Chapter Excerpt

From Beauty Queens

Adina slapped at a mosquito on her arm. "Miss Ohio, what are your life goals?"

Chin held high, Miss Ohio beamed at an imagined crowd. "I want to be a motivational speaker."

"What are you going to motivate people to do?"

She cut her eyes at Adina. "You know. Motivational... stuff."

"Well, are you going to motivate people to bring peace to war-torn nations or are you going to motivate people to join a cult and drink the Kool-Aid?"

"The first one."

Adina sighed. "Nice. You might want to take the gum out of your mouth next time."

The sun was hot. It burned holes in the fog cover and wilted the girls' spirits. Periodically, they scanned the horizon for a sign of a ship or plane but there was nothing but those same darkening clouds in the distance. Only Talyor seemed unbothered by the heat, the bugs, the fear.

"Again!" she called from her perch on the rocks as the girls marched forward one by one addressing an imaginary audience.

Excerpted from Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
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