Friday, September 30, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Copyright: 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Audio Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: audio
Challenges:  New Author, Young Adult
Author's Website
My rating: 3/5

Simple Description:
Several beauty queens are enroute to the Team Dream beauty pageant when their plane crashes on what appears to be a desserted island.  After several days they are still not rescued and the girls know they have to do something to survive.  Armed only with what the could salvage from the plane (this includes evening gowns, hair straightners, hair pieces, etc) they set out to create shelter, weapons, and other things necessary to survive. 

The girls each find another contestant they can bond with and each girl begins to grow a bit through this process.  This get interesting when a pirate ship crashes just off the island.  Then things get even more interestig when the girls realize they aren't alone on this island.  Are these other inhabitants friend or foe?

My Thoughts:
I'm torn on this one.  I love the idea of the story, however, I alternated between laughing because it was funny and not paying attention because it was a bit stupid.  There were a lot of really good parts in this book. I loved that all the girls started to grow as people and not just beauty queens.  They started to think for themselves and become stronger.  I felt that was a great message.  However sometimes the things they did or said was just too far on the stupid scale that I was disapointed.   I think there could have been a happy medium.  There were also just a lot of lines and parts in this book that had me either smiling or actually laughing by myself in the car.  Those really made up for the stupid parts for me.  So I'm torn, do I recommend this book or not?   I think if you go into it just expecting a light read that could be entertaining and knowing there might be some parts that will annoy you, you'll like it.   There were so many lines I wanted to quote in my review, but listening to the audio version while driving didn't give me the chance to actually write it down.    So perhaps with this one you need to do a search and read other blogger reviews and then decide if it's worth trying it.

Audio Review:
When I first read a review for this book I did read that the author read it and did a good job.  However by the time I got a copy to listen to myself I had forgotten this.  So when I started the audio version and realize it was the author I was disapointed.  I shouldn't have been!  For once the author actually does an excellent job of narrating their own book!   Sometimes it was a bit annoying (there is a deaf girl and when she talks the author was practically yelling and I had to adjust the volume) but for the most part I came away pleasantly surprised.


bermudaonion said...

Sorry the book wasn't all you'd hoped it would be, but I'm glad to hear the audio is good.

FRD said...

This is so funny! I just finished this audio book yesterday. I feel your review was spot on. There were parts I loved and found hilarious. Other times I wanted to give up because it was dull.

I too can't decide if I want to recommend it or what type of person to recommend it to.

The author did a GREAT job of reading the book. That is such a shock. So often the authors struggle to bring the characters to life.

Did you listen to the author's notes at the end? I feel that really shed some light on the book and the author.

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - I least I still enjoyed it most of the time, it wasn't a waste of time.

FRD - haha! I'm so glad we had such a similar reaction to this one! I didn't listen to the author's notes at the end. The book is still on my ipod so I might take your suggestion and do that on my ride home from work tonight.