You Should See Me in a Crown
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?

You Should See Me in a Crown Details

TitleYou Should See Me in a Crown
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 2nd, 2020
PublisherScholastic Press
ISBN-139781338503265
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, GLBT, Queer, Fiction, Audiobook, Young Adult Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult Romance

You Should See Me in a Crown Review

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This was so fucking cute, I can't stand it. You need to read this small-town F/F romance immediately 🥺
  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    gay culture be like [locks eyes with a girl] wow she has pretty eyes....... oh no I think I’m in love—★—- to be honest, I thought this was going to be a 3-star book the entire time I was reading this but by the end I was surprised by how much I was enjoying it!- this book follows a Black queer girl with anxiety named Liz who must run for prom queen in her school’s prom competition in order to win the money she needs to get into her dream college. but she has to figure out how to put herself out gay culture be like [locks eyes with a girl] wow she has pretty eyes....... oh no I think I’m in love—★—- to be honest, I thought this was going to be a 3-star book the entire time I was reading this but by the end I was surprised by how much I was enjoying it!- this book follows a Black queer girl with anxiety named Liz who must run for prom queen in her school’s prom competition in order to win the money she needs to get into her dream college. but she has to figure out how to put herself out there and deal with a crush she got on her opponent??- I loved Liz as a character so much! her growth was really great to watch over the course of the story, and I really loved the message of deserving to take up space as someone who normally isn’t allowed any in a less tolerant small town- I really, really adored Liz’s and Jordan’s friendship. it made me smile all the time and I love platonic boy/girl relationships!- the female friendship was also great—conflicts arose but then were resolved and I appreciated that a lot, considering how YA contemporary has a tendency to pit girls against each other (though there was still a stereotypical mean girl but oh well)- cute (f/f) romance too!! realistically portrayed, and they were both so sweet to each other. the blurb makes it seem like the romance is a big part of the story, and while it is important, it’s definitely not centered—Liz as an individual character is—and I loved that- I thought this book did a really good job of introducing, handling, and resolving conflicts overall? there were definitely some things that felt like could have been developed just a tiny bit more but I was generally pretty impressed- I ended up crying at one point, but I think that was due to me being triggered by the parts about a family member’s illness, rather than this being a hugely emotional book. but there were still a lot of sweet moments! I wish the family moments that were portrayed at the end had been more present throughout the book because I really loved themtl;dr: surprised me! enjoyed all the character relationships, fun to read, and made me smile a lot. definitely recommended!—★—ownvoices reviews:- Fadwa- will be adding on to this as more reviews are posted!—★—:: rep :: Black queer MC with anxiety, wlw LI, Black side character with sickle cell anemia, Black side character:: content warnings :: death of a parent (off-page), loved ones with chronic illness, a character being outed, homophobia (challenged), panic attacks
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    I don't believe in fairy tales and love at first sight and all that, but for just a second, I think this girl and those eyes and the way her freckles dot the entire expanse of her face are cute enough to make a believer out of me. It's been a long time since I've reached for a fluffy, cutesy YA contemporary story because I thought I had gotten burnt out on the genre, but I'm here to tell you all that wasn't the case; I just wasn't picking up the right ones, and this book is absolutely the ri I don't believe in fairy tales and love at first sight and all that, but for just a second, I think this girl and those eyes and the way her freckles dot the entire expanse of her face are cute enough to make a believer out of me. It's been a long time since I've reached for a fluffy, cutesy YA contemporary story because I thought I had gotten burnt out on the genre, but I'm here to tell you all that wasn't the case; I just wasn't picking up the right ones, and this book is absolutely the right one. This book takes literally every single thing I love to see in a fluffy YA contemporary/romance story and does them brilliantly, with a fresh take breathed into each and every trope and a narrator I would protect with everything in me. Liz Lighty is flawless and I'll hear no arguments! "You're very Book One Prince Zuko — all honor and determination and stuff. You could use some guidance from an old pro to ease you into Book Three Prince Zuko: more relaxed, more open to adventure, better hair." First of all, these characters are hilarious. Whether it's the pop culture references (with the above A:TLA reference reigning supreme, obviously), the banter between Liz and her love interest (I AM OBSESSED), or the playful, authentic sarcasm and wit we see not only in Liz's own narration but in her brother and her friends, too — these characters feel so REAL and genuine and three-dimensional, and I loved them so much! (Except