Inspiring, beautiful, and realistic.


Liz Lighty (17) wants to be in the orchestra at Pennington College and become a doctor like her mom. When her application for a music scholarship is rejected, she must find another way to fund her dream. Being named the Prom Queen comes with a cash prize. However, Liz is everything that a Campbell prom queen has never been: black and queer. When she was a freshman, she decided to be as invisible as possible, but she's going to have to get into the spotlight if she wants that cash prize. She gets makeover help from her friends, but with just three weeks before prom, she is at the bottom of the rankings. She moves up when the leading candidate is disqualified but is it enough to win the crown?

BTSYA / Teen Reader (!6):
This story is extremely inspiring and felt incredibly relatable as a high-school student myself. I loved the friendships Liz had with her friends because of how realistic they were. There are many light-hearted moments, but the story also shows the actuality of friendship. Everyone must find that balance between loyalty to themself and loyalty to others. The hurt and hope, beauty and betrayal, make for not only an incredibly high-school coming of age narrative but a testament to the meaning of being human.

You Should See Me In a Crown has a family illness and past character death. These themes are not the direct focus of the narrative,  but you will want to avoid this book if you’re looking solely for a light-hearted romance. This book also features homophobia and racism, but the author's message is about overcoming these barriers and persevering in the face of opposition.

I recommend this novel to high-school students who are similarly struggling with sexual identity or some other facet of growing up. This book would be a good gift from a parent to a teenage daughter who is currently struggling with being accepted or accepting herself.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

From the friendship dynamics to the stresses of high school life, readers will see themselves and friends in this amazing coming-of-age story.

Content Awareness Factors:

Homophobia and racism. 

Type of Book:
This is a contemporary realistic fiction novel set in high school.
Educational Themes:

This is a story to read for leisure, but there is plenty to discuss and it would be an exceptional choice for a teen book club. 

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. Your teen is going to devour it and then share it with friends.

Title You Should See Me in a Crown
Author Leah Johnson
Publisher Scholastic Inc. © 2020
ISBN 9781338503265
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Humor, Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Romance
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