This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore. The magical book takes a look at the ups and downs of small-town life—especially for those who are “other”—and how beauty pageants can mend broken friendships.

Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!

Icebreaker

Cornhole is a Huge Deal at Meteor Central High. Did your high school have any “unusual” sports or popular clubs?

and/or

Lita loves cupcakes with pickled jalepeños on top. What’s a weird food pairing that you can’t get enough of?

Questions

When Lita first mentions that she arrived in Meteor with a meteor, did you think she was telling the truth? Or just being colorful? How did this magical realism element increase or decrease your enjoyment of the book? What did you think about how the authors utilized the idea of an alien as a theme in the story?

When it comes to expressions of identity, Chicky and Cole have very different philosophies. For Chicky: “In a town this small, for girls like us, survival is based mostly on how well you can camouflage.” And for Cole: “It’s clear just from proximity that he knows who he wants to be, and he’s brave enough to be it out loud.” As a reader, and a former teen, which attitude resonated with you? And why do you think their fellow students treat Chicky and Cole so differently?

Related, there’s a line in the book about letting “the town pretend it’s tolerant by not making them reach too far to prove it.” How did that point hit you?

What did you think happened between Lita and Chicky before it was fully explained?

In interviews, the authors have talked about the importance of marginalized teens seeing themselves in books with fun settings, stories with happy endings. Do you think they successfully balanced heavier, emotional themes in this book with notes of joy and hope?

What did you expect to happen with the Miss Meteor pageant? Were you close to the actual outcome or way off?

Do you feel that the romance elements of the book were necessary? Why or why not?

Are you more of a Lita or a Chicky? 

Lita names her friend cactuses things like Señora Strawberry and Herr Rainbow Hedgehog. Have you ever named a plant, and if so, what did you call it?

Whose story would you love to read more of?


If you’re already a member of an FYA Book Club, please make sure to vote for your favorite FYABC selection of 2021 here.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and their dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.