Racist Rachel, of course. But even Racist Rachel's friends subverted some serious "mean girl" tropes and I'm so proud of them!) And I can't possibly review this book without mentioning Liz's family, whether it's her precious grandparents, or her brother supporting her with every fiber of his being despite his own daily health concerns with his sickle cell. I just cherish the entire Lighty family so damn much, y'all. I'm so tired of the way this place treats people who are different, tired of feeling like I exist in the margins of my own life. I deserve better than that. Most of all, though, I adored how complex and nuanced Liz Lighty's high school experience is. She has friends, she gets incredible grades and works her butt off to make her grandparents proud, and she knows she has a bright future ahead of her if she only has a chance to pursue it — but she also recognizes how unfairly she's treated as a Black queer girl in small-town Indiana, and she knows she deserves better. The moment when Liz shifts from a wallflower to someone who's going to make people listen to her and recognize her worth? Absolutely beautiful, and I was getting so emotional because I was so proud of her! I roll my eyes so she knows that I'm joking, and she snorts with her laugh this time. It's a cuter sound than should be legal, really. Last but not least, I gotta take a second to rave about how absolutely friggin' precious the romance between Liz and Mack is. While I don't feel that it's really the primary focus of the story, it's a prominent thread and it's executed so well! There's no insta-love, but Liz definitely crushes hard, and so does Mack. Watching them interact is so adorable, and even when there's a conflict, they work through things maturely and smoothly. I'm convinced that Liz and Mack are soul mates who would go on from this story to make it through college together and grow old and have cute babies, and nobody can change my mind. "How does she even know what data is? The elders are evolving, and it's going to ruin us all." If I haven't convinced you to give this adorable, beautiful, hilarious, heart-warming story a read, then I have clearly failed, because You Should See Me in a Crown is one of the best things I've read in a very long time — and definitely the best YA contemporary I've read in ages — and I want everyone I know to add this to their TBRs immediately. It's that good. ♥✨ Representation: Liz is Black & sapphic; Mack is sapphic; multiple side characters are BIPOC; Liz's brother Robbie is Black & has sickle cell disease✨ Content warnings for: (view spoiler)[previous loss of a parent, sickle cell disease & related health scares (including a hospital visit), homophobia (challenged), transphobia (very brief, challenged), racism (challenged) (hide spoiler)]All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Scholastic Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
    January 1, 1970
    this was SO CUTE. a wonderful and sweet sapphic romance about a girl who enters a prom queen contest in her small town to win the prize money that will allow her to go to her dream college. loved our main character's personality and also the very wholesome platonic friendship she has with one of the male characters. definitely recommend as a pick me up!!
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    This queer boy from indiana can't wait to read about a queer girl from indiana as she falls in love with her competition in a beauty pageant??? i'm???
  • Camryn
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, I'm tearing up. I wish I'd had this when I was fourteen.
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars You Should See Me in a Crown was such a delightful and fun read. This is one of those books that as soon as I finished I thought, this would make the cutest high school movie. I would love to see Liz's story on the big screen! Liz Lighty is a senior in high school. She's an overachiever, plays in the band, and is going to be valedictorian. And now? Now she's running for prom queen. The winner of prom queen at her school doesn't only get a crown, she gets a scholarship as well, and Liz de 4 stars You Should See Me in a Crown was such a delightful and fun read. This is one of those books that as soon as I finished I thought, this would make the cutest high school movie. I would love to see Liz's story on the big screen! Liz Lighty is a senior in high school. She's an overachiever, plays in the band, and is going to be valedictorian. And now? Now she's running for prom queen. The winner of prom queen at her school doesn't only get a crown, she gets a scholarship as well, and Liz desperately needs that scholarship to go to her dream music school. Liz is fighting an uphill battle to try to win prom queen, but she's determined. Not only is she one of the few black kids in her high school, but she's not the most popular. But with a few best friends willing to help her out, and a new girl she meets and starts to fall for, Liz comes into her own. I'm so tired of the way this place treats people who are different, tired of feeling like I exist in the margins of my own life. I deserve better than that. Liz was such a great character. I could see her being relatable to so many. This book kept a huge smile on my face and I loved so much about it. If you're looking for a feel-good story with a great message and sweet love story, pick up You Should See Me in a Crown.