Sunday, 4 November 2012


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Teenage beauty queens get stranded on a desert island.

I was hooked. That was all I needed to hear. I had to read this book. If only I'd known it was going to be a dull, didactic, cliche-ridden book without a story that panicked halfway through and threw in some stupid, ill-thought-out and frankly just irritating plot developments. Even the jokes wore thin after a couple of times because they're the exact same jokes all the way through the book.

Yeah, I was disappointed. The obvious comparison for me (having never read Lord of the Flies) was Michael Grant's Gone, which I really didn't like. I think with both of these books, the idea was great but the execution wasn't up to scratch. Both featured multiple POVs, while remaining in the third person, which actually made it very dull. You're never with any character long enough to make a connection and it all sounds the same. 

I was expecting quite a light, fun read and I didn't get it at all. My main issue with it was how much it tried to force its message down my throat. I don't mind learning from books, but I hate it when a book tries to teach me something. This book tried really, really hard. And honestly, the message itself didn't sit quite right with me, mainly because I have mixed feelings about the whole "appearances aren't important" thing which is so key in this book. Let's just grow up and face it - appearances are important. They have a huge impact on our lives. They shouldn't matter, but they do. I think the world might be a better place if more children were taught that.

The other part of the message was feminism. I don't like to call myself a feminist because I believe in women being equal to men. I know that's the definition of feminism, but so often nowadays feminism is really just man-bashing. And that's not okay, by my book. Feminism is about equality, not women being better than men, and I think that's the one thing about this book that I actually liked. I never felt that it was telling me women were superior to men. What's more, in the stupid flash-forwards in the stupid epilogue, several of the characters were married and had children. Because the point of feminism is equality and the right to choose. If you want to be a wife and mother and stay home with your kids, why does that make you anti-feminist? Anyway, that's the only good thing I can say about this book. The rest of it was essentially drivel.

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