Hi friends! I’m delighted to be a part of this book tour celebrating Leah Johnson’s debut novel, You Should See Me In A Crown. This is also my first ever blog tour, so thank you so much to Hear Our Voices for giving me the opportunity to showcase this lovely book on my little piece of the internet. They represent diverse book bloggers/reviewers/booktubers and give priority to own-voices book content creators, which I love. Please visit them and maybe you’ll feel called to participate in a tour!
DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any compensation in exchange for my review or promotion of this book. All opinions are my own.
Author: Leah Johnson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance
TW: anti blackness, homophobia, being outed, vomiting
CW: pre-book parent death, illness mentions, panic attacks, anxiety, an instance of vomiting from a panic attack, hospitals, some medical procedure talk
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? (via Goodreads)
About the author: Leah Johnson
Leah Johnson is an editor, educator, and author of books for young adults. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published in BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, and Autostraddle among others. Her bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown was the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA pick, and was named one of Publishers Weekly and Cosmo’s Best Young Adult Books of 2020. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is forthcoming from Scholastic in 2021. (via Goodreads)
You Should See Me In A Crown quickly drew me into the life of Liz Lighty, a hard-working high school senior whose dream is to become a doctor and also attend the university her late mother to pursue a further education in composing. From the beginning, I had to root for Liz and loved how she succeeded despite the hurdles life threw her way. Many Black women and girls go through hardships without a solid support system and I love love love that Liz has a loving family she’s close to and can count on, even if she forgets that for a little while and thinks everything is on her shoulders alone.
This book made me laugh and tear up. For Black readers like myself, it’s relatable and comforting to see someone like us going through it, but also gearing up to be gay and fall in love, but also have a bitchin prom experience! It was very feel good while also touching on some deep topics like racism, mental health awareness, poverty, self-identity, toxic friendships, and having family members with chronic disease.
While Liz’s world is turned upside down trying to fund her dream, she falls in love. I think Johnson did a wonderful job giving us a sweet wlw romance for the Black queer audience. It wasn’t insta-love, but Liz and Mac have obvious chemistry and I loved their relationship! Even when there were mistakes or someone didn’t show up for their girlfriend how they should’ve, it wasn’t ignored and they actually had to talk about their feelings! I really loved that and think it’s super important for younger audiences to know it’s okay to say what hurt you and not keep it locked up inside.
Overall, I loved reading this book. It has a happy gay end for the lead couple and has tons of Black girl magic! I couldn’t stop thinking that Black kids are so so lucky to be growing up in an era where YA books are starting to show more and more stories with us in the forefront. It went right on my favorites shelf and I’ll be keeping an eye out for Leah Johnson’s future works.
15 Thoughts I Had While Reading
- Wow it sucks that Liz has to stress and work way harder than her wealthier peers to get into her dream school when she’s super qualified.
- THIS IS REALLY FUNNY
- I’m dying this is hilarious!
- Oh wow this could potentially make me sad…..
- Haha that was funny!
- Oh man this is so relatable! I have to fight my hair with water and copious products to have my fro cute.
- *crying and having feelings*
- Probably laughing at Liz taking shots at white people again.
- Liz’s relationship with her brother is so wholesome and it better stay that way!
- This is so gay! Gay gay gay gay gay 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰
- Yep! School systems continuing to do nothing for students of color.
- *crying again because of Liz’s wonderful loving family*
- BLACK GIRLS SHOULDNT HAVE TO BE STRONG ALL THE TIME AND DESERVE LOVE, SUPPORT, REST, AND TO BE VULNERABLE
- *crying because of pure, platonic friendships*
- Wow Black teens are so lucky to be growing up with great YA with our faces in the front!