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Miss Meteor Paperback – Import, 19 October 2021
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A gorgeous and magical collaboration between two critically acclaimed, powerhouse YA authors offers a richly imagined underdog story perfect for fans of Dumplin’ and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
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 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.
"A love letter to the misfits who have been scared to let their stardust shine." -- Kirkus Reviews
"McLemore and Mejia tell a warmly inclusive story rooted in the bonds of family and in female friendship. For anyone who's ever felt like an outsider, this joyful #OwnVoices tale will fill a void." -- Booklist
"This complex tale packs a lot into its space, and while the novel is sure to resonate with any kid who feels like an outcast and any reader who loved Murphy’s Dumplin’, it’s especially salient for those in the Latinx, queer, and economically disadvantaged communities." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"A genre-bending friendship story complete with aliens and beauty pageants...filled with humor and fresh dialogue." -- Shelf Awareness
“...Readers will be drawn into this story of an unlikely beauty queen." -- The Horn Book
“A unique and beautifully penned story, Miss Meteor belongs to the dreamers and the outsiders in this world who will find that they will always have a safe haven with the right people and that they can change the world, one beauty pageant at a time.” -- The Nerd Daily
"A luminous romp of a book that is both hilarious and tender. Mejia and McLemore have gifted us with a story that celebrates the eternal power of friendship." -- Abdi Nazemian, author of the Stonewall Honor-winning Like a Love Story
“A hilarious and heartfelt love letter in sparkling stardust prose to the outcasts who feel like they're from another planet.” -- Lily Anderson, author of Undead Girl Gang
“Some books you read with your heart—and this is one of them. Written with compassion, honesty, and humor, Miss Meteor is magical.” -- Shaun David Hutchinson, award-winning author of We Are the Ants, The State of Us, and Brave Face: A Memoir
About the Author
TEHLOR KAY MEJIA is a bestselling and award winning author of young adult and middle grade fiction.
Her debut young adult novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, received six starred reviews, as well as the Oregon Spirit Book Award for debut fiction, and the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award runner up honor for debut speculative fiction. It has been featured on Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and O by Oprah Magazine’s best books lists, and was a 2019 book of the year selection by Kirkus and School Library Journal. Its sequel, We Unleash the Merciless Storm, followed to continuing acclaim, while Miss Meteor (co-written with National Book Award Nominee Anna-Marie McLemore) was named to the American Library Association’s 2021 Rainbow List, honoring outstanding contributions in LGBTQIA teen fiction.
Tehlor’s debut middle grade novel, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, was published by the Rick Riordan Presents imprint at Disney/Hyperion. It received four starred reviews, and was named Amazon’s best book of 2020 in the 9-12 age range. It is currently in development at Disney as a television series to be produced by Eva Longoria.
Tehlor lives with her daughter, partner, and two small dogs in Oregon, where she grows heirloom corn and continues her quest to perfect the vegan tamale.
Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them) was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. Anna-Marie is 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 and winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award; 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, will be released in January 2020
- Publisher : HarperTeen (19 October 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062869922
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062869920
- Reading age : 14 - 17 years
- Item Weight : 295 g
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.29 x 20.32 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top review from India
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Trigger Warnings for the book: bullying, racism, xenophobia (including characters being called ‘alien’), queerphobia, lesbophobia, slurs against lesbians (d*ke, l*sbo), transphobia, pansexuality erasure
Representation: Latinx and Mexican protagonists, pansexual protagonist, Latinx side characters and love interest, trans male side character and love interest
What I love most about Miss Meteor is how instantly loveable the characters are. They are all quirky and unique, but in a way that doesn’t feel like somebody spun a wheel to find their quirks. They perfectly exhibit that middle ground of being children and adults, which is exactly what I am looking for a book about a bunch of 15-year-olds. They are wholesome and beautiful, on their way to becoming adults with strong morals and conscience.
The writing is another thing I enjoyed a lot with this book. It is subtle, beautiful, serene; it lightly tugs on your heart, beckoning you to follow along to the story. It is not immensely flowery or out of place in a novel about a small town and its beauty pageant. It effortlessly gives you the high school misfits and magical realism vibe. In my opinion, it compliments the story and the desert-like setting perfectly. There is something about it that makes you feel the ever-present sand moving through empty streets, the feeling of being in a small town in a vast country.
As much as I enjoyed reading about the characters, their stories, their relationships and their drive behind wanting Lita to become this year’s Miss Meteor, I feel as if a sense of cohesion was missing. Both Lita and Chicky have very distinct personalities and voice, which I greatly appreciate. But when you put them together in a book, it sets expectations for there to be a form of continuity, so that the reader doesn’t feel they are jumping from one island to another without any bridge connecting them; which is something I found lacking. With the way that Lita and Chicky’s friendship had disappeared, I wanted to see them spend more time together and reach out to each other emotionally; but what I got was them existing in each other’s vicinity, thinking about things that [in my opinion] did nothing to repair their friendship, but it was mended anyway. I do think that when they reached that final moment of convalescence, it does feel genuine and real; but it did not feel earned.
I loved Chicky instantly because she and I share many similarities, our sexuality and our struggle with it amongst them; but at the same time I couldn’t get a grasp on her personality and character. It may be because she keeps changing and growing throughout the progression of the story; but to me, it felt more like she needed to be fleshed out a little bit more. There were times when we’d learn new things about Chicky or Lita, and they seemed so out of the blue because there was no precedent for it; which pulled me out of story a couple of times as I desperately tried to connect the dots.
I really liked this book’s commentary on racism and xenophobia, how it explores it on different levels. It challenges the universal perception of beauty as white and thin; giving us a protagonist (Lita) who is none of those things, and having us root for her. Lita’s chubbiness is never seen as something ugly or something she needs to hide, which made me extremely happy; along with the fact that she gets to be chubby on the cover of the book. Her fatness is never erased or berated. Its themes of — growing up, learning about your own self, finding strength in your friends and family, and finding the strength to face obstacles head on — resonated deeply with me and made the book really special. Along with that, I found the humble beginnings, progression and the conclusion of the romances to be really enjoyable; which was surprising since I usually have a hard time finding romances as something genuine in most books.
In conclusion, I found this book to be like a light breezy high school movie that asks hard questions and forces you to answer them. It has its perfection and its flaws, but I believe it was worthy of my time and added value to it. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a short, romantic comedy like book which focuses on people of colour and their struggles, with small fancies of magic and stardust