From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
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.
Bray follows her Printz Award winner, Going Bovine, with an only slightly less absurd premise in this out-there satire about a planeload of teen beauty queens who crash onto a (not so) deserted island. Lord of the Flies with an evening gown competition, anyone? Led by the indefatigable Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, the 14 surviving contestants must rely on competitive moxie. Despite the large cast, Bray makes the Misses distinctive, though each is more a stand-in for a particular brand of diversity than a fully dimensional teenager (one's black, one's deaf, one's gay, one is a boy in the process of becoming a girl). Poor Miss New Mexico stands out because she has a serving tray embedded in her forehead. ("Bangs are the new black!") Halfway through the ordeal, a boat full of shirtless, reality TV pirates runs aground, allowing for some smoking hot scenes. Fun footnotes, contestant profiles, and scripted commercial breaks are interspersed. There's a lot of message, but every time the story veers toward sermonizing, Bray corrects with another crack about our media-saturated, appearance-obsessed, consumer-driven society. Ages 13 up.
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tubular book; turbo commentary on todays society and how it treats women!
this is probably one of my favorite books! the characters are lovable (even if it takes a while to get there), and the things the super awesome author says are most certainly worth hearing. 100/10, would marry this book if i could!
A+ Social Commentary, D Storytelling
**WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD**
There were many many good things about this book. Petra's transgender identity storyline, Nicole and Shanti's social commentary on race in America, Taylor's evolution, Jennifer's lesbian storyline and living in poverty in a big city, Sosie's storyline about her disability which was very pleasant and refreshing, and the relationships between Petra and Tiara and Mary Lou and Adina. The first half of this book was empowering and delightful and witty and I enjoyed reading every second of it. However, as soon as Tane was introduced a got a terrible feeling in my stomach, and then as soon as the pirates were introduced I dreaded reading the story. The pirates storyline felt like a pathetic, half-baked attempt at some sort of cheesey romance novel that I had hoped this book would've risen above. The reason I had decided to read this book in the first place was because I thought there was no possible way it could be messed up by some half-baked white on white love story, especially when there were far more interesting stories to be told (I for one was very disappointed that there was no backstory for Tiara whatsoever). However, I was thoroughly disappointed, especially when such a strong, independent character like Adina was so easily unraveled in the span of two chapters. And don't even get me started on the outrageously frustrating Jennifer-Sosie romantic storyline. Lesbians have had to read and see the same storyline of girl meets girl, girl falls hopelessly in love with the other girl, other girl later confesses that she "tried to be gay for her", girls later become bffs yay. It is so tired and my other hope for this book was to finally read a lesbian love story with a happy ending and I was again let down. In conclusion, while this book tries, and in many instances succeeds, at being progressive and speaking about women's issues it can't help but fall back into the same boring cliches that all books about teen girls have. Also there are many slight inconsistencies, grammar errors where there shouldn't be, continuation errors (at one point Tiara says that Jennifer cut her hair when in reality it was Petra), and other flaws that I'm surprised made it past the editor. It felt like I was reading the rough draft of a book that someone had barely bothered to check for errors before they published it.
The world needed this book
I really loved this novel. After it was reccommended to me several times I took the plunge and purchased it. I didn't think it would be up my alley based on the cover, but libba bray has a great comedic wit. In between laughs there were valid points and insights that are very important to the world we live in. Feminist YA novel done right.