Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker. I received my copy through Amazon Vine. Rewritten in July 2011.After their Corporation plane crashes on a desert island, the fourteen surviving beauty queens of the Corporation-sponsored Miss Teen Dream beauty pageant must fend for themselves and find a way to either make a home out of the island or be rescued. Between their clashes and practicing for the pageant, they come to rely on one another and discover themselves now that they're away from the pressures put on them by society and even their own families. But just beyond the forest, there is a Corporation compound planning an illegal arms deal with a dictator. These women aren't going down without a fight once they're discovered and plan to save the day, along with get the hell off that island.When I read this just over a month ago, I loved it. Hell, I was over the MOON for it. After time to think about it, I fell out of love with this book. It isn't as great as I first thought it was and it would be a travesty if I didn't correct myself and make my true opinion known. Looking back at my old review, I'm wondering why I felt the way I did and I'm left without answers. My old review feels kind of... well, forced. Like I was blinded by the hype and forcing myself to say it because I just couldn't imagine not liking it.There were a few funny points, but this satire wasn't as funny as I thought it was. The characters, starting out as stereotypes, all got their moment of depth but none of the moments were very well. The messages of female empowerment, that women and diversity should be celebrated and people should accept themselves as they are, are awesome, but they're not presented well. It's more like they're preached at me.Preachy. Yeah, that's the one word I would use to describe this book. All of the values and ideas felt like they were being preached and thrown at me, not smoothly woven into the story. I support and believe in all that stuff already, so there's no need to preach it all to me. The magic of satire is that it makes people think about the subject, right? With Beauty Queens, all the ideas are presented to you and the reader doesn't have to think. The magic of it goes out just like that.What wins the book for me even a little bit is that I did have soft spots for three of the characters (Adina, Petra, and Shanti) and that I liked most of the footnotes in the book. The ideas are great, but the way they're presented isn't.In the end, Beauty Queens now leaves me speechless, and not in the way people want to be left speechless. This review itself is an example because this has to be one of the shortest reviews I've ever written. There's not much I can say or go in-depth about. (Also, I'm trying to cut down on my babbling.)