You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Published: 1 June 2020

Genres: Romance, Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQ+, Realistic Fiction, Bildungsroman

* Bildungsroman is a coming-of-age story

Available as: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook


As an audiobook, You Should See Me in a Crown consists of 39 tracks narrated by Alaska Jackson with a total length of 7 hours and 18 minutes. Liz Lighty has her future meticulously planned: get a partial music scholarship to attend Pennington College, study medicine, and join the orchestra. Despite her hard work throughout high school, she does not receive the scholarship and she is too scared to tell her grandparents. Prom is a big deal in the town of Campbell, Indiana. So, her younger brother, Robbie, suggests she run for prom queen for the scholarship and her three best friends are ready to help her campaign. Along this journey to become prom queen, Liz meets her love Mack, rekindles her friendship with Jordan, and learns how to be comfortable being herself.


β€œI just want you to know that you can rest, Lizzie baby” – Granny

I would recommend this text to young adults who enjoy romance, stories of perseverance in relationships, and stories with protagonists of colour building their self-esteem. The quote above is from the falling action of the story when the grandma sits down with Liz and recognizes that she has been pushing herself too hard. It encapsulates the struggle of people of colour where they have to be resilient and push themselves above and beyond, sometimes even until burnout, in order to be able to accomplish their dreams. I especially enjoyed the relationships within the story. The romance of the story with Mack was so cute and progressed steadily throughout the text that it made it difficult for me to put the book down and I was cheering them on. This was also the first text that I read involving a bisexual main character that was able to come out to their family and be supported. The section where the doctor spoke to Liz and told her that she is a sister and not a caretaker or guardian for her brother spoke to me as a first child with siblings. I also liked that there was emphasis on working to fix relationships. Liz was willing to apologize when she lied to Mack and not avoid her despite the feelings of awkwardness. She was also willing to confront her best friend Gabbie about being unaccepting of her sexuality and ruining her relationship with her other best friend. She also did not give up on being friends with Gabbie. I appreciated that this text emphasized collectivism, valuing relationships with others and oneself, even while striving for goals that may be individualistic and involve competition.

Overall Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

3.75 – Sooooo cuteeeeee

Ending: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ—- 4.5/5

Plot: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 3/5

World-building: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•- 3/5

Characters: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ—- 4.5/5

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