You Should See Me In A Crown

Review: You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

You Should See Me In A Crown is the sapphic YA romance I’ve been dying for.

You Should See Me In A Crown CoverLiz 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? (Goodreads) Goodreads

I read You Should See Me In A Crown on audiobook via Hoopla.

Before this book, I had never heard of a prom queen scholarship, but I’ve definitely heard of weirder local ones. This scholarship, and all of the reasons she needed it, took a common basic YA plot and tropes and made it everything I wanted it to be and more.

You Should See Me In A Crown needs trigger warnings for discussion of past death of a parent, being publicly outed without consent, homophobia, hospitalization of a family member, discussion of sickle cell anemia.

I really loved the way that Johnson dealt with the complexities of high school friendship, especially when you’re already an outsider like Liz is. I loved how awkward Liz and Mack were with each other, and how much they grew together over the course of the book.

I don’t have sickle cell anemia, so I can’t speak to the representation there, but I can say that I was extremely glad that it was a normal part of their lives. Liz tried to let Robbie have his space, while still making sure he was taking care of himself. She did her best to deal with her own trauma from losing her mom without putting all of that stress onto him the way so many other books with disabled siblings do. It was a relief as a disabled reader. I really loved the whole family’s relationships with each other.

I can’t wait to see what Johnson wows us with next. If this sounds like your thing, and it should be, you can pick up a copy of You Should See Me In a Crown from Bookshop, Amazon or Book Depository through our affiliate links


Title: You Should See Me In A Crown

Author: Leah Johnson

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Length: 328 Pages

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Rating: Highly Recommended

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Representation: Black queer MC with anxiety, white queer LI, Black secondary character with Sickle Cell Anemia

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound, BOOKSHOP The Book Depository, The Ripped Bodice and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, LFAI will make a small amount of money off of the sale.