Some books are just so happy and accepting that you can’t help but smile and feel all warm inside when you read them. That is The One True Me and You. It’s got fandom, fanfiction, queer love, figuring things out, and standing up for what you believe in.
I despise comparing it to Fangirl but because of the fandom talk/fanfiction parts of the story, it did remind me of that a little bit. But I liked this much more than that book and THIS IS GAY!
Ok, let’s discuss!
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
One small fandom convention. One teen beauty pageant.
One meet cute waiting to happen.
Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends in real life and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend:
Try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels
Wear more masculine-presenting cosplay
Kiss a girl for the first time
It’s… a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there’s this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols… and then, there’s Teagan.
Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize: the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. She also has secrets:
She loves the dresses but hates the tiaras
She’s a giant nerd for everything GreatCon
She’s gay af
If Teagan can just keep herself wrapped up tight for one more weekend, she can claim the scholarship and go off to college out and proud. If she’s caught, she could lose everything she’s worked for. If her rival, Miss North Carolina, has anything to do with it, that’s exactly how it’ll go down.
When Teagan and Kay bump into one another the first night, sparks fly. Their connection is intense—as is their shared enemy. If they’re spotted, the safe space of the con will be shattered, and all their secrets will follow them home. The risks are great… but could the reward of embracing their true selves be worth it?
Let’s talk characters because that’s what this book is all about.
Kay is the cutest fanfiction writer ever. They are trying out they/them pronouns while at the GreatCon. They also doubt their writing skills as every good writer does!
They also worry about being a young writer when all their fave fandom writers are older. But despite those doubts, this weekend is their time to be out and proud. Something they can’t do when they are in their small town.
Teagan is a beauty queen. She loves being in pageants but doesn’t like how much the judges expect from the contestants. She’s also very gay but knows she can’t be out and proud at pageants.
And as much as she loves pageants, she also LOVES fandom and cannot believe it when she sees that her favorite show’s convention is at the same hotel as the pageant.
Ok, now cut to a dance party at the convention. Teagan snuck in and Kay is there with their friends. This is when Teagan and Kay meet for the first time and BOOM! SPARKS AT FIRST SIGHT. They immediately form a connection.
At first, Teagan hides that she’s one of the pageant girls. When it comes out…well, Kay and her friends are a little shocked. But it doesn’t seem to be a huge deal.
The big problem is that one of the girls at the pageant (Miss North Carolina) is Kay’s bully in their hometown and an absolute narc who will rat on Teagan if she sees her hanging out with Kay. It makes things difficult to say the least but they make it work.
Until they don’t. Secrets can’t be kept forever. Not in a YA romance!! And especially not when everyone is stuck in one hotel.
I loved both Kay and Teagan. I loved their passion for the fandom and for their interests. Kay really loves writing and Teagan makes her own clothes and loves how fandom gives her a place to be herself.
I also love how much they learn from each other. Kay seems to have a little bit of a bias against pageant girls. Since a pageant girl is their biggest bully, it’s understandable that they would be unsure about Teagan’s involvement, but as they spend more time together and things start to get serious, they have to take a look inside to see why they feel so defensive towards Teagan being in pageants.
Teagan also comes to understand how important it is to Kay that their relationship and their sexuality be kept a secret. Kay lives in a small and bigoted town and if their sexuality is known to their bully and the rest of the town, it could be really bad for them.
That being said, they are so good together and grow together even in the short time they have. Like the final scene at the pageant together….CUTE AF.
I also really love their friends, especially Kay’s. They are so fun, loyal, and supportive. They even support Teagan even though they don’t know her very well.
I also LOVED the fandom aspects. They all love a show based on Sherlock Holmes and y’all KNOW how much I love that. It was so fun learning about this fictional show through Kay’s writing, everyone’s cosplay outfits, and all the fans talking about the show. It made me want it to be real.
I am giving The One True Me and You 4 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for a fun, queer fandom YA romance with some emotional moments, you NEED to read this book!
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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