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsLeah Johnson's debut novel, You Should See Me in a Crown , is about the fight to be who you are when people are telling you not to be yourself.Liz Lighty has her immediate future planned. She’s waiting on the scholarship she needs to attend her dream college and then she can study hematology and play in their famed orchestra.But when the scholarship doesn’t materialize, she decides to take a different route and run for prom queen. In her small Indiana town, prom is SERIOUS, and the k 4.5 starsLeah Johnson's debut novel, You Should See Me in a Crown , is about the fight to be who you are when people are telling you not to be yourself.Liz Lighty has her immediate future planned. She’s waiting on the scholarship she needs to attend her dream college and then she can study hematology and play in their famed orchestra.But when the scholarship doesn’t materialize, she decides to take a different route and run for prom queen. In her small Indiana town, prom is SERIOUS, and the king and queen receive hefty scholarships.No one like Liz (read: black) has ever been a legitimate contender for prom queen and none of the popular candidates are threatened by her, except one girl who has always seen Liz as a rival. For her part, the last thing Liz wants is to have her whole life on display and have everything she does and wears matter. But her best friend Gabi is determined to lead Liz to victory, no matter what it takes.But Liz doesn’t count on crushing on Mack, the new girl in school and another candidate for queen. Mack doesn’t care what other people think of her—except Liz—but Liz cares too much, and for the wrong reasons. Will the truth ruin any chance they might have at a relationship?"I don't believe in fairy tales and love at first sight and all that, but for just a second, I think this girl and those eyes and the way her freckles dot the entire expanse of her face are cute enough to make a believer out of me."Despite dealing with some serious issues such as racism, homophobia, the toxic culture of popularity, and standing up for yourself and your beliefs, there is so much joy in this book. Liz and Mack are so appealing, and even though I wanted to shake some of the characters to make them speak their minds, I enjoyed this so much. You'd never know this is Johnson's first novel!And the great Pride Reads keep coming!!Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    Loved every second of reading this. Such a solid debut featuring a queer, Black protagonist, the sweetest f/f romance, all the prom shenanigans, lots of music, and really thoughtful and realistic portrayals of friendship. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!
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  • CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, I adored this. This was the perfect balance of serious and sweet, and the ending will leave you feeling so good and warm.- Follows Liz, a queer anxious Black teen finds out that she didn't get the financial aid she needed for her dream school -- and decides to run to become prom queen, which will get her a scholarship.- I wouldn't call this book a romance, but it definitely does have romance elements! The sapphoc romance is so soft, nicely developed, and so satisfying. - I loved the emphasis Oh, I adored this. This was the perfect balance of serious and sweet, and the ending will leave you feeling so good and warm.- Follows Liz, a queer anxious Black teen finds out that she didn't get the financial aid she needed for her dream school -- and decides to run to become prom queen, which will get her a scholarship.- I wouldn't call this book a romance, but it definitely does have romance elements! The sapphoc romance is so soft, nicely developed, and so satisfying. - I loved the emphasis on family. Liz's brother has sickle-cell anemia and she lives with her grandparents. I loved the family dynamics here, loved that family was important to her, loved that it gave us a full and fleshed out picture of Liz's life. - The friendships in this book were some of my favourite moments! From friends messing up and working through it together to rekindling an old and meaningful friendship - I loved it all!- I just love that this book is frank about anti-Blackness and how it manifests in insidious ways (bullying, within school institutions) but also unapologetically shows Black excellence and Black joy. The ending made me feel so warm and fuzzy; it felt wholly deserved too.Trigger/content warning: (view spoiler)[panic attack, death of loved one (mentioned) (hide spoiler)]
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  • Meagan ✊🏼 Blacklivesmatter ✊🏼Blacktranslivesmatter
    January 1, 1970
    Queer, cute and fluffy 🥰🥰It reminds me so much of a highschool 90's movie
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    “And I know then what I've always known: Campbell is never going to make a space for me to fit. I'm going to have to demand it.” representation: ownvoices Black rep, queer rep (f/f romance), anxiety and panic attacks, disability (sickle cell disease).[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]★★★★THIS WAS SO CUTE. trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past due to sickle cell disease), homophobia, bullying, racism, panic attacks, being outed, medic “And I know then what I've always known: Campbell is never going to make a space for me to fit. I'm going to have to demand it.” representation: ownvoices Black rep, queer rep (f/f romance), anxiety and panic attacks, disability (sickle cell disease).[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]★★★★THIS WAS SO CUTE. trigger warnings: death of a parent (in the past due to sickle cell disease), homophobia, bullying, racism, panic attacks, being outed, medical emergency.
