Miss Teen Dreamers! "I've got a little bit of bad news..."

"Everyone else is dead."

May I proselytize for a moment? If you're reading this post, you absolutely must listen to the audiobook version of Beauty Queens (Scholastic Audio, 2011) written and read brilliantly by Libba Bray. Believe me, it will make your life worth living, your hair luxurious, and your skin blemish-free. It will also help get you out of bed in the morning, eager to spend a few blissful minutes in the car, listening to the book on your way to work. (That might just be me.)

Libba's Grammy Award–worthy audio performance sparkles with the blinding light of a million sequined gowns. If you don't know the premise, read what Christine Heppermann had to say in her Horn Book review of the book  last May, then come back here and — "Yoo-hoo! Over here! I'm wigglin' my fingers for y'all's attention!... Y'all come on down and gather round, horseshoe formation—thank you."

In addition to snorting with unladylike laughter at the crazy plot turns, at Libba's lovingly caricatured voices for the many over-the-top characters, and at the chirpy footnotes and sanitized messages from pageant sponsor The Corporation, other side effects may include a compulsion to speak like Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, Miss Teen Dream Texas, "the state where dreams are bigger and better — nothing against y'all's states"; unwelcome fantasies featuring a bewigged, platform-shoe-wearing dictator; and a desire to be free of unwanted body hair.

You can thank me after you've exfoliated.

(Oh, and here's Libba to tell you about the book in her own words!)

Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.
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The other day I suddenly found the phrase "sparkle ponies" stuck in my head and it took me a minute to figure out it was Libba Bray's voice saying it! I agree that the audio version is brilliant (I had a strange love of her introductions to each disc - "disc 10, oh my gosh, now I've used all the fingers on BOTH my hands!") but man the plot sure lost me - the whole thing almost buckled under the weight of it, but humor pulled me through.

Posted : Feb 18, 2012 01:00

Kitty Flynn

"the whole thing almost buckled under the weight of it, but humor pulled me through." Jess, you are so right! I'm up to disc 8 now ("disc 8. Isn't it fun that 8 comes after 7 every time?") and as I listen, I can't help thinking, "How the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is she going to pull this off?" It's a bit distracting, but I'm still invested in finding out what happens. I miss Taylor and her high jinx, though. I think this book should be made into a movie, with Libba Bray playing Ladybird Hope.

Posted : Feb 18, 2012 01:00


I fell in love with Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy and was reluctant to give any of her other stuff a whirl (you see, when I fall in love with a series like that, I have difficulty giving anything remotely different from that series a fair chance) and I have to say that, without a doubt, Beauty Queens absolutely got me out of my Gemma-Doyle-or-nothing funk. Libba Bray is one of the smartest, wittiest writers out there today and I'd urge EVERYONE to give Beauty Queens a try!

Posted : Feb 12, 2012 08:50


sounds interesting to read and i dont like reading book but this one i want to read.

Posted : Feb 10, 2012 03:25

Kitty Flynn

I hope you do. Let us know what you think once you've finished!

Posted : Feb 10, 2012 03:25


sounds interesting to read and i dont like reading book but this one i want to read

Posted : Feb 10, 2012 03:24


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