One Minute Book Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray



Be in a pageant, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll parade around in pretty dresses and smile for the judges, they said. Well, the girls already knew it wasn’t really any fun, but when they crash into the jungle the girls are faced with choices they haven’t been faced with before. Do you work on surviving on the island, or do you continue to prep for the Miss Teen Dream pageant? The only thing to do is both, with a little bit of finding yourself thrown in. Throw in some pirates, and an evil corporation and you have Beauty Queens!

What I Like About It:

Libba Bray likes to do some off the wall books sometimes, and this one is no exception. I’m going to caution you, if you didn’t enjoy Going Bovine, you probably will not enjoy Beauty Queens (or you might, I mean, I could be wrong). This book reminded me a lot of a Terry Pratchett book (Especially with the footnotes). This is both a good thing (if you’ve never seen it before, you’ll enjoy it), and a drawback (as a long-time fan and reader of Terry Pratchett, it did just feel a little bit watery). However, I liked the story, and I liked the message it had to tell. I know some people were complaining that it was a “girl power” book that just didn’t seem to hit, I didn’t feel that way. I felt that it was making fun of everything to do with traditional “girl” things, as well as girly movies. It was a bit slow, but as a satire, it hit the mark.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

The biggest complaint I had about this book was that it dragged in places, and it felt like a watery version of another author. I fought with myself about saying that perhaps this book wasn’t always appropriate for teens, but I decided against that. I think it is in touch with teens, and what they do and have interest in. I also think that this would be just as good a book for the “fiction” section of the bookstore and library as it would for the young adult/teen section.


When I thought about how many stars I wanted to give it on GoodReads,  I couldn’t decide on 3 stars or 4 stars. . . But when I tried to think about things I didn’t like, I really couldn’t think of much, so it wound up with a 4 star rating. That being said, I’m not sure if this book will stick with me the way Going Bovine did, so I’m not sure that it would be one of the first books I recommend. But if you like quirky, and satire, then I think you’ll really like it.

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