top of page

You Should See Me in a Crown Review

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty is a Black high schooler looking to get into an expensive college. When the scholarship she was counting on doesn’t work out, she figures out a way to get one more chance at the money - becoming prom queen of a school where prom is the biggest event of the year. But her school is very conservative and traditional, and when she starts crushing on a girl at school, her reputation and her heart come into conflict.


Queer, young adult, contemporary


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?


This was a fluffier book than I usually read, but I heard so many great things about it that I had to check it out. Not to mention this is one of the rare Black sapphic books which received quite a bit of attention. This was a very cute, light read. It’s a great book if you’re looking for a break from heavier stories. Honestly, it was great to read such a fun, light-hearted book during all the stress of 2020. It does deal with themes of homophobia, as the school doesn’t allow gay couples to officially go to prom together. These themes are mild, though, and overall the story takes a happy tone. The romance was very cute, and I also loved the side story of Liz trying to reform her friendship with a guy who abandoned her in freshman year. Friendship stories don’t often get a lot of attention in YA contemporaries, but this one was well-developed. A cute, fluffy romance to read for some much-needed relief from the cycle of doom and gloom.

bottom of page