eARC Review – The One True Me and You by Remi K. England

Title: The One True Me and You

Author: Remi K. England

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: March 1st, 2022

272 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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?

Review

This is one of those books that I downloaded without knowing anything about the overall story line or characters and I don’t know what I expected from it going in – but it wasn’t what I got – and it was WONDERFUL. Imagine a pageant queen with a hidden nerd side and a nerd having a gender identity and sexuality crisis and you have the characters in this book. I have been so excited about the wave of LGBTQ romances being published – especially in the YA genre – and I genuinely didn’t know that would play a part in this book!

Kay comes from a small town in North Carolina where considering gender identity is ridiculed and frowned down upon, so when they go to a fandom convention where they can be themselves, they decide to try out being the self they want to be. And then there is Teagan, a pageant queen just trying to win enough money to go to college. She is a out lesbian, except in the pageant circuit. They meet when the fandom convention and the pageant are held at the same hotel and there are immediate sparks.

I hands down loved this romance. The struggle Kay goes through with their identity and the exploration with Teagan was so charming and I imagine important to see represented for those who feel similarly. There was also a very interesting discussion about pageants and the underlying stereotype about those who compete in beauty pageants, and frankly it made me think about some opinions I have about them. I love when a book can be light and romantic while also delving into serious topics and making you question your world view. It’s a balancing act that England did masterfully in this book.

Highly recommend for those looking for a great LGBTQ book, specifically in the non-binary sphere.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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