Review | You Should See Me In a Crown – Leah Johnson

As I mentioned before, I’m committed to reading more books by Black authors. And one I was pretty excited for was You Should See Me In a Crown. The book is also on Storytel so I decided to go for the audiobook and I finished it super quickly. Let’s dive into my thoughts!

Review | You Should See Me In a Crown – Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay -- Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down . . . until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen. There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Published by Scholastic on 02/07/2020
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400


I’m usually not a fan of people on covers but this is such a joyous one! The girl on the cover looks radiant and I really like the looks of her. I also like the typography and the little crown.

And I know then what I’ve always known: Campbell is never going to make a space for me to fit. I’m going to have to demand it.


You Should See Me In a Crown follows Liz Lighty. She gets some upsetting news from the college she is accepted into and decides the way to make her dreams come true is to win the scholarship that comes with becoming prom queen. I don’t know if this actually happens at any school, because I think it’s a bit weird, but it made for a fun concept! And it made for a fun and enjoyable book.

Just because it could be worse doesn’t mean you don’t get to acknowledge how much it sucks, you know.

I really enjoyed this contemporary story. Liz was a fun character to follow and it was great seeing her fall in love. This book also had some great messages about being yourself and I really appreciated that. I flew through the audiobook and had a big grin on my face throughout the story.

I did wish a lack of communication wasn’t the source of the issues in Liz’s relationship. Especially since it wasn’t that big of a deal in my opinion and Liz could’ve easily said why she was participating. I think the issue became bigger than the initial discomfort Liz was feeling and that just annoyed me a little bit. It might be realistic for a teenager though!

I nod anyway because honestly, if I’m gonna die, I want to die having said yes to her as many times as I can.

There was some awesome representation. I’m not an own voices reviewer for any of them so I can’t say anything about the accuracy but I read very realistic. There was also some representation I hadn’t read before and I always appreciate that.

The characters were interesting and fun to read about and I really felt like I got to know them. I just really really liked this book and thought it was well written. Mack and Liz were adorable and we got some fun references.

All in all I would highly recommend this book! If you’re looking for a book by a Black author, a book with a Black main character, a LGTBQ+ main character or simply a fun and cute contemporary YA book, this is the one for you!

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