You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Monday, August 31, 2020


by Leah Johnson
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 2nd 2020
Source: Library
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

Many thanks to Amber ad Sam for nudging me towards You Should See Me In A Crown. Listening to the audiobook made my daily walks much more enjoyable. This was a sweet book with a lot of innocence and heart to it. I adored it.

One of the reasons YA still resonates with me is the various friendships that YA authors successfully explore. While this book is unequivocally the journey of the protagonist, Liz, it's the friendships depicted here that I personally latched on. Not only do we see Liz be part of an amazing all-girls friend group, but we also see a rekindling friendship with her old friend, Jordan. I'm amazed at how well the ups and downs of the different friendships were shown here given how much meat there was to this story. It made me very happy to see Liz and her friends thrive and be supportive of each other, and I'm so glad YA is doing an incredible at painting the importance and joy of having wonderful friends.

Liz, as a character, had a profound journey during You Should See Me In A Crown. This Black queer young woman was going through so much as she navigated her final year in high school. She shouldered everything with zero complaints, often finding solutions to the hurdles she faced on her own and also dealing with anxiety. She had big dreams of pursuing a career in medicine and her first time was getting into her prestigious dream college. As she entered the race to win prom queen, Liz pushed herself into new experiences that presented her with moments of growth. You'll find yourself rooting for Liz and her happiness as there was not a character more deserving than her.

 The romance between Liz and the new girl, Mack, was so precious. I loved the innocence of their initial interactions and I found myself grinning at just how sweet they were together. I liked that their romance wasn't the focus of the book, but all the moments they did share together were magical. The family dynamics in You Should See Me In A Crown were also wonderful. Following her mother's death, Liz and her brother, who has a chronic illness, were raised by their loving grandparents. The two provided them with a nurturing home and Liz's love and respect for her grandparents was a strong element of this story. Her relationship with her younger brother was another relationship I loved. There was the usual teasing energy that siblings share, but also a lot of worry and desire to protect on each other's behalf.

You Should See Me In A Crown does a terrific job at balancing the serious issues with the lighter tone. If you read contemporary books, this is one you should try. I highly recommend the audiobook, in particular, as the narrator was fantastic at capturing all of Liz's emotions.

CW: off-page parental death, chronic illness (sickle cell disease), racism, homophobia, public outing


Hi, friends!

This review is part of a new feature where I read books recommended to me by Twitter friends. The recommendation for You Should See Me In A Crown came from two of my good friends, Amber and Sam.

Thanks to Amber and Sam for this recommendation! See, Amber! I do read books you tell me to! 😉

Let's chat!
Have you read You Should See Me In A Crown? What are some of your favorite books that are cute but also tackle serious topics?
Let me know in the comments below!