January 26, 2012

    I really want to read this one…I love Libba Bray! She is so great! Thanks for the great review ;-)

  6. Reply

    Chi Kittie

    January 29, 2012

    Great review. I love your take on the book. I have tried to read the book once but at the time I could not get into it. I may have to try again.

    – Beckie

  7. Reply


    December 4, 2012

    I just….I just couldn't get into this book…..I had this same problem with Bray's other cynical novel Going Bovine.