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest reviewCW: anxiety, panic attacks, death of a parent, chronically ill loved one, outing, homophobia.YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN was such a nice balance between pure sapphic fluff and important discussions of some more or less heavy topics. It delivered exactly what it promised. All the cuteness that comes with a queer girl falling in love for the new girl in school, the coming of age element of her trying new thing I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest reviewCW: anxiety, panic attacks, death of a parent, chronically ill loved one, outing, homophobia.YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN was such a nice balance between pure sapphic fluff and important discussions of some more or less heavy topics. It delivered exactly what it promised. All the cuteness that comes with a queer girl falling in love for the new girl in school, the coming of age element of her trying new things and growing into herself, realizing that really taking risks and putting yourself out there isn't so bad, while giving the proper space to the discussion of a Black girl growing up poor and fighting for her dreams, how stressful that is and how much of a toll it takes on her and her relationships with the people around her. Especially since it can come with shame and struggling to letting people into your...struggles? no matter how close you are to them or how much you want to let them in.I really loved that this book explored all kinds of relationships. Not only the blooming romance between two HUGE music nerds who are equally awkward and laugh about it together, but it also showcases amazing family dynamics: Lizzie, the MC, is really close with her younger brother, they respect and tease each other and she also has a good relationship with her grandparents who more or less raised her. Other than that there are also some amazing friendships and girl support in it as well as a reluctant rekindling of a friendship that at the end, turned out amazing, it was one of my favorite parts of the story. If there's one opportunity I found was missed in this book, it's regarding to one of the friendships in it (not going into detail because spoilers) I thought that it could have used a bit more spaced to be explored properly and I would have liked to see more consequences for some actions relating to it. An element that I also really appreciated from the start is that YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN uses most classic YA tropes and subverts them or puts a unique twist on them, especially when it comes to the school popularity pyramid and the hierarchy and tradition of everything pertaining to it. I was apprehensive the whole prom side of thing wouldn't work for me, as high school centered contemporaries haven't been working for me lately, but I found myself entertained by everything happening. It was just really fun!
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  • Helena
    January 1, 1970
    compelling main character ✔️cute sapphic romance ✔️great m/f friendship ✔️discussions of racism, queerphobia and classism ✔️conflict that doesn't revolve around the main character's sexuality ✔️diversity ✔️lots of fun ✔️really enjoyed this one!
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  • Adri
    January 1, 1970
    CWs: attempted hate crime, mild homophobia/bullying, some descriptions of chronic illness (sickle cell disease), some exploration of parental deathLiz Lighty is the hero we deserve and I want to shout about her story from the mountaintops! This is the perfect queer prom rom-com we've all been waiting for. This story is bursting with delightful prom court shenanigans like bake sales and powder puff games, while also addressing the reality of being a lower-class queer Black girl navigating wha CWs: attempted hate crime, mild homophobia/bullying, some descriptions of chronic illness (sickle cell disease), some exploration of parental deathLiz Lighty is the hero we deserve and I want to shout about her story from the mountaintops! This is the perfect queer prom rom-com we've all been waiting for. This story is bursting with delightful prom court shenanigans like bake sales and powder puff games, while also addressing the reality of being a lower-class queer Black girl navigating what is undoubtedly a rigged system.As Liz tries to bring herself closer to the crown (and, by extension, to the scholarship money she desperately needs), she realizes that blindly conforming to what's expected of a prom queen will always be a losing game. Winning by her own rules on her own terms is a far, far sweeter prospect.This story is about Liz finding her confidence, finding her way, and realizing not just how much she deserves, but how much love she has in her life. In many ways, this book is a love letter to the people who always hold you down and have your back no matter what, which makes it beautifully affirming and joyous. It has pitch-perfect humor and wit, great band geek references, a second-chance friendship, a super sweet f/f romance, and pretty much everything I need in life.You're gonna want to pick this one up, trust me.
