This is the first Libba Bray book that I have read (no I haven’t read The Diviners, have you seen the size of my TBR pile?) I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this book, so I was very intrigued to get to it. A feminist book about beauty queens stranded on a beach? Yes, please.
When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.
So I actually listened to the audiobook of Beauty Queens and Libba Bray was actually the one narrating it as well and I have to say… the audiobook was well… strange… I guess I’m just used to British narrators on audiobooks, but Libba Bray’s American accent was so strong that I felt so strange listening to it for 14 hours. I think that if I was ever to read this book again, I would definitely get the physical copy (not that I have anything against the American accent, because I don’t. It was just strange for me to listen to it for 14 hours).
If you don’t like satire, then this book isn’t for you. Just walk away… Because this book is full of satirical content. Bray is basically taking the p*** out of the patriarchy and at the same time, trying to raise awareness of feminism and how women are portrayed in the media and how are they treated in every-day life. So if you’re looking to read a book about how messed up our society is, then this is the book for you. Basically, this book is full of girl power and definitely not what I was expecting.
“Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?” Nicole asked. “You go on websites and some girl leaves a post and if it’s longer than three sentences or she’s expressing her thoughts about some topic, she usually ends with, ‘Sorry for the rant’ or ‘That may be dumb, but that’s what I think.”
― Libba Bray,
This is not the type of book for everyone, however. Libba Bray uses a very specific sense of humour. It’s sarcastic and just strange… Beauty Queens is not a story about stereotypically bitchy mean girls stabbing each other in the back at every opportunity given – in fact, it’s full of messages about finding yourself. There is so much diversity in this book such as multiple women of colour, a deaf bi character, a trans character, and a lesbian character and they are all portrayed in such a positive way that I think this book is such a positive contribution to the YA community.
Libba Bray manages to tackle issues of race, sexism, sexuality and survival with humor and sarcasm. If you pick up this book with an open mind about the way this book is written, then you will enjoy this so much.
I’m so glad that I’ve read this book and like I said before, if I decide to read this book again, I will definitely be reading the physical copy.