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Audiobook – Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

>> Friday, October 28, 2011

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Genre: Humor, Satire
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Publication Date: 2011
Read by: Libba Bray
Source: Library

The Short Version:
A plane carrying teen beauty queens crashes on a not so deserted island and both survival and hilarity ensue.

Why I Read It:
I probably would have never read this book but after hearing so many of my bookish twitter friends talk about how much they enjoyed the audio version I couldn’t resist getting it from the library

The Book:
A plane carrying contestants for the Miss Teen Dream pageant crash lands on an island. Only a small group of the contestants survive. Initially their difficulties are with each other. Some want to focus on survival and other want to continue to practice for the pageant. It only gets more absurd from there but in a hilarious way.

Beauty Queens, Evil Corporation, Mercenaries, a giant snake, Pirates, a crazy Presidential candidate, a crazy third world dictator, commercials, footnotes, contestant profiles all add up to fun.

From the publisher:
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"- like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

My Thoughts:
I really didn’t quite know what to expect going into this one but I ended up getting a lot of funny looks from other drivers on the road as I sat in my car all alone laughing out loud.

This audio is funny, absurd, touching, ridiculous and celebratory all at the same time. LIbba Bray does a wonderful job of narrating it. She gives the many characters distinctive voices and accents and most of them are overdone into the realm of caricature but for this book, it works. Everything about this is ridiculous but at the same time entertaining as heck.

Despite the absurdity and characters that in many cases don’t move beyond the ‘type’ they represent there’s sharp satire, and a message of empowerment that the girls learn. The craziness and the message manage to alternate in a way that keeps either one from going too far. Just when the message gets a little heavy, something silly pulls it back to humor and just when the humor can’t get any more over the top the scene shifts and one of characters is discovering they are stronger or capable of much more than anyone ever expected them to be.

Bray takes no prisoners. Her sharp satire takes on reality television, cosmetics and feminine products companies, societal expectations for young women, politicians, big corporations, pageant culture, and pretty much everything media related.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and have already told The Hubster about it and added it to his audiobook queue.

Rating 4/5

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.


Beth F 10/28/2011 6:47 AM  

I just loved the audio of this. I'm not sure how much I would have liked the book in print but Libba Bray's reading was fabulous.

Jen - Devourer of Books 10/28/2011 10:37 AM  

Between you and Candace I really want to listen to this!!

Christa @ Hooked on Books 10/28/2011 11:45 AM  

I, like you, wasn't overly interested in this book until I heard people raving about it all the time. I love that Libba Bray narrates it herself. Definitely adding it to my audio list.

Kailana 10/29/2011 7:09 AM  

I love Libba Bray, but still haven't read this book by her... I own it, but now I am leaning towards the audio version...

heavenisabookstore 10/29/2011 5:00 PM  

You know what I kept thinking as I listened to this audio book? HOW does the reader keep her voices straight? Nice review. I too had similar feelings about this book. Are you planning on reading any of her other books?

SuziQoregon 11/15/2011 9:19 PM  

BethF: you're part of the reason I decided to go with the audio of this one and I need to thank you for that.

Jen: Oh you definitely need to listen to it.

Christa: I'm so glad I paid attention to all the folks who said the audio of this was good.

Kailana: This is my first experience with Libba Bray. From what I've been able to figure out I need to read Going Bovine.

HeavenisaBookstore: Exactly!! I was amazed at all the accents and voices she did. I think I might give Going Bovine a try.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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