This is not your run-of-the-mill teen novel! There are so many powerful pieces: themes, characters, setting, all working together to create one dynamic story. Naturally, different readers will have different reactions to this book. For example, some readers might roll their eyes at the "Woman Power" theme or at some of the stereotypical beauty queen characters. Other readers might embrace these facets. How about you? Was this a book you loved or not-quite-loved? What did you love about it, or what would have made it better for you?
Sometimes it's fun to put yourself in the place of a book character. If you had been in Kit's situation, starting at the very beginning of the book, what would you have done? Would you have made the same choices as she did? Keep in mind that as Kit made her choices, she didn't know what the consequences would be (we have that advantage!). Most importantly, what would your shoes look like? Strappy heels? Pee-toes? Something shiny and red?
The characters in Beauty Queens have the perfect opportunity for personal growth. Trapped on an island with only their own resourcefulness to rely on, the girls must dig deep and use every ounce of strength inside them... sometimes, it was strength they didn't know they had. Of course, dire circumstances bring out the best and the worst in people, as we see over the course of this book. Which character do you think changed the most, and in what ways? Which character do you think changed the least, and why do you think she didn't change?
As I read this book, I really didn't like Alton's friend, Cliff. He seemed superficial at best and I didn't like that he was dating his best friend's ex-girlfriend. I also didn't like that Alton never spoke up and said how uncomfortable this was for him. What did you think when Cliff tried starting a relationship with Toni, the girl Alton liked? Why do you think Alton stayed friends with him? Do you think Cliff made up for all this by helping Alton later in the story?