Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

What happens when 50 Teen Dream beauty contestants' plane crashes, and a handful of survivors find themselves stranded on a deserted island with no food, no drinkable water, and no beauty products? ThinkLord of the Flies meets Miss Congeniality. As the days tick by, and hope of rescue diminishes, the survivors begin to realize that there is more to them than being pretty: they learn that they are intelligent and resourceful, and that the Corporation has been feeding them an image that they readily accepted and perpetuated. It's not until some sexy pirates show up and mysterious men-in-black that the beauty contestants start to wonder if they're really alone on the island and if their perception of "reality" is being manipulated for evil purposes. 

The best way that I can describe this novel is: too much.  There were too many characters, too many subplots, too many underlying themes...just too much. In fact, even as I write this review, I can't remember all of the characters who survived the plane crash because there were too many. In fact, the author didn't even bother naming several of them: Miss Ohio, etc. As a result, their development was superficial along with the political message (gltbq, racism, abstinence, feminism) each represented. Granted, the dialogue was laugh-out-loud funny in several places, but it got old after 200 pages when the plot refused to move. 

Basically, I was going to give this book 2 STARS after reading 250 pages because it became irritating and monotonous; however, if the reader can stick through the end, Bray does a good job of redeeming the storyline. This book would have been better with fewer characters who were better developed. In effect, by doing this, the themes of anti-Corporation would have been more effectively communicated and addressed.

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