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  • charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    YEAHRep: Black bi mc, wlw li, Black side characters, Black side character with sickle cell anaemiaCWs: outing, mentions of parental death
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Omg this is so freaking cute!
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Adorrrrrred this one. Wasn't sure if it was actually a Romance or not but am happy to report that it is an extremely cute f/f one and I am so, so excited that the author already has another one of those coming. I wanted to hand my ARC to a queer Black girl the second I was done and I hope this finds every single one. It's clever, funny, romantic, empowering, and just a damn delight.
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  • Emma☀️
    January 1, 1970
    So sweet and wholesome! I was grinning like an idiot after finishing the book. rtc
  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    I mean, two prom-queen contenders falling in love? You bet your sweet bottoms I loved every second of this.
  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I WOULD LOVE To SEE YOU IN A CROWN
  • Shealea
    January 1, 1970
    New favorite contemporary? New favorite contemporary.Highly recommended! Full review to follow.
  • Anna Luce
    January 1, 1970
    ★★★★✰ 3.75 stars (rounded up to 4) “Maybe things don’t need to be exactly as I’ve imagined them. Like maybe in this universe I’ve suddenly found myself in, things could be different. I could be different.” You Should See Me in a Crown is an incredibly thoughtful and wholesome YA book. Liz's first person narration won my heart within the very first pages. Leah Johnson's simple yet engaging prose perfectly conveyed Liz's perspective. Liz is in many respects a regular 'awkward' teen who is a dedic ★★★★✰ 3.75 stars (rounded up to 4) “Maybe things don’t need to be exactly as I’ve imagined them. Like maybe in this universe I’ve suddenly found myself in, things could be different. I could be different.” You Should See Me in a Crown is an incredibly thoughtful and wholesome YA book. Liz's first person narration won my heart within the very first pages. Leah Johnson's simple yet engaging prose perfectly conveyed Liz's perspective. Liz is in many respects a regular 'awkward' teen who is a dedicate student and friend, a good older sister and a responsible niece. But Liz has to contend with a lot more challenges, from her mother's death to her family's financial troubles. She's also black, queer, and has anxiety, and is often made to feel like an outlier at her high school (which is mostly attended by rich white kids). Understandably, she's eager to leave her small-town to attend the exclusive Pennington College School of Music.“Music is something I understand—the notes are a thing that I can always bend to my will.” Readers quickly get how and why music is everything for Liz. To attend Pennington she has to win their music scholarship...but she doesn't. Not wanting her grandparents to sell their house, Liz's brother convinces her to compete for the title of prom queen as their high school endows the king&queen with large checks. Although there is nothing Liz hates more than being in the spotlight, she finds herself campaigning for prom queen. “This whole race is set up to mimic some twisted fairy tale. The queen is supposed to be the best among us: the smartest, the most beautiful, the worthiest. But the people who win are rarely the people who deserve it. Like with any monarchy, they’re just the closest to the top. You don’t earn queen; you inherit it.”Winning other students' votes isn't easy, especially when she's competing with the most popular girls in her school. In the stressful weeks to follow Liz reconnects with an old friend (some great male/female solidarity here) while her relationship to her controlling best friend becomes frayed. Also, she falls for the cute new girl in her school, Mack.“I don’t believe in fairy tales and love at first sight and all that, but for just a second, I think this girl and those eyes and the way her freckles dot the entire expanse of her face are cute enough to make a believer out of me.”While on paper the story might not scream originality, Johnson's novel is far from predictable or superficial. Girls that may initially strike us as little more than the queen bee's cronies, straight out of Mean Girls, may not be as passive or stupid as they might first appear. Liz herself finds herself gaining self-assurance.As much as I liked following Liz's campaign and witnessing her character growth, the thing I most loved about this book was its romance. Although the relationship between Liz and Mack doesn't take the centerstage, it does underline much of the narrative. Their cute and tentative flirting had me grinning like an idiot. Their romance was equal parts sweet and heart-melting.As a non-American I was horribly fascinated by Liz's school's 'prom-culture'. It seems so bizarre to me...but thanks to Liz's narrative I could see why prom is regarded by many as 'the event' of their school years. The dialogues are heavy on cultural references, some of them niche, some of them downright funny, all spot-on.If you like YA fiction that combine romance with coming of age (set against a background of music a la Night Music), touch on contemporary social issues, and present a more realistic view of high school, you should definitely check this one out (not going to lie, Liz&Mach's scenes alone are worth the read). “People like us. And that feels sort of good in a way that surprises me. She’s right. High school is complicated, and the lines of demarcation that The Breakfast Club said divided us aren’t quite so clean-cut. The athletes are also the smart kids; the theater kids are also the presidents of the student council. But there’s still those outliers. The people who are everywhere but fit nowhere. People who are involved but not envied—present but imperfect—so the scrutiny pushes them out of the race.”
