Reviewed by Nancy
4 out of 5 stars
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, a desert island classic.
Survival. Of the fittest.
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.
I was on the fence about this book. A story about teen beauty pageant contestants stranded on a desert island just doesn’t do anything for me. After reading Stephanie’s review, I decided to try the audio version. At first, I thought it was ridiculous, irritating and just plain stupid. It wasn’t long before I was laughing and snorting in public places.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult to get to know the characters. The story is told from different perspectives and it was hard for me to get all the girls straight. Some of them had unique qualities and “secrets” that made them stand out, while others were a little flat and unmemorable.
I loved the Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts Page, the wacky footnotes that explained products and status symbols, famous personalities, and TV shows, like “Bridal Death Match, the popular TV show about brides who cage fight each other in order to win the wedding of their dreams.”
This story is a satire about the superficiality of consumer culture, politics, and mega-corporations that control everything we watch, read, and buy. It deals with racism, disability, and sexuality. There is adventure, mystery, and a dollop of romance. There are important messages here about survival, friendship, beauty, acceptance, independence, and what it means to be a woman.
Hilarious, empowering, honest, and highly recommended.