MISS METEOR by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore

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.


Title : Miss Meteor
Author : Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore
Format : ARC
Page Count : 396
Genre : YA LGBTQIAP+ contemporary/magical realism
Publisher : HarperTeen
Release Date : September 22, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

If you’re looking for a lovely, heartfelt, and heartwarming story about friendship, about accepting who you are even in the face of judgment and ridicule, about taking risks, about friendship blossoming into more..? You need this book.

I am a girl worth the space I take up.

I won’t say it’s a walk in the park to read. As mentioned RE judgment and ridicule, there is a significant amount of bullying, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia within the pages of this book. There were times this was hard. There were times I wanted to set fire to certain characters. But those who were being targeted found their voices, they pushed back, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the bullies don’t win this one.

You guys aren’t, like, mad? You don’t think I’m a weirdo?
Honey, we’re not even surprised. I mean, at first I didn’t know what [pansexual] meant. I thought maybe we’d left you alone in the kitchen to wash the skillets too many times and..

This story has a magical realism element that is just.. well, magical. A little strange. A bit whimsical. A whole lot of wonderful. It helped, too, that said magical element was also surrounding my favourite POV. While Chicky’s sibling dynamic was a huge highlight of this story, and I loved that she broke out to claim something of herself, I’ll admit I didn’t quite love being in her head. At least not compared to Lita. Lita who also had the sweetest of love interests (though actually I liked both romances, yes, two for the price of one!) and.. yeah, Lita just completely won me over. I feel very soft.

“I called Kendra. She said it was okay.”
She what?
She said, ‘Yeah, sure, why don’t you just move in while you’re at it?’
Do we need to have a discussion about what sarcasm is?

This whole experience, even the hard bits, was just a delight. There are familiar elements at work — small town, battle of the classes/jocks vs not-jocks, popular kids picking on the not-populars, etc — but this’ll stand out not just because of the representation, of which there is much, but because of how lovely and supportive this group of friends are. You know me, I’m trash for an ensemble, and throw in a cause (in this case, challenging the status quo of the beauty pageant), and it all just.. works.

When you look at me, I know you see more than the shortstop, or the trans guy, or whatever people call me when they forget my name. Do you know how much I need that? Do you know what it’s like to have that when you usually don’t get it?

I highly recommend finding some #ownvoices reviewers, as their opinion should definitely take precedence over mine, but I also highly recommend you just read this book.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

ALL THIS TIME by Mikki Daughtry & Rachel Lippincott

Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school, but when Kimberly breaks up with him on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world upends—literally. Their car crashes and when he awakes, he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. And no one in his life could possibly understand.

Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. And when their paths cross, Kyle sees in her all the unspoken things he’s feeling.

As Kyle and Marley work to heal each other’s wounds, their feelings for each other grow stronger. But Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment that will blow up his life as soon as he’s started to put it back together.

And he’s right.


Title : All This Time
Author : Mikki Daughtry & Rachel Lippincott
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : Contemporary YA
Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date : September 29, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★


Micky’s 2 star review

I’m sorry to say this story didn’t work for me on any level, so I’m going to keep my review short. I really enjoyed this author duo’s FIVE FEET APART, so I was eager to see another story from them. The cover is pretty and it felt like a style that fitted with their previous book.

This story takes the reader through death, loss, grief, healing, recovery and yet, does it really? From the first few pages, this story forced a seemingly emotional story on the reader. It felt too much, too soon. The protagonist Kyle was going through so much and yet I had a sneaking suspicion.

Honestly, the story didn’t relent, lurching from one emotional event to another, with Kyle, Sam and Kim then Kyle and Marley. I found the plot utterly ridiculous when at 65% what I suspected was coming, was realised. How I limped to the end, I’m unsure. This felt like an immature plot and read for me and I’m gutted to be saying that so plainly. I suspect this will work on a surface level for teen readers and for that I’m glad.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for the early review copy.

AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool

The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.

In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.

As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins. 


