Study Guide

Beauty Queens Tone

By Libba Bray

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Bemused, Sincere

There are plenty of sentences in this book that are straight-up funny, and suggest that Libba Bray must've had a really good time writing this book. She's at her funniest when describing the bumbling, crazy adults.

Take Agent Jones: "The agent lowered the silencer. Damn snakes. They had no manners. They were tasty, though. Just like chicken." (5.11) His over-serious internal monologue is undercut by ironic "Just like chicken" sentences.

With the beauty queens themselves, Bray is gentler, sometimes downright sympathetic:

"'Maybe you should ask God and nature why they put a girl inside a boy's body?' Petra shouted to the uncaring sky." (9.86)

She could've ended that sentence at "shouted" but "the uncaring sky" suggests sympathy. Unlike the adults, the beauty queens' problems and the changes they go through are treated with respect. Even if they still cause a chuckle from time to time.

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