I borrowed Beauty Queens by Libba Bray on audiobook from the LA Public Library and enjoyed it from beginning to end. Let’s talk about the technical first: Bray narrates and does all the voices for each of the characters. Not only is she great at making each character sound different, the production itself is impressive. It’s been a while since I’ve heard an audiobook with this much effort put into it.
What’s the book about? Here’s the Amazon description:
Teen beauty queens. A “Lost”-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to e-mail. 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.
Come on now. You know that’s pretty much right up my alley.
There are a couple of times where the story drags a little bit. Overall, I thought each Teen Dream contestant had an equal amount of time to be developed as well as rounding them back as a group. I loved the beginning of the story. Beauty queen contestants are dead and strewn like “LOST” characters in Ep 1. With an opening like that, how can you not be hooked?
Spoilers: I wish the Taylor came back to the group instead of staying on the island. I think that this was a weak point in the story as Bray tried to close it up. The end was also a little hasty but I get it. After 9 discs, you’ve got to stuff everything in Disc 10. I so loved that she put in a transgendered former boyband singer who ends up being a top contestant on the island. I didn’t care for the Pirates cast showing up. I think the girls’ stories and journey were enough to keep our interest. No need to muck things up with adding young men to the mix.
Buy or Borrow: Buy the paperback (or borrow the audiobook)