Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore, a young adult story, was featured last year by Once Upon A Book Club, a subscription service for readers that includes gifts coordinated to certain pages in the story (read to the end for a coupon code worth 10% off anything in the store).
I was intrigued by the fantasy aspect of the story and it was my first story about a diverse Latinx cast and their non-Latinx community members.
The story follows Chicky, Lita, Cole, and Junior, a group of kind-of-misfits that go to the local high school of Meteor High. Once best friends, Chicky and Lita have drifted apart because of a secret that Chicky has long kept to herself. After being bullied and called a lesbo at the age of 9 on a school field trip, Chicky starts to question her identity and this makes her pull away from her friendship with Lita as a result. Lita has her own secrets as she is not actually from Earth but the sky. She’s made of stardust and the sky is trying to take her back as she slowly turns back into stardust throughout the book. Her only hope, she thinks, is winning the Miss Meteor pageant. Along the way, we meet bullies, a trans-male, and an artist with a hidden talent for corn hole as well as a community of people with double standards.
Together, the misfits bond over the antics that go along with entering a beauty pageant and their motives for helping Lita win the sash. The representation of the Latinx community in a town of white privileged families takes on a character all its own. Meanwhile, we also get to see the journey that all the characters take as they discover who they are and learn to be unapologetic for it. The representation of the trans-male at first irked me because it wasn’t realistic but it got better though as we learn why no one at school or in the community gives him a hard time about who he is and once it hits the fan, its almost liberating for the character. He also gets a serious moment of growth towards the end (no spoilers!).
The story was a bit slow in terms of the misfits getting their revenge on the bullies and finally showing the town they had worth but once it got going, it kept going and I finished half the book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Not one bit of it was predictable and it was a nice turn of pace to my usual reading fare of clean regency romance.
The gifts included with this box are some of the favorites that I’ve received from Once Upon A Book Club. Namely the inclusion of a tabletop corn hole game. Even when I saw the line that the “open your gift now” sticky was on, I still couldn’t guess what I would be opening. It was a wonderful surprise to be sure and one of the more creative gifts I’ve seen in a Once Upon A Book Club box.
The other gifts, while not having much of a “wow” factor were fitting for the story and I was not disappointed in them because they had heart.
Along with the four gifts, there was also a book club newsletter with questions to go along with the book, a bookmark, a signed place card to put inside the book, and Once Upon A Book Club’s signature quote art (a lot of subscribers collect these). If you were to buy this box when it was first released, you could do the read-along on Instagram.
If you are looking for a fun book where the misfits take center stage with a diverse cast of characters, this is the book for you. And if you are a reader who is looking for the perfect subscription box that includes surprises and heart, check out Once Upon A Book Club.
Once Upon A Book Club costs $50 including shipping to the US with shipping available to Canada and internationally for an additional fee. If you use code GEEKMOM10 you will receive 10% off anything in the store.
Each month they release a hint as to the next book to be released and it’s a surprise until you get it in your hot little hands. You can purchase a single box or have a subscription with automatic renewal. They currently offer a young adult subscription and an adult subscription. Each box contains between three and five gifts that go along with the story and you open each as you reach the designated page and sentence in the book.
The Miss Meteor box is still available if you are interested in checking it out for yourself.
Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a review sample.
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