Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Good Reads Summary
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 is funny like the third Austin Powers is funny. Compare Austin from the first to the second to last installment, and (maybe, just maybe) you'll feel as I did and find a noticeable increase in what was crude. Basically, while the third was funny it wasn't as good as the first, and yet... I couldn't help but laugh. Yes, it got a bit ham handed and obvious but it still had me laughing.
This is exactly what got me through Beauty Queens. And like Bumped, I had a hard time getting into this because of what I thought as 'commentary' (layered on thick.) But it's not meant to be taken too seriously (or maybe it is?) But I will say that Libba Bray clearly shows how adept she is in writing funny. In Going Bovine, she had me laughing given the trippy feel of it. This too had that same unreal atmosphere, but there were odd honest/accurate moments that popped up every so often.
In this one you'll find: a Corporation (that's capital C,) and at it's helm is one very cut throat female (not the word used).Some teen pirates who are "bodacious," (Yes, that's the word used!) Miss Teen Dream contestants each bringing something different, ranging from blind loyalty to the pageant to secret journalistic goals of taking the same down. Throw in a transgender former boybander, an eco terrorist love interest who might not actually be an eco terrorist, and a possibly deranged leader of a small nation named MoMo ChaCha.
Given all that, there is no choice but to laugh even if moments had me shaking my head. The Q&A portion almost had me crying from laughing so hard! When Fabio/Adina finally cracked and said,"What are you even saying? You just made my brain die a little..." I was rolling on the floor; Tiara with an A, Ms Mississsippi was completely hilarious, in a sad way. Her character tickled the Pinoy in me the way Babbaloo did with his interactions with Dolphy!