You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown

eBook - 2020
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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?


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Mar 22, 2021

I love how You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson touches on loss, racism, mental illnesses, the LGBTQ+ community, and privilege in this novel, which is not something I see often combined with a touch of humor. I also really love how Liz Lighty was so hard working throughout the entire book, there wasn’t once where she wallowed in self-pity. Whenever the odds were stacked against her, Liz would hold her head up because that was the “Lighty way.” Liz’s character development was top-notch, she certainly isn’t a perfect human being and made a few judgmental mistakes along the way, but in the end, you really could tell that she learned from them. There was a certain character that I found to be kind of a cliché and was sad when there wasn’t a redemption arc or something to justify her actions, but I liked that the overly-feminine “mean girl” trope wasn’t overplayed with the prom court girls. All in all, this is a great book that perfectly balances modern-day injustices and cute moments with a strong female protagonist for you to root for.

Mar 01, 2021

I loved reading this book and spending time with Liz and her friends. It’s a book full of joy and sweetness and the ups and downs of high school, and it’s a book I wish existed when I was a teenager. I hope it gets into the hands of kids who feel wary of being themselves, and kids who need to see a happy ending for a queer Black girl in a small town.

JCLRachelN Dec 29, 2020

This book was enjoyable from its delightful cover to the last few pages. I found myself rooting for Liz Lighty as she puts her name in for prom queen and navigates friendships, love, and the new attention it brings. Liz is such a great character and I'm glad I picked up this story.

JCLHeatherM Nov 25, 2020

Part of Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' book club, prom season is in full swing in Midwestern Indiana.

Oct 15, 2020

So cute! Definitely worth the read.

VaughanPLShelly Oct 14, 2020

This is easily one of my favourite books of the year! Both teens and adults alike will enjoy this prom-themed rom-com. Despite some of the more heavy subjects that may appear, the author still managed to make this book feel refreshing and hopeful. Highly recommend!

DCLkids Oct 09, 2020

A Great Books for Great Kids staff pick 2020. When Liz loses out on a music scholarship, she is determined to get money for college any way she can. She decides to run for prom queen, even though she has never thought of herself as prom queen material, in the hopes of getting the scholarship money that comes with the crown. Grades 7-8.

KyCCL Oct 04, 2020

If you have ever felt out of place, or been in a high school music group, or gone to high school, you will find something in this book that you can relate to. It is fan-tas-tic!

Sep 30, 2020

i love this book so much omfg

IndyPL_ShelbyP Sep 04, 2020

I'm not crying - who is cutting onions here? This book has everything you could possibly want in a YA prom story. It's cute, quirky, queer, and tugs a little at the heartstrings. What I loved so much about this book is how Johnson puts TLC in all of the different relationships that Liz has in this book and that there is growth all around. Also, definitely biased here, but I always love a good story that takes place in Indiana.

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Mar 22, 2021

brendvduong thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Mar 22, 2021

After spending high school studying here is nothing more Elizabeth “Liz” Lighty wants than to attend Pennington College and follow her late mother’s footsteps. Unfortunately for her, Liz wasn’t granted an orchestra scholarship and doesn’t want to burden her grandparents with the news. All hope seems to be lost until Liz’s brother suggests that she runs for prom queen for a chance to win the $10,000 scholarship. There’s only one problem: Liz has anxiety, and the thought of being in the spotlight terrifies her. Fortunately, she has the support of her campaign manager, little brother, an old friend, and a new maybe (girl)friend to help her through it all.


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