Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens 
Author: Libba Bray
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 2 Stars 

The 50 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.

I was excited to read this book - but unfortunately it was a miss for me.  I rated it 2 stars because there were some things in the book that I genuinely really did love.  What did I love? Well, let me tell you:

1. There is a lesbian character in the novel. 
2. There was a transgender character 
3. One of the girls was most likely bisexual.
4. There were actually beauty queens who were black and brown in the novel
5. The characters who were not white talked very openly about how the pageant community is still steeped in whiteness and they talked about how hard it is for someone who is not white to win a competition like that.  This whole idea that white is the standard of beauty needs to fucking change. 

In spite of what I loved about this book, it struck out with me because this brand of sarcasm was just a bit much for me.  I feel like many of the characters were written to be almost just overly stupid and obtuse.  

Even for satire, the whole book just felt way too over the top and dramatic, and it felt like the story was trying just too hard to be funny. That left me feeling unfulfilled with the story.  

In addition to the fact that there was an over the top attempt at humor, the book, to me, did not resolve in a way that was satisfying.  I don't want to spoil too much, but it did bother me that we never got to see the girls reuniting with their friends and family after they finally got off the island.  

This is a short review, I know, but I literally cannot think of any other good things to say about this book.  If you liked it, that's cool. If you didn't like it - I feel you! 

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