Beauty Queens

beauty queens libba brayThis is the thing about Libba Bray -- you either love her books or you don't. When I read Going Bovine I didn't know what the heck she doing and if I had not committed to writing about it I don't know if I would have stuck with it. I'm thrilled that I did because I did love it and it's one of those books that have really stuck with me. "Want a smoothie?" "Let's go bowling!" and "FREE THE SNOW GLOBES" are now pretty regular phrases in my repertoire. While I don't know that Beauty Queens had quite the same impact on me I did, indeed, love it.

Imagine a beauty pageant for teen girls -- a little bit Miss America and whole lot of hairspray and make up. Now imagine that a plane full of these girls crashes on a small mysterious island... a little bit like Lost. There are only a few survivors. Oh, and  some kind of secret lab hidden in a volcano projected by lots of men with guns.

I know that some people have had trouble with the format, with keeping the characters straight and with the commercial breaks. I loved the format. There are these info sheets that the girls had to fill out for the pageant and despite them all starting the exact same way and asking the exact same questions I still found myself reading the beginning of each of these inserts every. single. time. I found the commercial breaks funny because well, I do like a bit of sarcasm and I do tend to think that most commercials for beauty products pander. They made me laugh.

I will confess that I had some trouble keeping the girls straight. When a chapter was focused on a specific girl I got who the character was. I could tell their voices. I had trouble remembering their names though, so when one of the characters called another character by their name I tended to have a bit of a "Who???" moment. And I never could remember which of them was the one with the tray stuck in their head.

Beauty Queens is weird, but it's a beautiful weird. I can't wait to see what Libba Bray comes up with next because you know what? She's not predictable. I kind of love that about her.