Lord of the Flies meets 90210 (the Donna/Kelly classic version) in this hilarious send-up of a beauty pageant gone very wrong. The state contestants of Miss Teen Dream have just crash landed on a deserted island. Their chaperons and camera crew are dead, and most of their lip-gloss and flat irons have floated out to sea. At first they keep practicing their routines under the eagle eyes of Miss Texas, a take-no-prisoners blond glamazon, confident that they will be rescued before their suntan lotion runs out. But as the days go by and no plane or ship appears, the girls begin to form a strong matriarchal tribe, capable of defending itself with stiletto catapults, makeup splat guns and melted jewelry arrowheads. They start to ask each other questions like, why do girls always seem to say “sorry” whenever they happen to express a strong emotion or feeling? And what does “act like a lady” mean anyway? They begin to think, “Maybe girls need an island to find themselves. Maybe they need a place where no one’s watching them so they can be who they really are.” But even as they start to understand themselves better emotionally, the beauty queens are in real physical danger. What they don’t know is that they have actually settled on a top-secret government stronghold that is about to become the target of an illegal weapons trade. If the girls aren’t careful, they will become nothing more than pretty collateral damage. But then the reality television pirates show up, and what happens next could only be cooked up by the mad-cap brain of fiendishly clever award-winning author Libba Bray. While the booby/bullets (those are actually cheekily placed lipstick tubes) cover may lead you to believe that this is a fluffy beach read, think again, my teenage friends. This book may look like a cheesy reality-show rom-com on the surface, but under all the hairspray and beaded gowns is a deep read about what it means to be a girl AND a dude in today’s label-crazy society. A fun romp with food for thought–don’t you dare miss it!
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray