Tag Archives: libba bray

Classic Book Friday – Island Edition

Continuing with the theme of being stranded on an island…


Even if I hadn’t already been familiar with Libba Bray when Beauty Queens came out, I would have totally picked it up just for that cover. Isn’t it fabulous?

This is another in the Lord of the Flies tradition. A plane full of teenagers crashes on a remote island. The catch this time…they’re all teen beauty pageant contestants. Some take the opportunity to really exemplify the Miss Teen Dream values. Others see it as a chance to rebel against them. And Miss New Mexico has to adjust to life with an airplane tray table lodged in her forehead.

There is the expected clash of personalities, but the longer the girls are stranded, the more they begin to realize that not all is right with the Miss Teen Dream franchise or with the island where they’ve crashed.

I love Libba Bray. Her books tend toward the absurd and are just a wild ride. Those of you who were in the Going Bovine group for summer reading should have an idea of what I mean.


Winter Break Reading – Think Warm Edition

I’m late in putting up yesterday’s books. I chose these because it’s not even officially winter and I’m done with snow, so I tried to find some books that give a warm feeling.

First up: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. A classic pirate tale. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. It’s fun.
Odyssey mech 4

Second: I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. Ed’s a slacker. He drives a cab, plays cards (badly) with friends, and pines after his best friend. Beyond that, he has no desire to do anything more. Until the day he accidentally stops a bank robbery. After that, he starts getting playing cards in the mail with instructions to do things that will help others. Ed doesn’t know who is sending them, but he feels he has no choice but to do as he’s asked. And his world starts to change. There’s nothing necessarily tropical about this book, but it’s set in Australia where it is currently summer. Zusak is also the author of The Book thief, a phenomenal story that has been made into a movie that’s out now. He’s also incredibly nice…I wrote him a “fan email” back when I was reading The Book Thief and he sent me a very nice email back.

Finally, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Imagine Lord of the Flies, but with teen beauty pageant contestants. This is the story of a group of teen beauty queens trapped on a (seemingly) deserted island after their plane crashes. Bray is one of the funniest writers out there. Here’s her ad for the book:

Thanksgiving Listening

For those of you who may need to travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for the holiday, I have some audiobooks that may make the ride a little more tolerable.

Did you see the movie version of The Great Gatsby? If you liked the whole ’20s feel, you might also enjoy Libba Bray’s The Diviners. Evie is a little out of control for her hometown, so she’s been sent to New York City to live with her uncle. Her uncle runs a museum of oddities and ends up consulting for the police on a murder investigation, which may or may not involve the occult. It turns out that Evie has a supernatural secret of her own (as do a few of her new NYC friends) that may help in solving these murders. Very creepy. January LaVoy does the narration and is wonderful! But be warned, this is the first book in a series and there are lots of loose ends at the end. (I didn’t know this when I read it and you should have seen me yelling at the stereo in my car when I realized I was on the last track and there were still SO MANY QUESTIONS!!)

Want something a little lighter? Try Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. Wahoo Cray lives with her father, Mikey, who is an animal wrangler. He often helps on movie sets when trained “wild” animals are needed. His latest show is a Man Vs. Wild type show in the Florida Everglades with an arrogant and reckless star. The star is bit by a bat and has a little bit of a breakdown. Meanwhile, Wahoo has teamed up with a girl named Tuna, who is running from an abusive dad. Naturally, there’s a showdown in the swamp, in the middle of storm. Hiaasen’s books are always great for their environmental angles and their humor. James Van Der Beek reads this one.

The Eye of the Minds by James Dashner is a new book. I haven’t read or listened to it yet, but I picked up the audio at my conference last week. It sounds fascinating! The main character is a gamer, who is also known for breaking the rules in VirtNet, the total mind and body virtual reality everyone is addicted to. When a hacker starts holding players hostage, the government needs someone who knows the ins and outs of VirtNet and can hack the rules. Dashner also wrote The Maze Runner series, which is awesome, so I can only imagine this book is going to be great. And geek flag alert…James Dashner is going to be at Children’s Book World in Haverford tonight at 7. I’ll be there being my best fangirl self. (And this also means that tomorrow we’ll also have a print copy of the book). This is also the first in a planned series.
Finally, I picked up Scowler by Daniel Kraus. He’s the guy who wrote Rotters, the book about grave robbers. This is his latest book, and it has the same narrator as Rotters. I don’t know much about it, except that it involves a demonic folk doll and it’s scary as all get out. I talked with a woman who is on a bunch of audiobook award committees and she told me she never has nightmares and her dreams are always in black and white. This audiobook gave her nightmares that featured color, sound, and smell. You’ve been warned.