The One True Me and You is a debut young adult novel that has non-binary representation. As soon as I read the premise, I knew I had to read it. It involves two separate world colliding (a beauty pageant and a fandom convention) in a specious Florida hotel. And in the middle of this collision are the two narrators Teagan and Kaylee.
Teagan is seventeen years old and is competing as Miss Virginia in the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. The grand prize is a $25,000 scholarship which could really benefit Teagan who has been primarily raised by her widowed father The pageant is being held at the same hotel as a fandom convention (Great Con) and secretly she is so excited about this as she is a total geek. On the surface, she has to pretend to be annoyed by the convention or risk her secret coming out. The secret that not only is she a geek but, she is also totally gay.
Kaylee is also seventeen and attending her first convention. She is also a well known fanfic writer on Tumblr. They are so excited to finally meet their fandom friends. There is also a bit of a side quest planned for this convention: 1) Try out the pronoun they/them to see how it feels 2)wear more masculine presenting cosplay and 3) kiss a girl for the first time. Kaylee feels like there is alot riding on this convention and they are not exactly thrilled that the beauty pageant is also at the hotel. Well that is until they meet Teagan and all the sparks begin to fly.
From their first meeting Teagan and Kaylee have chemistry. They are immediately attracted to each other and spend hours talking. They also discover that they have a shared enemy – Madison also known as Miss North Carolina. Madison attends Kaylee’s school and has made her life a living hell. She is also a competitor in the pageant and always tries to get other competitors to sabotage themselves. As neither character is fully out out their sexuality, there is a constant feeling of being found out especially with Madison around. In order to spend time together, there is a little bit of sneaking around involved. I loved the sneaking around and easily believed in the connection between the two characters.
Teagan and Kaylee have help sneaking around from friends at both the Great Con and the pageant. I absolutely adore the community that was being formed here. There is a no judgement – perhaps a bit of friendly concern – but no judgement. As the two narrators question who they are. this group of friends is there to support them all the way. They are also there to protect one another. It’s hard to believe that this is first time that Teagan and her friends are meeting in person. These friendships are solid!
I really enjoyed the growth of both Teagan and Kaylee throughout the story. It is a quick read as everything happens in one short weekend but, there is still alot packed into it. These two characters find inner strength to accept themselves as who they really are. Especially Kaylee who is so precious as a character. Their cosplay costumes and fanfics had me rooting for them all along. I also cheered Teagan on as she embraced her geeky side and actually used it to help with her pageant competition. There was just so much good throughout that it helped sooth out some of the rough spots.
The One True Me and You is both educational and hopeful. Teens questioning themselves and their identities is completely normal. I felt that this story was grounded in truth including the less pleasant moments of homophobia. It leaves you with a feeling of possibility – and I sincerely look forward to seeing what Remi K. England comes up with next!
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**