"Beauty Queens" - Libba Bray - 2011

This cover pretty much says it all.  A plane full of "Miss Teen Dream" contestants crash on an island, but they are not alone on the island - also, there are pirates (and commercial breaks and footnotes).

That's right, footnotes.  How fucking awesome is that?  

In addition to the quirky and fun writing style, Bray gives the reader a diverse cast of characters several of which, in the hands of a less talented author would have been straight up, after-school special drivel, but Bray handles with an equal balance sensitivity and humor.

"Beauty Queens" takes a highly satirical look at the beauty industry, pop culture, and teen self-image through the eyes of third-wave feminism, but truly does cut to the heart of issues teen girls face today.  The young women in the novel thrive in adversity (and some James Bond type scenarios) they reinforce that:  girls can be smart, girls can be outspoken, they can wear make-up only if they want to, they should never apologize for taking up space and having an opinion, and always, always use a condom!  

"The Viscount Who Loved Me" - Julia Quinn - 2000

When I initially read the Bridgerton series, I favored Colin's story, but over time I've realized that it is the eldest son Anthony and his love, the remarkably real 'plain jane' Kate who's story I keep going back to.  

"Abandon" - Meg Cabot - 2011

A modern retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades, also the first in a trilogy.  "Abandon" packs in tons of the obligatory setup and not much action, leaving me a bit divided.  I had trouble really getting into this book.  It has a storytelling style that grated on my nerves a bit -  a jumpy flashback every few pages.  Also, I kept wishing the main character was slightly older than high school.  But there were one or two swoonworthy moments, so I'm down for the rest...as long as that bed that "big enough for two" gets used in the second book!  Cabot, you're such a tease!