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Beauty Queens - Audio Library Edition by…
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Beauty Queens - Audio Library Edition (edition 2011)

by Libba Bray

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1,3471975,724 (3.82)97
Member:baystateRA
Title:Beauty Queens - Audio Library Edition
Authors:Libba Bray
Info:Scholastic Audio Books (2011), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Read - Audiobooks
Rating:*****
Tags:young adult, audiobook, humor, satire, teen girls, beauty pageants, friendship, Libba Bray

Work details

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

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Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
At first I thought I wasn't really in the mood for this book, which starts off with a bunch of vapid pageant girls crash landing on an island and doing a remarkably terrible job of fending for themselves. But then, cut off from the rest of society, they start to reflect on the bullshit expectations that are heaped on women and become more comfortable being who they really want to be. The overall tone is cheesy and over the top, but I was completely charmed. And while a lesser author may have skipped over the chance for an intersectional look at bullshit expectations women face, Libba Bray includes two girls of color, a deaf girl, a lesbian girl, a bisexual girl, and a trans girl. By the end of the book I was a bit verklempt with the little peeks into the future about how they all continued being awesome. Recommended for anyone who is a woman or knows a woman. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Mar 22, 2016 |
Beauty Queens
Written and narrated by Libba Bray
Ⓟ 2011, Scholastic Audio
14 hrs and 37 mins
YOUNG ADULT / SATIRE

Beauty Queens is an amazing book: fun, satirical, and containing a lot of important messages about being a girl/young woman today, dealing with body image, impressions, sexuality, and relationships. A planeload of American teen-aged girls on their way to a beauty pageant crash and end up on a tropical island with its inherent dangers of a volcano, very large insects, lack of supermarkets or spas… The island itself serves as a crucible within which the girls must hone their instincts and prove their mettle in order to survive. In listening, The Lords of the Flies, Survivor, and Miss USA pageants all come to mind; but without the viciousness. Or talking pig’s head.

The narration was akin to a one-woman show. Libba Bray does the entirety of the material and is obviously enjoying herself! It’s quite the parade of regional accents; though there are a couple of issues stemming from plosives at the beginning of the recording (“puh” sounds when the narrator gets too close to the mic and pronounces words beginning or ending with “p”); a couple of the characters lose their accents in a couple of places; and the narrator doesn't take one of her own textual cues (e.g. One of the girls was to have a had a “slight” British accent that ended up being a full bore accent.) For all that though, you mostly know who is speaking during any given dialogue; and overall the performance is impressive.

It’s marketed to girls 11-13; but may find a better audience in a slightly older demographic (13-17) both for the content and writing level. There is an interesting interview with the author at the end of the audiobook; which is also relevant to the messages in the book and should not be missed.

OTHER:

I listened to this audiobook on recommendation from @BethFishReads and you can read her review of Beauty Queens on her blog, BethFishReads.com.

I purchased Beauty Queens (written and narrated by Libba Bray) from audible.com. I receive no monies, goods (beyond the audiobook) or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Mar 16, 2016 |
I feel like I can't rave enough about what an amazing book Beauty Queens is. Immediately after finishing it, I had all these garbled thought about how great it was, and everything that it represents. If I'd written my review then, it probably would have gone something along the lines of, "All teenage girls should read this book! All teenagers in general should read this book! EVERYBODY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!" I will try to be a little more professional in this review.

I think I actually rolled my eyes at the premise of this book. A bunch of beautiful teenage girls are on their way to a beauty competition when their plane crashes on a remote tropical island. Armed with only what they were wearing when the plane went down and whatever didn't catch on fire in the crash, they have to find a way to survive the elements until help comes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably say that I absolutely adore Libba Bray. A Great and Terrible Beauty was one of my favorite book series in high school, and The Diviners was one of my top reads of 2013. (I'm also sitting here, quite impatiently, waiting for Lair of Dreams.) But for some reason, I just didn't think I'd like this one. I was so, so wrong.

