8 Following

Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray Satire is a very fine line to walk. If you push it too far, it becomes ineffective and too preachy. If it's not pushed enough, then the point of satire falls flat and ends up not fulfilling its intention.That said, IMHO, Beauty Queens is the one of the most important YA books of this year, if not of this very short decade. On the surface, it seems like a simple jab at a very outdated institution- beauty pageants- but uses this lens to criticize how Western society, to this day, still maintains a certain expectation of femininity. One of the things that Libba Bray pulls off expertly is taking stereotypes and molding them into three-dimension characters with their own quirks and motivations. Aside from the two main antagonists, each of the girls has their own story to tell and why they ended up in Miss Teen Dream. Everyone starts off as a caricature but as time goes on, they end up defying that caricature. I can't exactly pick a favorite character or one who exemplifies this idea, because they all do. (Even the running gag of Miss Montana, Miss New Mexico and Miss Ohio having the same name.) They're girls being girls.A lot of the reviews I've read about this book have gone on about "the power of sisterhood," but honestly, "sisterhood" wasn't the vibe I got from this. What I did get was a group of girls becoming friends and just being themselves. If anything, this book is a lot closer to the Gemma Doyle trilogy than it is to Going Bovine, in that it's all about how it's okay to be proud of being sexual and your sexuality or not giving into white-washed ideals of beauty. The various inserts by the Corporation really highlight this, playing up the different problems that still occur in other forms of media. (Again, something that could have failed, but is pulled off beautifully.) I personally felt that more of this commentary is directed at visual media forms, although I think that there's a lot that YA authors and readers should take from this book.This is a MUST READ. Not only is it highly entertaining and hysterically funny, but it's one that while I'm laughing out loud, the back of my mind is thinking about the real implications of that bit. It's a book that highlights the absurdity of the world but can still be completely honest with itself. GO. READ IT NOW.