You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Young Adult | Contemporary | LGBTQ
Published by Scholastic Press
Released June 2nd 2020
Goodreads | Amazon
I skipped my high school prom. I was an anti-social loner with extreme social anxiety and decided to stay home on that particular night. I don’t regret it, but sometimes I do feel like I missed out on a normal high school experience.
Fortunately, Leah Johnson’s knockout debut novel, You Should See Me in a Crown, allowed me to live vicariously through the main character, Liz Lighty. It was a delightful experience and I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected.
The novel follows Liz Lighty after the college scholarship she had been expecting and counting on falls through, and she’s desperate to find another way to go to her dream school. Luckily, her Campbell, IN high school is obsessed with prom and offers their yearly prom king and queen a substantial scholarship.
Since it appears to be one of her few remaining options, Liz enlists the help of her friends to become prom queen. Things get a little derailed, however, when a new girl shows up and sweeps Liz off her feet.
I went into You Should See Me in a Crown skeptically, as young adult contemporary often leaves me feeling bored. I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to the audiobook (narrated by Alaska Jackson), however.
The romance between Liz and the new girl, Mack, is adorable. While Mack does have some manic pixie dream girl/quirky qualities, it’s not so over-the-top that it detracts from the character or the story.
Like many YA contemporary romances, this book seemed like it could be easily adapted to a cute family channel show or movie. I did find my skeptical adult self scoffing at some points at how perfectly everything worked out, but as a teenager, I don’t think I would have been so cynical (thanks world). I’m not going to fault a YA book for being something that its target audience would enjoy.
I definitely recommend picking up this book or audiobook and giving it a go. It’s a quick, light read that’ll leave you with a smile on your face.