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    June 15, 2020:You Should See Me in a Crown is a fluffy contemporary romance that is crafted amidst the chaos and charm of a high-school prom, and shines a spotlight on being a Black, queer young girl and the dreams of attending a prestigious school but only with a scholarship, while bringing conversations around privileged inheritance, diversity being used to check boxes, queer romance, financial hardships, and chronic illness of a loved one to the stage. Representation: Black & sapphic MC w June 15, 2020:You Should See Me in a Crown is a fluffy contemporary romance that is crafted amidst the chaos and charm of a high-school prom, and shines a spotlight on being a Black, queer young girl and the dreams of attending a prestigious school but only with a scholarship, while bringing conversations around privileged inheritance, diversity being used to check boxes, queer romance, financial hardships, and chronic illness of a loved one to the stage. Representation: Black & sapphic MC with anxiety, sapphic love interest, BIPOC side characters, Black brother with sickle cell anemia. Trigger warnings: Challenges racism, queerphobia, and classism; loss of a parent, health anxiety and paranoia around chronically ill loved one; panic attacks, being outed. Everyone should stan an aspirational girl. Liz is heartbroken when she doesn't receive the financial aid she was expecting to help her study at the college that her mother once graduated from: to maintain a legacy, to make her mother proud, to bring some happiness in her mother's name after she passed away due to sickle cell anemia. But when she thinks over the much-awaited prom season at her school and the loads of cash being donated by the rich heads, a light shines for undecided future—if she wins the prom queen's crown, she can get enough money in the name of a scholarship to study at the prestigious college. However, it isn't easy to simply walk into the limelight after years of trying to stay on the side lanes. Especially when people expect stereotypical behaviors and actions from a marginalized girl; especially when a girl is Black and queer. The white-dominated high school is evidently not ready to let go off the years of inheritance so Liz's competition with the popular girls is tough, frustrating, and plain unfair. It's important to address the classism, white privilege, and racism. Quite a few scenes and sequences have greatly highlighted the important themes around being Black, being poor, being marginalized, and being different from what everyone at a particular school or community expects. There are clear rules set in place even when something fun like prom is concerned, and how the most privileged ones are default winners due to the system in place—like the popular white girl who is in the race too and is easily predicted to be a winner because her mother had been crowned once too so the lineage should continue.Liz's growing confidence and the strength she exhibits allows her to bravely stand against the usual norms that are demanded, especially from her as a Black girl. The clear difference between the set standards is largely discussed, and Liz's decision to win by her own rules and exhibit the most real version of herself for the crown is worth an applause. A sapphic romance that gives you flutters, flutters, and flutters. Right from the start, when Liz sees Mack for the first time, the cuteness is unbearable in the most sweet way. Mack's boldness, unapologetic personality deserves all the attention, and Liz thinks the same. But being one of the very few Black students was already difficult and coming out as queer would make everything more complicated so our Liz decides to stay away from romantic possibilities. Though, the frequent hangouts—especially the ones that can make anyone happy, like reading to a group of young kids—can't help but work as dates in disguise, and before you know, Liz and Mack are becoming relationship goals while figuring out their feelings as an interracial f/f couple. Anxiety representation, family dynamics, and supportive friendships are worth appreciating. The story perfectly shows the immediate reactions that an anxious person is bound to have when social attention, worry, and nervousness is being faced. Whether it's the horror of panic attacks that keep Liz away from signing up for things she'll definitely enjoy but can't seem to subject herself to the anxiety that's bound to follow, or the helpful tricks that are used by her to control the racing pulse, the portrayal of an anxious person is perfection.The family dynamics can make it easy for everyone to empathize with Liz and support her throughout the plot even more. Her grandparents are typically loving yet strict enough to make sure their granddaughter upholds their and her mother's upbringing. Liz's love for her brother who is chronically ill with a genetic disorder, sickle cell anemia, is emotional with the genuine care she exhibits as an elder sister. Everything mentioned around her late mother is raw, honest, and seeped with love.Liz's friends are not only supportive of her winning this crown—and the scholarship—but are also ready to contribute their strengths: creating an app that can track the rankings of prom queen candidates, astrologically spilling positive energies, cheering for Liz to be the prom queen, and making sure everything unfolds as expected. Though, surprising things do happen. Oh, and Liz's long lost friendship with Jordan, a now-popular Black guy who was her best friend till middle-school, revives in the sweetest manner. I'm in no place to give detailed comments on the representation of sexual identities or the ethnicity/race of main characters in this book so please pay heed to the ownvoices reviews for these representations above mine. I'm only positive about my opinions regarding the anxiety depicted. June 12, 2020: I finished reading this today & of course, I had to make a quote art! "Maybe things don't have to be exactly as I imagined them. Like maybe in this universe I've suddenly found myself in, things could be different. I could be different." June 6, 2020: So glad to be featuring the author on my blog as she shares eight books that gave her a "a clearer insight into what it means to be young, queer, and worthy of so much more"! June 2, 2020: A very happy release day to this ownvoices debut rom-com where a high-school queer black girl falls in love with her competitor in a beauty pageant.
