One of the Biggest Must-Read YA Contemporaries of 2020 | Reviews: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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Consider this your not-so-gentle-reminder to pick up You Should See Me in a Crown if you haven't already. 

  You Should See Me in a Crown by 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
Rating: ★★★★★ (CAN I GIVE IT FIFTY?) 

Continuing on with the traditional "I wish I had this book when I was in my early-mid teens" opening remark, there is simply not enough time to sing my praises over You Should See Me in a Crown. We'd be here until I was in my 80s. Well, that's a lie, considering You Should See Me in a Crown has successfully melted both my heart and me. (Insert a gif of the Wicked Witch melting here.) 

Let's face it: 2020 has been a total sh*t-show in so many ways. The fact that books like You Should See Me in a Crown exist makes the year just a little brighter. And there is no doubt about it that Leah Johnson has created a magnificent coming of age story that will brighten your year, give you the warm and fuzzies, and have you completely in your feeling for weeks after reading. 

As someone who grew up in a small city/town in Indiana, not unlike the setting for You Should See Me in a Crown, there's something nostalgic about the story itself. Books like You Should See Me in a Crown and The Prom (based upon the musical of the same name) feel all too real and familiar. There's an instant familiarity to it that can be attested to Leah Johnson's embracing prose above all else. 

I laughed. I cried. I swooned. I felt that spark of life in my chest. Everything about You Should See Me in a Crown is YA perfection--the very kind that cannot be replicated and stands in a league of its own. I will not soon be forgetting Liz.

Johnson pens the quintessential coming of age story, with the prom as backdrop, in a way that feels both familiar and brand new. You Should See Me in a Crown is destined to smitten readers for years to come and will, without a doubt, be *that* book for many readers. From its representation to its honesty and feel good moments, You Should See Me in a Crown begs to be reread again and again.


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