Beauty Queens

2011

An airplane full of teen beauty queens, on their way to the Miss Teen Dream pageant (sponsored by The Corporation), crash lands on a remote tropical island. Many of them, of course, do not survive, but never fear...Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins (don't you love it?), is there to assume the leadership role! She promptly divides the girls into two groups. The Lost Girls trek into the jungle to check out their new surroundings, while the Sparkle Ponies stay on the beach and salvage what they can from the wrecked plane. Thus begins this satirical tale, that pokes fun at everything from reality television to politics, and includes a healthy dose of feminism for good measure.

Bray masterfully points out the ridiculousness of modern American society and our obsession with beauty and celebrity. As a person who works with teens, I particularly appreciate the fact that the author demonstrates a tremendous amount of respect for her audience by not 'dumbing down' the text or content. While everything in the story is completely 'over the top,' the ultimate message rings clear and true: it is okay to be yourself, no matter who you are. Although this book is written for a teen audience, I think many adults would find it equally enjoyable. In fact, I think this would make an excellent choice for a book club selection as there are endless topics of discussion to be developed.

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