Book Review: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

I have been on a contemporary YA kick lately, and I have no regrets. You Should See Me in a Crown is a fabulous, joyful book that also deals with real issues, like all the very best YA novels.

Liz is an intelligent, determined Black girl in a mostly white Midwestern town. She’s also a lesbian. She does everything she can to keep people from noticing her, because she’s just trying to get through high school and out into the real world. And then her scholarship doesn’t come through, she needs money to make college a reality, and she realizes she’ll have to run for prom queen.

I know people are always saying we need more books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters just living life, not necessarily struggling to come out, but I think this one is important. It isn’t just about Liz coming out as a lesbian. It’s about the intersectionality that complicates that. I’m sure there are other great books that also talk about this issue, but this is the first one I’ve come across, and as a bookseller, that says something. This book has an important place on shelves.

On top of that, though, it’s just a great book. There is struggle, but there is also a lot of joy. It’s definitely about being a young Black lesbian from a low income family in an area where all of those things are in the minority, but it’s also just the story of a young woman coming into her own. It’s gorgeous and it’s fun and I loved it.

Disclaimer: Link is a Bookshop affiliate link. I received the ARC for free for review in my job as a bookseller.

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