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Among the Departed by Vicki Delany
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
Buttercream Bump Off
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A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett
Darling by K. Ancrum
Deadly Ever After by Eva Gates
Death by the Dozen by Jenn McKinlay
Dough Boys by Paula Chase
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A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
Much Ado About Muffin by Victoria Hamilton
One Way or Another by Kara McDowell
Ozma by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell
A Problematic Paradox by Eliot Sappingfield
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Read and Gone by Allison Brook
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson
Stargazer by Anne Hillerman
Tune It Out by Jamie Sumner
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Wicked Things by John Allison and Max Sarin (Illustrations)
Witches and Wedding Cake by Bailey Cates

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Miss Meteor: 07/28/21

Miss Meteor by Nidhi Chanani

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.

Five stars

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