November 14, 2016 by Zoë
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray starts off with a group of teenagers crash landing on an island. Except instead of a group of teenage boys reenacting the plot of Lord of the Flies, it’s a group of beauty pageant contestants. I read that this was supposed to be a re-telling of Lord of the Flies, but it really wasn’t, which I’m fine with.
Instead, this book was satire. It was satire of the media, satire of capitalism, satire of beauty, satire of politics. And at times it was really, really well done. The two non-white characters discussing how they’ll be the first to die, the Sarah Palin stand-in, the ridiculous English pirates. There was lots of good stuff going on here.
The only problem, I think, is length. This is a standard YA novel, and I think that’s just too long for a satire like this. While I really enjoyed all the underhanded commentary, I did not enjoy how drawn out everything was. I think this would probably work a lot better as a novella: enough length to include everything, but not so long that things started dragging.
I was not a huge fan of the A Great and Terrible Beauty series, but this book is obviously very different. It was very weird to be reading YA fiction that was obviously satire, but I really liked it. Despite the length issues, I definitely recommend this one.
“What about this?” Miss New Mexico pointed to the tray lodged in her forehead.