Study Guide

Beauty Queens Friendship

By Libba Bray

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When the boys in Lord of the Flies (i.e. the other book where children are shipwrecked on an island) are left together, they form gangs and kill off the loners. But when the teen beauty queens in this book are left on an island, the opposite happens. The more time they spend together, the more they get over their initial hostility and become friends. Aw.

Some of them even find BFF material in a person they'd never befriend in their former lives: Tiara and Petra, Nicole and Shanti, Mary Lou and Adina. Turns out fighting for survival is the best ever bonding activity. Take that, Survivor.

Questions About Friendship

  1. A lot of the girls find a best friend on the island. Why doesn't Taylor?
  2. Why does Adina initially resist making friends with the other contestants?
  3. Why is Petra so protective of Tiara?
  4. What finally causes Shanti and Nicole to become friends? What does that say about being a minority in a very white setting? What does it say about friendship in general?

Chew on This

Bray chose to make the beauty queens become friends to subvert stereotypes of girls and competition.

Without the trust they build between them, the beauty queens would not overcome Ladybird Hope's plan.

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