You Should See Me in a Crown

Leah Johnson

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+ young adult
emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced

336 pages | first published 2020

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?

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hopeful 73%
lighthearted 71%
emotional 61%
inspiring 58%
funny 53%
reflective 10%
relaxing 7%
sad 3%
adventurous 2%
challenging 2%
informative 1%
tense 1%
dark 0%


medium 61%
fast 37%
slow 1%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 44% | A mix: 41% | Plot: 14%

Strong character development?

Yes: 89% | It's complicated: 6% | No: 2% | N/A: 1%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 95% | It's complicated: 3% | No: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 97% | It's complicated: 2% | No: 0%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 63% | No: 17% | It's complicated: 14% | N/A: 3%

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