Title : As The Shadow Rises
Author : Katy Rose Pool
Series : Age of Darkness (book two)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 496
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date : September 1, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

I’m not going to say this was a disappointing sequel, because it wasn’t, but I’ll admit that the excitement I felt in book one was mostly missing here. Whereas in THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS I think I was pretty interested in all of the POVs, this time I definitely had favourites and sorta slogged along in some of the paralell plotlines as they eventually converged into one. That said, this is definitely a twisty installment and of a few of the reveals, I think I only managed to predict one of them. I really liked that.

I mentioned in my review for book one, this is definitely a darker, grittier, version of the Falling Kingdoms series. And I totally stand by that assesment; in fact, this book only solidified my opinion on that comparison. We didn’t gain any new POVs, though we did gain quite a few new faces along the way, but what did change were many of the dynamics we had been given in book one. I enjoyed seeing these characters overlap, pass amongst each other, and then come together.

I did like this installment, it pretty much absorbed me all afternoon, but I hope book three pushes this out of like-zone and back to really like (if not love!)-zone to round out the series.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

MONTHLY WRAP UP – SEPTEMBER 2020

To close out each month, we’ll be posting a break down of everything we reviewed, beginning with the reads we loved.. and ending with the reads we didn’t. Not only does this compile all our reviews in one handy summary for you to peruse, or catch up on, it also gives us an interesting birds eye view of the month and our reads. And maybe, even, our moods.


☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

FURIA by Yamile Saied Méndez — see Micky’s review here (!)
HEARTSONG by TJ Klune — see Hollis’ review here
BROTHERSONG by TJ Klune — see Hollis’ review here

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

CHARLOTTE by Helen Moffett — see Micky’s review here
A DEADLY EDUCATION by Naomi Novik — see Micky & Hollis’ reviews here
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT by Tessa Bailey — see Hollis’ review here (!)
PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam — see Micky’s review here
COMMON GOAL by Rachel Reid — see Hollis’ review here
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner — see Hollis’ review here
RED ROOSTER by Lauren Gilley — see Hollis’ review here
WOLFSONG by TJ Klune — see Hollis’ review here
RAVENSONG by TJ Klune — see Hollis’ review here
THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden — see Micky’s review here
SERPENT & DOVE by Shelby Mahurin — see Micky’s review here
FABLE by Adrienne Young — see Micky’s review here
THE SILVERED SERPENTS by Roshani Chokshi — see Hollis’ review here
WHO I WAS WITH HER by Nita Tyndall — see Micky’s review here
A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore — see Micky’s review here
THE OBELISK GATE by N. K. Jemisin — see Hollis’ review here
THE STONE SKY by N. K. Jemisin — see Hollis’ review here
THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks — see Micky’s review here
NOTES FROM SMALL PLANETS by Nate Crowley — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED by Kerrigan Byrne — see Hollis’ and Micky’s review here
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT by Tessa Bailey — see Micky’s review here (!)
FURIA by Yamile Saied Méndez — see Hollis’ review here (!)
BLOODY ROSE by Nicholas Eames — see Hollis’ review here
WELL PLAYED by Jen DeLuca — see Hollis’ review here
YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria — see Hollis’ review here

☆ ☆ star reads

BLOOD & HONEY by Shelby Mahurin — see Micky’s review here
BREATHLESS by Jennifer Niven — see Micky’s review here

star reads

u n r a t e d

DNF

BEYOND THE SEA by LH Cosway – Micky’s brief GR thoughts here


additional reads not reviewed for blog : two
DONT YOU FORGET ABOUT ME –see Micky’s GR review here
total reads by Micky : fifteen
favourite read of the month : FURIA
least favourite read of the month : BREATHLESS
most read genre : YA contemporary

total reviews by Hollis : seventeen
favourite read of the month : HEARTSONG by TJ Klune
least favourite read of the month : YOU HAD ME AT HOLA by Alexis Daria
most read genre : paranormal/fantasy