In Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, an airplane carrying a group of teenage beauty pageant contestants crashes on a deserted island. Only about a dozen of the beauty queens survive and are subsequently forced to use their unique talents to survive on their own. They must also battle with an evil corporation that is planning an illegal arms deal with an Elvis-impersonating dictator and they must try not to get their hearts broken by a gang of hot, reality tv show pirates.
Beauty Queens is just as absurd as Bray’s Printz award-winning Going Bovine (about a boy with mad cow disease who is on a quest to save his life) but it’s also just as humorous and heartfelt. Bray satirizes everything from pageants and the cosmetics industry to consumerism, reality television, politics and religion while exploring issues of gender, race, and sexuality–and it’s all hilarious.