When a plane load of teenage beauty queens crash land on a deserted (or not so deserted) island, a Lord of the Flies for the twenty first century is born. The fourteen survivors of a plane that crashes on the way to the Miss Teen Dream Pageant assume that their show's sponsors, aptly named "The Corporation", will waste no time in discovering their whereabouts and rescue them. Unfortunately they have landed on an island housing a top secret military compound also sponsored by "The Corporation." "The Corporation" decides that it's better to tell everyone the girls were all killed than risk having people discover the secret activities happening on the island.
In between practicing their pageant routines and fighting off giant snakes, the girls find they must learn to rely on each other and their own ingenuity. The same can-do attitude that made the girls successful on the pageant circuit is also useful when faced with finding ways to survive in the wilderness. Sequined evening gowns quickly become repositories for rain water and a hair straighter can be used to catch fish. Away from a society that only rewards them for being pretty, they discover truths about themselves. This new self awareness helps them to deal with the seductions of some very hot, shipwrecked, reality show pirates and of course, "The Corporation's" evil plot.
This young adult satire is interspersed with commercial breaks, contestant fact sheets, footnotes, radio broadcasts, and spoofs of reality TV and celebrity status that keep the hilarity coming, but it also tackles a lot of real life issues that teen girls face. Will the contestants ever find a way off the island? Can hair removal products really be turned into explosives? What is Miss Rhode Island hiding under her sash and why does she sing exactly like that guy from that old boy band? Are volcanoes on deserted islands, ever just volcanoes? Do grubs really taste like chicken? If a guy pretending to be a pirate tells you he is trouble, shouldn't you believe him? All of these questions and many more will be answered reading Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
Submitted by Fran @ Bay View