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

You Should See Me in a Crown is a book that’s been on my radar for awhile. Isabelle already read and reviewed this book and you can read her review here. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book, so it was finally time for me to sit down and read it. Did it meet up to my expectations? Keep on reading to find out!

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?

Review

“I never needed this race or a hashtag or a king go be a queen. I was born royalty. All I had to do was pick up my crown.”

I’ve been seeing this book everywhere since it released and after reading it, I really understand why. You Should See Me in a Crown sucked me in from the start and I just couldn’t put it down. In my opinion those are the best kind of books: ones you can’t put down and really hit you in all the feels. This is definitely a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

I was already in The Netherlands when I started high school, so it’s really fun to read about prom and everything about it. I don’t know if I would’ve actually done anything like that, but it’s still interesting to read about something I didn’t experience. What I loved was that prom court wasn’t just about popularity. The students had to participate in other activities to even be eligible to be in the top four that were nominated. I really think schools should do this more. Not only that, the activities and volunteer work were a lot of fun to read about.

“Silence and shame aren’t the same thing – not by a longshot. But sometimes silence is simpler.”

Liz is our main character and I adored her. I loved her passion for music and the school she wanted to get in to. It’s really hard when money ends up being what will hold you back from your dreams. That’s also why I think it was really brave of her to do something totally outside of her comfort zone. I don’t think that’s something I would’ve done. In many ways she really only does it, so her grandparents won’t even try to do even more for her and cause them debt. I loved that about her. She was such a family person and felt really responsible for them. It was interesting to see her really stand up for herself as things went on and how she eventually ended up getting so much support.

And don’t get me started about the romance! Yes, it had its ups and downs for multiple reasons and communication could’ve made things less complicated. But I loved Liz and Mack. Them getting closer was just so cute and really heartwarming. The grand gesture near the end was really everything! The romance was a big part of the book, but it was balanced in the story and I love when authors do that!

“My lips find hers before I can even get the words out. It’s hurried and excited and a little messy, but just like a great arrangement of the right song, the beauty is in the imperfections.”

The friendships were fun in You Should See Me in a Crown, but also really complicated. Some friendships had falling out and some found there way back to each other. Also, this book proved that sometimes things aren’t always what we think and that we need to keep an eye out for stereotypes and maybe look a bit deeper. Last but not least, Liz’s family in this story was everything! I wouldn’t mind being a member. The relationship between Liz and her brother Robbie was so sweet and touching. I have to say I wouldn’t complain if we eventually got a book about Robbie.

Contemporary is my go to genre and I know for sure this one will be on my favorites list of 2020 at the end of the year!

You Should See Me in a Crown met all of my expectations and then some! I can’t wait until this author gives us more books. This book made me laugh and cry and hit me in all the feels. If you’ve read this one, I’d love to know what you thought. Let me know in the comments!

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