In Libba Bray's Beauty Queens, twelve Teen Dream beauty pageant contestants are the survivors of a plane crash on a deserted island. Together they will break the stereotypes society has boxed them into, discover their self worth and learn to survive on their own, becoming much more than what is expected of them; perfect role models who say the right things, wave, smile and stand around looking pretty.
I enjoyed reading about each girl embracing their new found freedom and self discovery. But just when it seemed Beauty Queens was getting After School Specially on me, head Teen Dream, Miss Texas, has a complete breakdown, and goes Rambo in the jungle! Then, after the teasing of the reality show, Captains Bodacious IV: Badder and More Bodaciouser, the muscular, shirtless stars in breeches who sail the high seas end up shipwrecked on the same island as our Team Dreamers! This book did not disappoint and sealed the deal with Sinjin St. Sinjin, the Captain with a penchant for transgender vixens, heels and fishnets with “sexxy” and “beast” tattooed on his knuckles. And I thought Confessions of a Shopaholic had a couple of nice laugh out loud moments but it has now become the forgotten runner up as Beauty Queens wins the crown and roses!
But even though I did enjoy the arrival of the sexy pirates it just led into teenage drama territory with it's boys vs. girls nonsense. I would have preferred its Lord of the Flies-lite vibe and it ending with a Cast Away feel; with the girls escaping on their own.
The end was a little disappointing with it’s "rescue" and soul train send off of the girls but it was still a fun book and the laugh out loud moments throughout made up for it. There were plenty too. You can see where I marked them:
I’d recommend it as a good weekend read when you want some good laughs.