Friday, May 13, 2011

Libba Bray does it again!

Coming May 24, 2011 from Scholastic, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, for ages 13 and up.

Source:  advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from the publisher):

Survival. Of the fittest.

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 the 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.

Why I liked it:  It's hysterical.  We're talking laugh-out-loud funny!  Even the footnotes are hilarious.  It's also the most quotable YA book I've read in years.  And dang it all, I can't quote from the ARC.  But while I was reading it a month ago, I was constantly stopping to snort and giggle and then I'd read a passage out loud to the grouch my husband, who, let's just say, doesn't read young adult.

And he laughed.

Seriously.  This book manages to parody everything you can think of about modern culture.  Beauty pageants, of course.  But also boy bands, those awful Bratz dolls, make-up commercials, exfoliating products, sex changes, Lost, big corporations, airlines, secret arms deals, reality shows, you name it.  The only thing I wonder is if a 13-year-old would find it as funny as I did.  Most of the humor is pretty dark and sophisticated. 

Libba Bray's a genius.  She manages to juggle a huge cast of characters and yet you remember who each one is.  And you find yourself involved in what happens to these girls and whether they can survive.  But mostly you find yourself laughing.

Has anyone read this yet?  

If not, what funny young adult novels have you loved?


  1. I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, because I would never have expected a book with that cover to be funny! Sounds great.

  2. Yeah, when I read the description, I thought 13 seemed young. But the book sounds good. I always like to hear that something's LOL.

  3. What a cover. Thanks for the review!

  4. Thanks, Anita! Yes, 13 may be a little young for this, but I could see a 16- or 17-yr-old enjoying it.

    Hi Karen! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I absolutely can't wait to read this one. I read the NY Times review yesterday, and now your review has me salivating.

    I loved GOING BOVINE, and laughed like crazy throughout the book.

    Libba Bray is amazing!!!


  6. Thanks, Sarah! Yes, this is closer in tone to GOING BOVINE than GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. But I agree: she's extremely talented. I've loved all her books.

  7. I have been wanting to read this one since I heard about it a year ago! What a hilarious concept.


  8. Hi Shelley! Welcome to my blog. We love your books here at Chester County Book Company.

    Yes, the concept is hilarious as is the book itself. There's an interesting (and funny) note in the acknowledgements about how the book came to be.

  9. I can't wait to read this as well. Loved Going Bovine.

  10. I can't wait to read this one. :D


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