What happens when you strand a group of hyper-competitive, “talented”, and beautiful girls together on an island? A whole lot of drama for sure. However, that is not to say that it is bad drama, in fact many of the girls push one another and end up becoming better people. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Beauty Queens is the story of 50 Miss Teen Dream contestants and their chaperones when their plane crashes in an island off the coast of the United States. There is death and horror to contend with before deciding on the next move. The girls salvage supplies and set up a new society system while they wait to be rescued. Two girls face off in a battle of wills to be the leader of the leftover crew of Miss Teen Dreamers. They pool their wit and brains together, along with their beauty products, to create a safe shelter. But what the girls don’t know is that there is something more happening on the island.
The novel is written thru various third person perspectives. It will follow different characters in different chapters and is interspersed with footnotes that explain references such as “MermaidTopia” or “Captain Bodacious”. Also thrown in are items from “The Corporation” like advertizements, disclaimers, and commercials. The book is a hysterical combination of real and fake. There are lots of product placements and back stories and it comes together in a way that both entertains and makes you think.
Some pieces of the book were a little hard to get into, or a little deeper than you expect so it took me longer than usual to read the whole thing. That aside, I did enjoy it. It pulls into perspective how we perceive young women and what we tell them about how to act or think, in life and around boys. The girls on the island have some interesting revelations and interactions that shed light on how screwed up society makes teen girls. Granted, this is an extreme example in some cases, but the inner workings of the some of the commercials aren’t far from the mark when you think about it.
Beauty Queens is more than a group of beauty contestants stranded in the middle of nowhere. And it’s definitely no Lord of the Flies. If you’re interested in understanding how girls think or looking for an example of how screwed up our society as become, then look no further. Whether you believe pageants are a good or a bad thing, give this a read and then tell me how it makes you feel, what it makes you think.
As for me, I was angered at this disturbingly accurate view of advertizing and parenting affecting the minds of our young women. Especially when they discuss Girl Con and discover what they really want to do with their lives. And the ending killed me. We shouldn’t be putting young women (or men) into boxes and telling them what they should be or expecting them to be someone they aren’t. And society shouldn’t be putting unequal restraints on either gender. Or telling them what they need to do in order to be considered beautiful or attract a life partner.
Goodreads rating: 4 stars
My personal rating:
- Writing style – 8
- Plot – 10
- Dialogue – 8
- Personality of Main Character(s) – 8
- Love story – 8
- Invokes emotion – 7
- Synopsis accuracy – 10
- Consistent level of interest – 8
- Stays on topic – 8
- Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 10