Title: Miss Meteor
Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Format: Paperback ARC
Release Date: September 22, 2020
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.
Lita Perez has never felt like she fit in in her town of Meteor. Years ago, a meteor hit their town, giving it the name of Meteor. When it hit, Lita was created from the star dust. She grew up with the appearance of a human, but she’s from the stars. Now, that background is starting to affect Lita. She wants to fulfill her dream of becoming Miss Meteor by winning the beauty pageant in their town. She gets the help of her former best friend, Chicky, and Chicky’s older sisters who have competed in the pageant in the past. Chicky and Lita have never been the popular girls, and they’ve both been bullied, so they have to work extra hard to make Lita stand out in the competition.
This story had great queer representation. One of the characters was transgender. The way it was described by that character was that his family thought he was a girl when he was born, but they were wrong. This description takes the “blame” off the person who comes out as transgender, since they didn’t choose to be that way. Instead it shows that other people were wrong in assuming he was a girl as a child. I loved this description, since it takes the pressure off the person for being transgender and shows that it isn’t a choice.
There was a lot of bullying in this story, including transphobia, xenophobia, and homophobia. These acts and abuses were addressed. At first, I found it shocking that characters were saying these things to other characters in such a casual way. This shows how bullying can happen in casual ways, including by people who are closely related to you. Eventually it was addressed, but it was upsetting and shocking to read at some points.
The one thing that I would have liked to see more of is an explanation on how Lita came to be in Meteor. It wasn’t very clear how she was created from star dust. It was an interesting and fun science fiction storyline which left me with some questions.
I really enjoyed this original pageant story.
Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Have you read Miss Meteor? What did you think of it?