Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens

Author: Libby Bray

Publish Date: May 24, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc

Format: Audiobook

Length: 14 hours, 8 minutes

Source: Sunflower OverDrive Library 

Date Read: April 25-26, 2020




A fun romp in the jungle that tackles a lot of patriarchial claptrap that teen girls have to deal with on a daily basis. You wouldn't think it would be as funny and biting if you just read the premise of the book, but it is a witty and yet searing look at societal standards. I just want to take this moment and say I STAN the one, the only, Taylor Renee Crystal Hawkins, Miss Texas with every fiber of my being. 


Here's the deal - I read this book for my IRL book club; I borrowed the hardback version from the library before the lockdown happened. But I couldn't get through page one of chapter two; I just had a block where I couldn't get into the book or even in fiction. So it sat on my bedside table until the weekend before our monthly meeting. I decided to try the audio version so that I could get through the book before the meeting. I can't stress this enough - LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK! Seriously, there are a lot of characters and it helps with having different accents and the chapter break "ads". 


Other than Miss Texas, I really loved Miss California Ashanti, Miss Colorado Nicole, and Miss Michigan Jennifer were my favorites. The only girl I couldn't stand was Miss New Hampshire Adina - god, she was the most "woke Twitter" personality but she couldn't lead her own head out of a paper bag. Taylor was designed to be the ying to Adina's yang, but Taylor overshadowed Adina and Adina came out looking petty and sour. Then there are the pirates. Boy/young men pirates from a reality tv show. They were wonderful partners for the girls. 


It's ridiculous on paper, but the plot and characters come alive via smart written story and a great narrator (the author herself). The accent change from Miss California in one scene must have been hard to record. I will say that the villain's voice sounded an awful like Sarah Palin, which just added to my gleeful joy in listening to the story, especially when the villain gets her ending.


Highly recommend on audio for a fluffy, laughing good time on a weekend.