The first thing you should understand about this book is that it's satire. And the satire is on point. The book is unapologetic in its satire of our obsession with reality television, our obsession with our appearances, our obsession with being the best. The author includes the most hilarious footnotes throughout the book, supposedly from The Corporation, in which they recommend various products that would assist the characters in their current dilemma. The thing is, these absolutely ridiculous products actually seem like something you might find in a department store.

The second thing is the representation, which is so important. Yes, these girls are all beautiful. They are all beauty queens, after all. But they don't fit a cookie cutter mold of what a beauty queen "should" be. Among the girls who survive the crash are:
• an Indian-American girl who's struggling with her culture
• a pre-pre-med girl
• a deaf girl
• a trans girl
• a girl who loves comics, and even makes her own
• an unapologetically super girly girl
• girls of every sexuality imaginable
• even a girl who wants to dismantle the pageant system from the inside!

And initially, these girls don't get along. It's hard for the girl who's so focused on the misogyny that's so inherent in the pageant system to understand that it's okay for the other girls to really like wearing cute clothes and doing their makeup. It's hard for the religious girls to understand that some people are trans, and that's okay. But the really, really great thing about this book is that the girls come to the realization that they need to support each other, and it doesn't matter what their backgrounds are, they're all working toward the same goal and it does no good to tear each other down. The really feminist message of this book is that all girls are important, regardless of how they like to spend their free time, who they date, or whether they're more interested in politics or interior design.

There are frank discussions of how it's okay for boys to get mad, but when a girl shows any negative emotions, suddenly she's "hysterical" or "on her period." They discuss how girls always feel the need to apologize for everything from having emotions to actually getting hurt. And, personally, I loved it when they looked inside to find what they're really good at and could contribute to the group. These girls, who've spent their whole lives being told that they're of value just because they're pretty, find that they're actually talented at building huts, or developing a system to store rainwater, or tending to injuries, or keeping everybody fed. And they find out that being able to do all these things doesn't make them any better or worse of a female than they were before, but it does give them a great sense of purpose.

I just can't say enough great things about this book. If not for my 2015 reading challenge, I don't think I ever would have read it. The average rating combined with me not thinking I'd really enjoy a book about pageant girls meant that it was sitting at the very bottom of my TBR list, there only because I love Libba Bray. But my reading challenge told me that I had to read the book at the bottom of my TBR list, so I did. And I'm so grateful, because this is literally one of the best books I've ever read. It's 400 pages, but I devoured it in just a few hours on a weekend afternoon. That's how good it is.

Pick it up. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Narrated by Libba Bray. A plane full of teen beauty queen contestants crashes on an island, killing the pilots, crew and most of the girls. The 13 girls left must learn to fend for themselves until rescue comes, but all is not as it seems on this not-so-deserted island. As the girls get to know each other and work in cooperation not competition, their strengths surface and they grapple with the social expectations that no longer have a place on the island. Bray has a great vocal talent with a compelling presentation, spotlighting the humor and poignancy, has fun with accents, personalities, and teen attitudes. Her interpretation gives a strong picture of the girls. The production of “commercials” lends really well to audio; cleverly done and much more dimensional than print. Unfortunately, there's a gap of missing text between discs 6 and 7. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I adore the messages contained in this book. The satire and sarcasm were laid on a little thick for my taste, but I probably would have given this 5 stars if I read in when I was a teenager. ( )
  babydogfish | Jan 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Libba Brayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bray, LibbaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Barry and Josh.

And for every body trying to figure out who they really are.
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This book begins with a plane crash.
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Tiara's hands flew to her mouth. "In health class, they told us there's an or in whore because you always have a choice to respect your body and say no. You've got one of those STPs now, don't you?"
Petra stared. "STP is a motor oil."
"Oh. My. Gosh. We didn't learn about that one. It must be really bad!" Tiara gestured solemnly to her crotch. "Protect the citadel. Protect the citadel."
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Book description
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray comes the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.Teen beauty queens. A Lost-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.
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When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.… (more)

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