Synopses & Reviews
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?
"Johnson's pacing is perfect as the story unwinds at dizzying speed, while attacking some tropes and celebrating others....Readers will fall in love with this refreshing book that celebrates the beauty of individuality." School Library Journal
"[E]motionally resonant...the pragmatic, hopeful, awkward Liz Lighty comes alive, complete with fear, regrets, hopes, and dreams. So too do her cheer squad of devoted friends and the impressively drawn setting of Campbell High School." Publishers Weekly
"Johnson does an excellent job of portraying the anxiety and internalized self-hatred from being different in a mostly white, affluent small town. The queer prom romance you didn't know you needed." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Leah Johnson is a writer, editor, and eternal Midwesterner, currently moonlighting as a New Yorker. She is a graduate of Indiana University and Sarah Lawrence College, where she received her MFA in fiction writing, and currently teaches in their undergraduate writing program. When she's not writing, you can usually find her on Twitter, ranting about pop culture and politics. You Should See Me in a Crown is her first novel.