Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia
Young Adult, Magical Realism
HarperTeen, September 22nd 2020
e-ARC, 320 pages
There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.
Witty and heartfelt with characters that leap off the page, Miss Meteor is acclaimed authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s first book together.
Blog Tour Information
I was lucky enough to get selected for this book tour, so I’d like to extend a big thank you to Karina @ Afire Pages and HarperTeen for the opportunity to join this blog tour! I recieved an ARC in return for my participation, but of course that didn’t affect my opinions at all. You can find more infortmation about the tour on Karina’s blog here!
You can also enter an international giveaway for a finished copy here!
5 out of 5 stars
It’s rare a book feels as much like a warm hug as this one does, but I think that makes it all the more enjoyable. It’s not that Miss Meteor is light and fluffy, in fact it deals with a myriad of heavy topics such as coming out and bullying. It’s that the end message, the one that struck home for me, is that people will love you in spite of, or even because of, your differences.
I’m a long-time fan of Anna-Marie McLemore and a more recentish fan of Tehlor Kay Mejia but I think this is a cowritten project I’ve been waiting for. Their writing flows together so smoothly, it really just reads like two voices speaking in tandem telling the same story. YA has had a lot of cowritten books come out in the past few years but I genuinely think this one is a standout. If you don’t think you like cowritten stories, give this one a try before giving up.
The best part about this book, by and large, was the characters. Chicky and Lita were both so incredibly well fleshed out, and all the side characters were incredible and vivid. I feel like there’s a favourite for everyone in this book, everyone should be able to find at least one character that resonates with them. It’s such a uniquely enjoyable experience to feel like you’re inhabiting someone elses world, rather than simply reading a book.
Competition/tournament books are also one of my favourites, and I think McLemore and Mejia did an absolutely fantastic job at crafting the Miss Meteor Pagent and the storylines that go with it. I was enamoured by the way they weaved all the pieces of the plot into it, although I don’t think I would necessarily call it the axis of the story (more on that in a second)it was certainly a focal point. The message behind it was so well done too, Lita never falls into the trap of cattiness that so often perpatrates beauty pagent stories, and I loved her even more for it.
The true axis of Miss Meteor is, in my opinion, the relationship between Chicky and Lita. They spend most of the book orbiting each other, getting closer and then pulling away again when things get heavy or scary. Their story is one I think we’ve all experienced, losing a friend and losing a piece of yourself alongside them, and it made the ending for this book all the more impactful.
I’d be remiss not to talk about the representation in this book, because there’s so much of it. Chicky and Lita, as well as both of their families, are Latinx, as is a side character. I can’t personally speak to how good that particular type of rep was on a detailed level, but nothing stood out to me as gross or problematic about it. Chicky is also pansexual, as in says it on the page, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in a book. There’s also a side character that is trans, and it’s one of the best representations of a trans boy in young adult.
The takeaway from this should, hopefully, be threefold: 1) we need more books where platonic relationships are at the forefront, 2) if you like any of McLemore or Mejia’s books you should pick this up, and 3) we all need a Lita to our Chicky, or vice versa.
About the Authors
Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. They are the author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a finalist for the 2016 William C. Morris Debut Award; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature; WILD BEAUTY, a Kirkus Best Book of 2017; and BLANCA & ROJA, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. DARK AND DEEPEST RED, a reimagining of The Red Shoes based on true medieval events, is forthcoming in January 2020.
Tehlor Kay Mejia is a YA author and poet at home in the wild woods and alpine meadows of Southern Oregon. When she’s not writing, you can find her plucking at her guitar, stealing rosemary sprigs from overgrown gardens, or trying to make the perfect vegan tamale. She is active in the Latinx lit community, and passionate about representation for marginalized teens in media. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @tehlorkay. Her short fiction appears in the ALL OUT and TOIL & TROUBLE anthologies from Harlequin Teen. Her debut YA fantasy, WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE, is out 2/26/2019 from Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins, with a sequel to follow. Her debut middle grade, PAOLA SANTIAGO AND THE DROWNED PALACE, releases from Disney-Hyperion/Rick Riordan Presents in 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. METEOR, co-written with Anna-Marie McLemore, is out summer 2020 from HarperTeen.