I wanted to read this book from the first time I saw it on the shelf, but I just never got around to purchasing it. As a big fan of LOST and Drop Dead Gorgeous the blurb appealed to me greatly. However, one thing that did stop me from buying it immediately was the cover. I honestly felt concerned at what the sales assistant would think of me. I ended up getting it on sale from a store with self serve checkouts.
The Good - The original premise. It was, after all, what made me want to read the book in the first place. I thought this was seriously going to be a ripper of a story - sort of a female Lord of the Flies. In terms of technique, this was one of the best written books I have read in a while, which was it's saving grace because it actually made the story slightly more bearable and allowed me to get to the last page!
The Bad - Beauty Queens wasn't funny, which is a problem for a novel which is constantly filed under 'Humour'. Every character tended to meld into one, all of them were stupid and all of them were stock characters, complete with token minorities (a lesbian, an Indian, a Jew etc). I felt no connection or sympathy for any of the characters, even the supposed 'intelligent' one suffered from an acute superiority complex. Also, the satire was just overdone. Practically every sentence had to have some 'witty' remark or contrived reference and the footnotes scattered throughout were FRUSTRATING. The whole book just read as a bad joke and when I finally reached the last page, a relieving moment which I feared would never eventuate, I felt stupider for having read the book and honestly wished I could get my money back.
If the humour was extracted, and a more thrilling, all-girl, 'survival of the fittest' narrative had evolved, this book could have been absolutely amazing! Still, I would recommend the book others. As I said, the level of the writing isn't lacking, but the content just isn't my cup of tea. There is only so much condescending satire I can take.