The premise can be summarized as a simple sentence: a plane full of beauty queens crash land on a deserted island and have to learn to survive. Yet that statement doesn't quite encapsulate the complexity of the storyline. It is a book about beauty queens, but it's also a story about how the girls learn that there is so much more to their identities than smiles, circle turns and waves. Possibly the easiest way to describe the book, which still doesn't quite seem to do it justice, is to compare it to the movie Miss Congeniality (which happens to be on television this afternoon as I write this review!); however, even THAT comparison doesn't seem to quite do the story justice.
So let me leave it at this: this book is really unlike any other book that I've ever read. The characters are loveable, interesting and so well-developed. The storyline is not only the story of the beauty queens, but also a social commentary on our world of product placement, corporations and consumerism. (Seriously, I have never seen a book with "commercial breaks" before). If you have the opportunity, listen to this book on audio -- Libba Bray does the narration herself, and she does a different voice for each character. She's phenomenal, the book is amazing and I'll stop gushing right now!