Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (audio)
I've been sitting on this review for a while now because I am not entirely sure where to begin with this book. It's a commentary of how women are treated in society. It's a satire on beauty pageants. It's a Survivor meets Lord of the Flies (with girls) meets Miss Teen USA. It's mostly just like nothing else. Libba Bray is the Tom Robbins of Young Adult fiction.
To say I loved it is an understatement. It is a truly enjoyable book that gave me a lot of food for thought. I enjoyed the diverse cast of characters and the treatment of the various issues that arose from transgender to race, nothing was off topic. Each girl's character was explored thoroughly and most if not all displayed tremendous character growth.
It was a fun book too. I loved the Captains Bodacious, the reality TV pirates. I loved the crazy dictator who is love with the former beauty queen turned presential hopeful and who loves Elvis and carried a stuffed lemur named General Goodtimes. I love the play on the standard shipwrecked trope mixed with the evil corporation mixed with the villian's lair being located in a volcano. I loved the footnotes and the commercial breaks and the running commentary interspersed through the book. It is a different kind of book but not one to be missed.
I am usually very apprehensive about author read audio books. Just because you can write doesn't mean you can read in an entertaining manner. But Libba Bray just delivers this book in an amazing way. There is a reason is she won the 2012 Audie Award Winner for Best Narration by the Author because her reading of this book really sells it and gives it something extra. Readings like this are the reason why I like audio books and why I always say the narrator makes a huge different in the quality of the audiobook.