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Miss Meteor: 07/28/21
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore is a YA novel that brings together my favorite parts of Stardust by Neil Gaiman (1998), Roswell (1999-2002), and You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Told in alternating chapters between Lita and Chicky, it's a celebration of family and friendship and town pride, against the backdrop of an annual beauty contest.
Lita and her adoptive mother came to Meteor in the rock that inspired the town's name. Now a teen, Lita's body is starting to revert back to stardust. She decides to spend what she believes is the last summer as a contestant in Miss Meteor.
Chicky is the youngest daughter of a family who runs the local diner. Her relationship to her family reminds me of Leo Logroño in A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano (2018). She and Lita used to be BFFs but had a falling out. This year's Miss Meteor contest is her chance to reconcile as she agrees to be Lita's manager.
Beyond this two Latinx girls and their families coming together to hopefully win the beauty pageant, the book is filled with a well written cast of interesting and diverse characters. There is good ethnic representation and good queer representation.
My favorite supporting character is Cole who is on a short list of well written transgender characters. His backstory isn't a major plot point. He's never deadnamed. We don't learn when he came out. All of that is said and done and everyone has pretty moved on by the time the novel opens. Yet there are moments of shared history among Cole, Lita and Chicky that give glimpses to those previous moments.