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Pageant Queens & Cosplays

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday! With it being so close to March there are so many titles that either just came out or are coming out in the next week or two that I can't wait to read. I've already gotten the chance to read a few of them and I can't wait to share my thoughts. This book is one that comes out March 1st -next Tuesday- and I am very excited to pick up my physical copy so soon! The book is The One True You and Me by Remi K. England, being published by Wednesday Books. It is definitely a book I would recommend picking up when it comes out next week, and I'm excited to share my thoughts!

A queer meet-cute between an up and coming fanfic author and a pageant queen when their event fall at the same place on the same weekend. Teagan likes pageants, and the $25,000 scholarship the winner gets - that could pay for university- but she doesn't like the strictness that goes along with them. Kay wants to spend the weekend meeting fandom friends, trying out they/them pronouns, and maybe just maybe have their first kiss with a girl. Their last side quest of the weekend doesn’t seem too realistic until Kay runs into Teagan on the first night at a con party, when Teagan breaks curfew to get a glimpse at GreatCon in all its glory. Teagan needs to keep herself wrapped up for one last weekend, just long enough to win the pageant, but getting to be her true self at the convention with Kay might just be worth risking her future for.

I found the characters to be quite likeable, thought the queer rep throughout the book was excellent, and the overall queer nerdy vibes were exceptionally enjoyable. It was a shorter and easy read that was perfect for when I wanted a read that’d take me less than a day. I think having the book be a bit longer would’ve opened up a few more opportunities for deeper conversations - liking a non-binary person as someone who identifies as a lesbian, problematic issues within fandom spaces, and all the real emotions that come with being outed not just relief. For the length of the story being hat it was I understand how some of those conversations didn’t happen. Definitely something that would’ve just made the story even better than it was.

I loved having Kay as a main character who didn’t have everything figured out with their identity, but feeling safe enough in a certain place to get to explore what they’re feeling. Seeing them try out they/them pronouns and wear more masculine-presenting cosplay throughout the weekend and grow more comfortable with it made me incredibly happy. Teagan being a total nerd, loving getting dressed up, and being gay af honestly felt like such a mood. I loved seeing her figure out just how much it means to be her true self in front of everyone throughout the book.The progression was wonderful to see. Both Teagan and Kay put themselves out there and pushed out of their normal boundaries they were stuck within before, growing more confident throughout the course of the weekend.

The only thing that threw me off in the book was the interaction Kay and Teagan had with their shared enemy towards the end. Kay seemed to walk out of the situation feeling relief if anything but i know there were definitely more emotions that should’ve been talked about even just a bit. Kay seemed to overlook how big of a deal what happened was and that din’t quite sit right with me. I think including difficult situations but talking them through after within the book can be helpful, otherwise it downscales the importance and immensity of a situation.

After that interaction I was glad to see the book ended on quite a good note. It was a happy ending that gave hope for the future of the characters which made me happy to see. Given that the idea starts off as Kay and Teagan only having the one weekend to spend together, I liked how the story ended for the two of them.

I'd say this was definitely a 4.5/5⭐️ read for me. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC.

Emily Marie

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