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Scholastic UK for sending me a review copy of this book.
  • kayla
    January 1, 1970
    this was SO CUTEi literally can't think of a single thing i didn't like. i loved Liz's character. i loved how she was the nerdy band geek high schooler because man i relate to that one. i loved the character relationships as well, not only the romance between Liz and Mack, but the friendship between Liz and Jordan. loved the fairy tale ending as well - it made me cry so muchthe romance was so soft, and i just couldn't help but smile. i do wish there was a little more romance present in the book this was SO CUTEi literally can't think of a single thing i didn't like. i loved Liz's character. i loved how she was the nerdy band geek high schooler because man i relate to that one. i loved the character relationships as well, not only the romance between Liz and Mack, but the friendship between Liz and Jordan. loved the fairy tale ending as well - it made me cry so muchthe romance was so soft, and i just couldn't help but smile. i do wish there was a little more romance present in the book as i think the marketing focused a lot on that aspect, and there wasn't as much as i was expecting. i just love this so much, and i can only imagine how Black teenage girls will feel while reading this.
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  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Scholastic Press for the ARC.trigger warnings: anxiety/panic attacks, death of a parent, chronically ill loved one, character being outed, homophobia.You Should See Me in a Crown was a delight. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me happy and sad, and sigh in sapphic greatness.It was a really well mixed fluffy story with really important and necessary topics to discuss.I absolutely adored the anxiety rep in this book. It gave a clear and realistic imagine of how d Thank you Edelweiss and Scholastic Press for the ARC.trigger warnings: anxiety/panic attacks, death of a parent, chronically ill loved one, character being outed, homophobia.You Should See Me in a Crown was a delight. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me happy and sad, and sigh in sapphic greatness.It was a really well mixed fluffy story with really important and necessary topics to discuss.I absolutely adored the anxiety rep in this book. It gave a clear and realistic imagine of how difficult it is to deal with things, and how sometimes you can't move a single muscle without help.I also appreciated the human nature of relationships of this book. You not only see the romantic love between the two girls, but you also see Liz's relationship with her grandparents, her brother, her friends. I wish we had more deeper scenes after some events happened, but I also understand this book isn't here to educate us, and even if some choices were a bit too easy resolved, I didn't mind it, we deserve this book, we deserve this ending.I also loved that both girls were quirky, messy, awkward. There was no perfect kiss or perfect relationship. They're both insecure and made mistakes but also did their best to fix them and apologize and do better.Overall this was a fantastic debut, definitely one of those ya contemporaries that will stick with me for a long time, and for sure a new favorite of mine.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    *4.25 Omgggg listen I was not sure if I was going to like this because fluffy YA contemporaries haven’t been my style at all lately but THIS!!! BOOK!!! It was so heartwarming and adorable and made me so happy I HIGHLY recommend it (‘:
  • faith ✨
    January 1, 1970
    if you know me, it would be obvious as to why I immediately added this to my TBR after reading the title but SAPPHIC BLACK GIRL FALLING IN LOVE @ PROM I NEED
  • Rec-It Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    cried several times
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