Beauty Queens

Libba Bray, Author
Libba Bray. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-439-89597-2
Paperback - 396 pages - 978-0-439-89598-9
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-545-31523-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-31538-8
Ebook - 401 pages - 978-1-74269-439-9
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-545-38871-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-443-1
Prebound-Glued - 396 pages - 978-0-606-26741-0
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-545-35773-9
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Bray follows her Printz Award–winner, Going Bovine, with an only slightly less absurd premise in this out-there satire about a planeload of teen beauty queens who crash onto a (not so) deserted island. Lord of the Flies with an evening gown competition, anyone? Led by the indefatigable Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, the 14 surviving contestants must rely on competitive moxie. Despite the large cast, Bray makes the Misses distinctive, though each is more a stand-in for a particular brand of diversity than a fully dimensional teenager (one's black, one's deaf, one's gay, one is a boy in the process of becoming a girl). Poor Miss New Mexico stands out because she has a serving tray embedded in her forehead. ("Bangs are the new black!") Halfway through the ordeal, a boat full of shirtless, reality TV pirates runs aground, allowing for some smoking hot scenes. Fun footnotes, contestant profiles, and scripted commercial breaks are interspersed. There's a lot of message, but every time the story veers toward sermonizing, Bray corrects with another crack about our media-saturated, appearance-obsessed, consumer-driven society. Ages 13–up. (May)
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