This is a spoiler free review of You Should See Me in A Crown by Leah Johnson, a standalone contemporary, which I gave 4/5 stars.
This story follows Liz Lighty, a high school senior whose future is all set, until her financial aid for college falls through. Then, she’s reminded that the winners of Prom King and Queen get scholarships, so now she’s setting off to win the competition, one that’s hotly contested in her high school. But along the way, she begins to catch feelings for Mack, a new student who’s also running for prom queen. Will their budding relationship stand the test of the competition? Or will it keep Liz from her dreams?
The writing was lighthearted with a comical undertone, but still managed to discuss deeper themes without breaking the tone. As well, the narrative felt like it realistically portrayed a teenager and I loved the little references throughout it.
However, there were a few cliques used (let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding and things along this line) that broke the momentary connection to the story.
Characters and Relationships
Even while some of the scenes were more idealistic, the story was grounded by the characters interactions and growth. None of the relationships or scenes were rushed, but it also wasn’t greatly drawn out, it was a good balance in the time frame of the scenes and their development.
The friendships were strong and based on lifelong connections. They all appeared to have actual commonalities but not too similar that the characters get mixed together. There was a mix of personalities, but they blended well together as a group.
The characters were facing real challenges, but the story was optimistic throughout. No matter how bad the situations got, there was still a lightheartedness to them all.
The book features a female-female romance and the relationship was so cute. They felt connected and it didn’t feel forced, it took a realistic time to progress and the few challenges they faced also didn’t feel like they were added just for the sake of drama, but more personal and true setbacks.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it if you’re looking for something cute and light, but that still manages to explore deeper themes.
Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!