Study Guide

Beauty Queens Isolation

By Libba Bray

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You don't get more isolated than a (seemingly) uninhabited island. But that might be just what the Teen Dream contestants in this book need. See, the island is such a stark contrast to what our pageanted protagonists are used to, which is always being watched—and being judged, literally—for things as basic as the way they walk.

For them, the isolation of the island means a break from being watched. They only have each other to impress, a goal that gives way pretty quickly to the goal of surviving. The Teen Dreams eat bugs, build huts, and turn their beauty products into weapons. And figuring out that they can fend for themselves changes each of the girls. Even isolation can have its perks.

Questions About Isolation

  1. How does being separated from everyone in their lives help the Teen Dreams discover their true selves?
  2. Imagine that one of the adults on the airplane had survived. How might the Teen Dreams' time on the island be different?
  3. How does Taylor's hallucinogenic period affect her self-esteem?
  4. How many important conversations between beauty queens occur outside the beach, versus on it? What does the additional isolation of being away from the beach do for the characters?

Chew on This

The arrival of the pirates demonstrates how the girls have changed since they first crashed on the island.

The deeper the girls go into the jungle on the island, the more they are able to confront their personal demons.

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