My Rating:★★★★ 1/2
This is my first foray into anything by Libba Bray and I have to say I was really impressed with this novel. It seems like you either love or hate this one, and I was definitely in the loved it camp.
I actually liked that I listened to this audiobook over actually reading it because there are a lot of footnotes to explain references in this world. In the book version I might have ignored them, but in the audiobook it interrupted the narration so you had to pay attention to it. The author herself does the narration which I have never experienced before, and I really enjoyed it because you could tell her enthusiasm was genuine because she wrote this.
So Beauty Queens is almost like a female response to Lord of Flies. Instead of shipwrecked school boys, we have beauty queen pageant contestants crashed landed on an island and trying to figure out how to survive. The world in this book also has an all powerful "The Corporation" that seems to run everything in this version of the US, so it was almost slightly dystopia. Only it was so real and plausible that it made this book seriously scary. Seriously if you read this book and didn't notice parallels to our world, I don't think you were paying attention. Scary stuff in this book.
One of the things I loved about this book was the diverse characters. Although there are only two characters of color in this series, there are also gay characters in this book, and it really made every girl really interesting. There were times when Tiara and Mary-Lou sounded the same to me, up until we really start getting into Mary-Lou's past and she realizes that she doesn't have to pretend to be someone she is not.
This book really celebrates girl-power and shows what happens when girls stop tearing each other down and start building each other up. I highly recommend it.
Happy Reads Everyone!