Saturday, July 2, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

A planeload of girls on their way to compete in the Miss Teen Dream pageant crashes on an island. The surviving girls have to find out how to stay alive until they are rescued. The first order of business is to choose a leader and two girls step up. Miss Texas, Taylor, believes that the girls should continue to practice their numbers and interviewing skills for the pageant so that when they are rescued they will be ready to perform. Miss New Hampshire, Adina, is more interested in practical matters such as building shelter and finding food. Taylor wins the vote but the girls also spend part of the days taking care of other business. What they don't know is that their island isn't deserted. In fact, The Corporation has a secret compound on the other side of the island and is well aware of the fact that the girls are there but doesn't want any unwanted attention on what they are doing there. As the beauty queens spend more time on the island they begin to realize that there might be bigger things to achieve in life than the Teen Dream title. This book is any number of things: a laugh out loud comedy; a good adventure; a story that integrates gay, bisexual and transgendered characters without making it a big deal; a romance; a biting satire about how our lives and opinions are controlled by marketing and big business; and most of all - in my opinion - as strong a piece of feminist literature as I've read in a long time. VERY enjoyable!!

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