Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780439895972
Branch Call Number: F BRA 2011
Characteristics: 396 p. ; 22 cm.
Study Program: Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.4 15.0 144241.
Reading Counts RC High School 5.3 24 Quiz: 53199.
Reading Counts RC High School 5.30 24 quiz: 53199
Call Number: F BRA 2011


From Library Staff

"For anyone who wants a laugh, to feel empowered, and uplifted. An awesome girl power book!"--Alisha for Holiday Gift Shelf Help at Kansas City Public Library

AndreaG_KCMO Jan 27, 2020

This is heavy-duty satire laden with exaggeration and stereotyping, but it is purposeful and FUN. Bray packs so much material into her story (both the adventure and the subtext) that I was happy to suspend disbelief and be drawn into the world built by the beauty queens on their desert island. At... Read More »

From the critics

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nrobocop_nwpl Oct 18, 2020

As a fan of The Diviners I really wanted to like this but I just...didn't. The message felt too on-the-nose and the story felt weirdly lifeless. At no point did I feel that the characters were in any actual danger so the thrill was lost. Parts of it felt like it was written for a younger crowd than what I think was the intended audience. Many people do love it though, so it might be that it's just not for me!

AndreaG_KCMO Jan 27, 2020

This is heavy-duty satire laden with exaggeration and stereotyping, but it is purposeful and FUN. Bray packs so much material into her story (both the adventure and the subtext) that I was happy to suspend disbelief and be drawn into the world built by the beauty queens on their desert island. At times I wished she would address specific issues rather than so many social structures, but her all-encompassing approach reinforces the message that girls can challenge any boundary preventing them from thriving.

Sep 10, 2019

Most people seem to love the humor in this book. I don't like sarcasm in people, nor in books. I finally saw that the storyline in the book was secondary to the humor, so I stopped reading it after page 30. The first part of the book said not to worry about any bad things happening in the book, so I had assumed that it would be a light hearted little story, not so! (For example: a dead body was gurgling - is that humorous???? Sick, to me.)

GardenHome_MollyC Nov 05, 2018

I love giving this book to tweens and young teens in my life - it's so sharp and funny.

Jun 23, 2018

I cannot express in words how much I adore Libba Bray and her books, and Beauty Queens is no exception. This is a book that I think everyone should read and learn something from. It starts with a bunch of beauty pageant girls getting stranded on an island with limited food and no resources. The book begins as a comedy that really makes you laugh, and then quickly transforms into a much deeper novel about empowerment and feminism and self-discovery. Like I said, I do think that everyone should read this book, because Libba Bray's books always have something to teach us. This is probably one of my favourite novels because I love the characters and the message conveyed throughout the story. Although, there are some parts that are for a bit more of a mature crowd. I rate this book 10/10 stars, and if you happen to find this book at the store or library, I’d recommend reading it and giving it to all of your friends to read as well.
- @bookaholic of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This book is not my favourite of Libba Bray’s but I still really liked reading it. The plot of Beauty Queens is very creative, and I like the deserted island setting that the whole story takes place on. My favourite part about this book is that even though almost all of the characters are females, this book has more diversity than any other novel I’ve read- I love seeing the author include girls of all sexualities, transgender girls, girls with disabilities and girls of all ethnicities, races and backgrounds, this novel is full of strong female characters and is a very empowering book. Aside from that, the plot is funny and the story line is unique. I would recommend that all teens and adults give this book a chance. 5/5. @Bookworm123 of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

ArapahoeTiegan Dec 06, 2016

Very funny! Especially paired with the audiobook - read by the author! I love the satirical comments on society's expectations of femininity and consumerism. However, the end really seemed to drag on and on and I did find myself wondering "how much longer until this is over?" But this is a good read for someone who just wants a laugh.

Also, pretty great that it includes transgender and lesbian characters. Also, provides a great narrative on being non-white in such a white-domibated society. While these are serious topics, they don't really come across heavy in this book, and just add to more of the humor in many instances.

Sep 02, 2016

Hilarious, smart, and real. The issues faced by the girls in this story are very in tune with what goes on in reality, and they were each individual with their own stories and details. Anyone can find themselves in any of the girls which made this novel very touching as well as sharp. Furthermore, there are great lessons in this novel. Self-belief is taught to be empowering instead of an overabundance of ego- which is message that should be broadcasted on billboards.

