Study Guide

Beauty Queens Lust

By Libba Bray

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When lust first appears in this book, the girls know that they aren't supposed to feel it. Or if they feel it, they shouldn't show it. Adina doesn't want to feel lust at all, because she's scared of chasing after boys the way her mom chases men. Mary Lou considers the primal desires she feels to be a curse, and wears a purity ring to help contain herself. But enough time on the island and, well, you can guess what happens. Sensing a pattern? Not only do some of the girls get it on, but they learn not to feel guilty about it.

Questions About Lust

  1. What does Mary Lou believe the curse on her family does? How does her idea of the curse change?
  2. Why does Adina try to resist falling for Duff?
  3. Why does The Corporation present alternative images for the kissing scenes in Chapter 15?
  4. Why do you think our culture encourages girls to "wait to be chosen?"

Chew on This

Mary Lou's decision to try to risk swinging the rope rather than die passively is her final rejection of the curse on her family and all that it's supposed to mean.

Mary Lou's and Adina's love affairs both encourage them to change into more fully realized versions of themselves.

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