Staff Picks

You Should See Me in a Crown

Lauren Kohlenberg

June 11, 2021

Share

Don't discredit it as just another YA romance meet-cute: this book has the ability to start conversations and help people feel seen no matter their age.

YouShouldSeeMe.jpgYou Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, Scholastic Press 

I recently read You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. I had first heard of this book on Twitter last summer and then it ended up being the first YA pick for Reese's Book Club. I snagged a copy and it sat on my shelf for months before I picked it up and then I read it all within a few days. I read little to no YA fiction with queer protagonists when I was in high school and I have spent the years since I came out making up for lost time. 

Johnson wraps nostalgia, heartbreak, adventure, and laughter all into one as we follow the main character's unlikely journey in the race to win prom queen and the coveted scholarship the spot offers. You Should See Me in a Crown provides a humorous glimpse into a small Indiana town that is absolutely prom-obsessed. 

This book expertly engages the reader in conversations about race, queerness, social status, and more as we see main character, Liz, conquer each hurdle toward the coveted crown. This is a book about confronting your fears, recognizing the pressure we put on ourselves, and letting it go. I went from laughing to clutching my heart with every page and can sincerely say this is a novel in which I saw myself. 

Johnson beautifully portrayed Liz's arc of coming into her own and confronting her identity as it interacts with her classmates, close friendships, and close-minded small town. This book is full of heart and it is everything I would have needed at 17 and everything I didn't know I needed at 25. Don't discredit it as just another YA romance meet-cute: this book has the ability to start conversations and help people feel seen no matter their age. 

About The Author

Lauren Kohlenberg is an AmeriCorps alum and a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Information Science and Technology. She is 1/2 of the IT department at Porchlight, and she feels right at home working with both tech and books. Lauren has always been an avid reader and loves getting lost in a good story. Outside of work, Lauren makes time for travel, fitness, and baking. She loves a good literary pun and is always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Learn More

We have updated our privacy policy. Click here to read our full policy.