ArapahoeBridget Aug 10, 2016

Super campy and over the top, but if you can get yourself to buy into the world it's totally worth your time. Bray does an amazing job of sneaking major emotional punches in just after goofy moments. Then following them up with more silliness.

I think what I loved most is that this is a book about girls loving and protecting their own. There's competitiveness, obviously, but it gets tempered with understanding. So much media aimed at teen girls has the antagonistic mean girl that everyone loves to hate. Girl vs. girl can be fun, but this takes that trope and turns it into something way more enjoyable.

AND one of the excellent crush objects in the book gets to say "I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be." I don't think girls hear that message nearly enough. In fact, this whole book is a love letter to teen girls. It says: You are awesome just as you are, and if anyone disagrees feel free to sabotage them with some explosive hair remover.

Jul 23, 2016

This book is awesome. I love how the young women band together to survive and to become more than what they thought they would or could be. Bray does an amazing job at calling out stereo types and unrealistic expectations of young women in today's photo shoped world.

FindingJane Jun 30, 2016

Oh, it was such a tingle to romp through this tale of girls gone wild! And by wild, we mean back to nature. These adolescents gradually shed their false notions of beauty, belonging and appealing to the hungry eyes of the media when they’re unexpectedly stranded on an island and the results are pointed and funny. There are moments of backbiting and antagonism, unexpected bonding and rising to the challenges of their environment that are enjoyable to read.

The women prove resourceful, putting beauty products and their own individual know-how to good use as they tackle their hostile environment and the unknown. A bit of this reads much like comic book hijinks (it’s tough to believe that one Texan beauty queen can take out two trained, gun-toting shoulders with somersaults) but this isn’t meant to be satire. Satire is subtle; this is more like well-honed farce.

This is a chick-lit novel that wears its agenda proudly on its sleeve. Without apology (stop saying sorry, ladies!), Ms. Bray has given us a different kind of feminist novel, with gals in combat boots and guys in high heels. Work it, ladies!

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Ashley VanKoughnett thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 06, 2016

anhagberg thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 11, 2015

2kool4skool thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

EuSei May 24, 2015

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 29, 2014

Bellarox thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 22

smlpink Feb 20, 2014

smlpink thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

red_hawk_1200 Nov 03, 2013

red_hawk_1200 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 20

Aug 21, 2013

Melaniejones thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 18


Add a Quote
ArapahoeBridget Aug 10, 2016

We have work to do if you are not to be a total failure like high-waisted, acid-wash jeans.

Jul 23, 2016

"...Maybe girls need an island to find themselves. Maybe they need a place where no one's watching them so they can be who they really are."

missbutler21 Aug 04, 2012

"The world expected girls to pluck and primp and put on heels. Meanwhile, boys dressed in rumpled TShirts and baggy pants and misplaced their combs and yet you were supposed to fall at their feet? Unacceptable."

JewelMcLatchy Feb 26, 2012

Breast in Show. Because "You're perfect just the way you are" is what your guidance counselor says. And she's an alcoholic. p.212

Jan 28, 2012

"I speak English. I'm American. Also, did you learn those moves from Barbie's Hawaiian Vacation DVD?"
"Omigosh, yes! Do your people have that, too?"


Add Notices
khuntley Apr 03, 2012

Sexual Content: One of the girls has a sort of sexual awakening. Another has sex, though there isn't too much detail.

khuntley Apr 03, 2012

Coarse Language: Some swear words are interspersed here and there in the story.

Jan 25, 2012

Sexual Content: Nothing too intense but it's a theme through several fo the girls' storylines.


Add a Summary
cinderilla97 Jul 05, 2013

this book is about teen girls going to a beauty pageant but their plane crashes. during their time on the seemingly desolate island they learn to be self sufficient and uncover major dirt and end up living gratifying lives filled with purpose. this book shows us the mind of beauty queens, other thanit's seemingly emptiness.

Jun 24, 2011

Beauty Queens was hilarious, intelligent and entertaining. There really wasn't one main character, instead there was an ensemble cast one beauty queens from different states in the US. I enjoyed how much time each character got, and how their personalities varied so much. Beauty Queens was a satire that managed to be silly without being superficial, and empowering without being to heavy. The book begins with a plane crash that lands a bunch of Teen Dream contestants on an island. The survivors group together and elect Miss. Texas as their leader. Than the proceed to practice their skills for the talent portion of the pageant, and apply make-up.

See my full review here:

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