Title: You Should See Me In A Crown
Author: Leah Johnson
Published: December 2020
Readership: Young Adult
I received a copy of You Should See Me In A Crown from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed mid-western town. But its 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 schools 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.
You Should See Me In A Crown is an utter delight of a book to read.
Liz is a Black teenager with a plan to escape her small town after high school and pursue her dream of studying music at an elite college. When her plans don’t pan out accordingly, she finds herself having to rely on a scholarship awarded to the year’s Prom King and Queen and involve herself in the public events she usually tries to avoid.
This book is so much fun. Liz is an absolutely fantastic female lead, and she’s surrounded by an awesome collection of supporting characters that just make you want to spend more time in the book. Liz is navigating a lot – a change in her neatly ordered plans, a new relationship with the new girl at the school, Amanda, and trouble with her best friend and racial issues. Complex friendship issues are not new in young adult books, by Leah Johnson has handled them with a deftness that makes it look easy, and we, the reader, feel every second of Liz’s struggles and triumphs.
All the events leading up to Prom are fun and often hilarious. Liz often comments on the ridiculousness of all of them, but does end up enjoying herself more often than not.
There’s a lot of love for music in the book – both Liz and Amanda are passionate about music, playing and listening to it. It adds a lot of extra depth to an already entertaining book.
It you want a book that will truly make you smile, this is the one for you.