Audio Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

My Thoughts

You guys, this book was totally kick-ass.  I had been wanting to read this book since it came into the library last year, but never got around to it.  Even though I wasn’t in love with Bray’s A Great and  Terrible Beauty, I still wanted to give Beauty Queens a try.  Finally, I decided to go the audiobook route, and I am so glad I did.  This book was so much fun, and I often sat in my car for an extra five to ten minutes, just to see what these girls would do next.

I will admit that it took me a little bit to get into it.  At first I thought it was going to be mainly about Adina, and although I do agree with her opinions, she was so annoying.  But this book is actually about almost all the surviving beauty contestants.  And by the time I read half the book, I loved all these girls!

Libba Bray certainly knows how to create unique personalities for all the different characters, and let me tell you, there are tons of characters to keep track of.  But somehow, it isn’t as difficult as you would think.  And I ended up caring about every single beauty contestant, even Taylor Renee Crystal Hawkins and Adina.

Something that I absolutely loved about this book – it shows how women and girls can be great friends with each other.  I absolutely hate when people say that women are catty, because that is bullshit.  Excuse my language, but seriously!  I actually stopped reading a YA book, because the author made that catty girl comment (in an attempt at humor) and although it wasn’t a big part of the book, I just couldn’t continue with the story.  So it was so wonderful to see these girls become so close to one another, and to see them helping each other out.

And one cannot comment on Beauty Queens without mentioning the footnotes.  Oh my gosh, they were hilarious, and really helped set the ton of the book.

And did I mention there are pirates in Beauty Queens!  Yeah, pirates!  And I absolutely loved the captain.

Libba Bray herself narrates the audiobook, and I am often a bit nervous when authors narrate their own books.  But man she totally rocked it!  She created all these different accents and voices for the girls – it was wonderful.  Also, if you listen to the audiobook, at the beginning of every disc one of the girls says “Beauty Queens, Disc X.” then she says something hilarious about that number. Too funny!

So, basically, if you haven’t read this book, you should.  Right now!  Better yet, listen to the audiobook!

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Audio Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

  1. KateB says:

    You sold me as soon as you mentioned pirates!
    IT sounds really good. I don’t think I’ll check out the audio book considering just how picky I am with narrators… I get distracted by accents and then end up missing huge portions of plot… but I’ll be sure to pick up a written word copy of this soon.

  2. Great review! I can’t wait to read this 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    I was so excited to read this book and honestly it fell flat for me. It ended up being too silly. I think I’m going to stick to Bray’s more dramatic work.

    • Quinn says:

      Funny you say that. I actually didn’t care much for A Great and Terrible Beauty, but adored this one. I love humor in books, but I also loved how this showed how ridiculous a lot of commercials are. And how intelligent women are.

  4. My thoughts go back and forth about this book. On the one hand, I do want to read it. I actually was a fan of Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy. But then this sounds, I don’t know, frivolous almost? Like it’s a book that is hard to take seriously? I may be totally off here, but that’s just the impression I’ve been getting with the title, cover, and blurb, even though all the reviews seem to be positive. And who doesn’t want to read about what sounds like strong female relationships? I do want to give it a try at some point, however, so maybe when I’m in the right mood.

  5. Heidi says:

    Isn’t the audio for this fantastic? I’m honestly not sure I could have even made it through the written copy–for some reason Bray and I have never really entirely clicked–but the audio for this was just so fantastic, it really enhanced the book. She did a fantastic job of writing so many incredibly different female characters and bringing them together–I loved them!

    • Quinn says:

      I totally agree. I doubt I could get through the written copy of the book. But the audio – totally fantastic! I often find that certain books that I wouldn’t read, I end up loving as an audiobook.

  6. I read this one and LOVED it. Looks like I’m going to have to pick up the audio book as well. I really like it when an author reads their book – all the inflections and emphasis they give makes me see things in a whole new light…plus I’m really interested in seeing how she handled the footnotes and such…

  7. I get nervous when authors narrate their own books as well because you just never know how it’ll turn out compared to a professional narrator.

    I loved Beauty Queens, but I read this via a physical copy and one of the things I noted, like you, was how cool it was that the girls built each other up rather than tore each other down.

Go ahead, make my day! No really, comments make my day! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s