If you want a book right now that will make you feel giddy, unparalleled joy, this is the one. Liz Lightly has lofty post-high school dreams, but lacks the funds to make them come true. Her solution: win the prom queen scholarship. Effervescent, adorable, and the feel-good release of the summer.
A Staff Favorite!
Loved this book about Liz, her family, and friends. Liz, a poor black girl living in a wealthy white town, runs from prom queen for the scholarship money. Shes an aspiring musician and doctor bc her brother’s chronic illness. She’s out to her family and friends but not open at school, until a new girl, Mack, arrives at school. Liz navigates her friendships and her new crush, all while trying to overcome feelings of lack of self worth. She rekindles and old friendship while excusing her bff. The second half will give you all the feels and you will love the ride.— Audrey H.
If you want a book right now that will make you feel giddy, unparalleled joy, this is the one. Liz Lightly has lofty post-high school dreams, but lacks the funds to make them come true. Her solution: win the prom queen scholarship. Effervescent, adorable, and the feel-good release of the summer.— Amanda
This book is just fantastic. It feels so real and wonderful, and it just makes me happy. Fun with serious moments, this book is full of love, friendship, and all the glamor of prom season. I absolutely loved the way that YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN refused to to shy away the issues that make this story feel real and relatable, but managed to keep the levity and joy as well. Johnson presents racism and micro-aggressions, along with homophobia and classism, in a way that felt authentic and painful to me as a white reader, and I hope other readers will agree. She also deftly writes first love, musical passions, complicated friendships, and the deep abiding love of family (both blood and choice), in a way that hits you so hard you can’t help but laugh and smile through the tears.— Tildy
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?
About the Author
Praise for You Should See Me in a Crown:
A Reese's Book Club YA Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Well-Read Black Girl June Book Club YA Book Pick
* "Pitch perfect romcom...The queer prom romance you didn't know you needed." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Johnson's pacing is perfect as the story unwinds at dizzying speed...Readers will fall in love with this refreshing book that celebrates the beauty of individuality." -- School Library Journal
"Johnson puts a fresh spin on this novel with an unlikely romance, heartwarming friendships, and the tension of being Black, poor, and queer in a small town. A feel-good title for sure." -- Booklist
"Filled with humor, heart, and swoon-worthy romance." -Kristina Forest, author of I Wanna Be Where You Are
"A love story worthy of a crown." -Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best
"With characters I adore and a romance that brought tears to my eyes, You Should See Me in a Crown absolutely stole my heart." -Kacen Callender, author of This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and
Felix Ever After
"You know when a book is like the ideal friend? You Should See Me in a Crown is that kind of book. Juicy, sharp, romantic, big-hearted, real. I loved it." -Anna Godbersen, author of the New York Times bestselling Luxe series
"You Should See Me in a Crown is a powerful, absolutely relatable story that reminds Black, queer girls they have the power to do anything they want." -Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure
"With a refreshing voice and an unforgettable main character, Leah Johnson has written a stunning debut. Liz Lighty is smart and hilarious." -Sabina Khan, author of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali