• Michelle

Book Review: You Should See Me in a Crown

4/5 Stars.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is an absolutely beautiful debut of an equally beautiful story. The book follows Liz Lighty, an anxious, queer Black girl shut in on herself for fear of getting attention and standing out. After a scholarship fallout with the college of her dreams, Liz joins the race to become Prom Queen for a chance to earn another possible scholarship; however, doing so puts her more in the spotlight. Liz finds herself thrown into a whole new world that she has to navigate while juggling friendship and finding self-worth, even while crushing hard on the new girl in school.

This book does a brilliant job of including all the cute fluff of YA contemporary romance stories while mixed with recognizing self-worth and finding a voice in a environment that's always trying to keep you quiet. I adore Liz Lighty. She is flawless, feels so real and genuine, and despite facing racism, homophobia, and a toxic popularity contest, Liz's story has such joy throughout the book.

Family and friendship dynamics also takes center stage throughout the story, and I especially loved the different sides of friendship that are shown in the book. Friendship isn't always a happy ride, there's sometimes bumps and bruises along the way, and I feel this story does a great job in showing the realistic good, bad, and ugly of it. Liz's family is another wonderful addition in the story. Their whole family relationship is precious, strong, and so, so supportive.

The romance wasn't the primary focus of the story, but it works for the message of what this book is telling the reader. Being a queer Black girl isn't the whole story, there's so much more to it than the romance. That being said, I loved Mack, I loved the nervous, excited energy of having crushes, and I loved the execution of their relationship and how it tied into everything else.

Not sure what else I need to say to convince you to read this book! It's definitely a new favorite of mine, and I'm excited to read other works of Leah Johnson!

You Should See Me in a Crown is out now!

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Where to purchase:

Barnes and Noble


Book Depository


Check with your local Indie Book Stores!

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