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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2020 Scholastic (P)2020 Scholastic Inc

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What listeners say about You Should See Me in a Crown

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful and Intriguing

The story is absolutely beautiful and binds the reader to the characters till the end.

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  • Valkyrie
  • 18-06-20

Here - just take my money!

This is going on my I-wish-I’d-had-this-book-when-I-was-growing-up shelf. That is to say, I will definitely be acquiring a physical copy and it is going to live between my copy of Leah on the Offbeat and my Heartbreaker graphic novels. This book is a perfect example of the intersectionality I always hope to see in the books I read. I live at the crossroads of so many different “worlds” that it’s hard to find books you can see yourself reflected in. And this book does the job beautifully with characters I can see parts of myself in and characters I would have been friends with in high school. I would have worn the covers off this one if I’d had it back then.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jenny S. Morris
  • 06-06-20

Sweet prom romance and so much more!

The story captivated my heart right away and I ended up loving all the characters. I always love when an author creates a family that feels whole and connected. And I swooned over their relationship. They make my heart happy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Moody
  • 01-07-20

The queer high school romance we all wish we'd had

First, the narrator was great.
*light spoilers*
As for the story, Liz Lighty is a very likeable character, as is her best friend Jordan Jennings. It's a really cutesy queer romance novel that we need more of. If straight people can have mounds of cheesy high school romance stories so can we, and this book definitely delivers!
I had a smile on my face for a majority of the book, smitten with the characters, the plot, and how wonderfully it all comes together in the end.
As a trigger warning for other readers, a character does get publicly outed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-07-21

Perfect

The VO Real brought this book to like. I love that it feels stunning and authentic.

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  • Squidward
  • 26-06-21

Good Book for teens

There were some cleche moments and it was unrealistic, but most YA books are. That's the fantasy. It was an empowering novel that did a good job showing how we decide how people feel about us without actually asking and it can hold you back from a lot of things.

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  • Dorothy Pierce
  • 07-06-21

I loved this sweet story

I found this book to be the perfect antidote to the stress in my life, LOL. Wonderful relatable characters and a lovely story arc. It was easy to listen to and easy to enjoy.

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  • MLwhitcomb
  • 28-04-21

iffy start but got much better

ended up liking this book a lot. at first, the protagonist had this attitude like she was better than everyone which put me off a bit, but it wasn't a personality trait you see in the book later on. cliche ran a bit cliche and immature at times, but overall great quick listen.

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  • Kate Yonder
  • 28-04-21

Teaching Through Passiveness

I don’t think this book was for me. Not sure how it was an AI recommendation.

Liz was super passive and irritating. She just let things happen to her. Time and time again. It became predictable at a certain point it and Liz could be counted on to not do the right thing. Was that supposed to be the point? That teenagers usually don’t make the right decision? As an adult, I could see how the author tried to let the passiveness be a learning curve for young readers. As an individual who can’t stand passiveness, it was irritating to see Liz let things happen to her. She was a weak character even though the author was trying to give her courage.

I think the book would’ve been better if Liz’s personality was more like Amanda’s. The book should’ve definitely had more Amanda in it.

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  • Deidre
  • 06-03-21

Must read

This is one of the best YA novels I’ve read in a while. Can’t wait to add it to my classroom library!

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  • Maria
  • 21-02-21

LOVED IT!!!!!

Great story and so enjoyable to listen to. a must read for anyone coming of age and finding their own identity.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-02-21

Wholesome and fun but missing key elements

This was a nice easy read but didn't wow me for a few reasons. I felt that the side characters weren't built upon enough so i didn't get a sense of their motivations or history. The brother and his illness were barely mentioned even though at times she claims it's an integral part of her life. The romance was love at first site which i straight up don't understand, i want that sweet yearning! Finally the ending felt rushed, unrealistic and unmotivated by the characters. Overall it was nice, it was okay, i liked it.

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  • CM
  • 09-01-21

I LOVED THIS!!!

Although the ending was predictable, this was a well brilliant story, well told.

I will be looking for other books from this author in the future.

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  • Luce Briggi
  • 08-12-20

A cute and wholesome YA story

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.

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.

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.

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.
The only thing I could have done without is the 'food-fight'. I really don't get the 'appeal' of these scenes...(such a huge waste of food!).
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).

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  • Candy
  • 13-09-20

Such a sweet, lovely story

this was a gorgeous satisfying audiobook about a queer black girl finding her light. loved it

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  • Oliv
  • 09-06-20

Beautiful!

Loved this book!!! The main character Liz is a hero you fall for & root for from the beginning. It’s beautifully written & I would highly recommend it for everyone. Can’t wait to read more from Leah Johnson!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-08-20

Warm hearted read

Despite the predictable story line i really enjoyed the easy listening of the narration of this book.

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  • melinda hammond
  • 19-06-20

Incredible

An absolute delight. Full of hope and love and defiance... Definitely worth listening to as an audiobook, because the narrator is wonderful and brings so much passion and joy to Liz’s voice. Highly, highly recommended.