Liz has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine. She’s planned an escape route from her small town via an Uber-elite college, but has no money to get there… until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. Liz fears the spotlight, but must face the gauntlet of social media trolls and catty competitors.
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?
A smart, hilarious, black girl magic rom-com.
What I Thought:
I am loving my feel-good YA romances at the moment – they are the perfect antidote to the outside world. This was full of diverse, fun characters, comedy mishaps, heart-in-mouth cliff-hanger moments, and the happy ending you crave for the characters you have fallen in love with from page one.
I loved Liz as the reluctant hero – the last thing she wants to do, is stand for Prom Queen but she really, really wants to go to her top choice college to study and the only way to get herself there without her grandparents selling the house, is the scholarship. Which means she takes the plunge, and is thrust into a side of high school she never wanted to be in.
This allowed for loads of juicy character development – from rekindling old friendships, forging new ones, and discovering new things about herself, to falling in love with the quirky new girl, and worrying about her younger brother who is seriously ill but at the sort of age where he feels indestructible anyway.
Liz’s relationship with Mack is wholesome and feels honest – they both make mistakes, kiss and make up, lose their way, and have misunderstandings – but right from the moment Mack enters the scene you want nothing more but for them to end up together because they are ADORABLE together.
The book has some seriousness amongst the fluffy romance – there is homophobia, racism, divorce, chronic illness, and tragedy – but it is all handled sensitively and, again, honestly. It never gets too heavy though, enough to make you sad, and enough to make the highs feel even more euphoric for the characters.
If you want an adorable high-school romance then this is the book for you, it pushed all the right buttons for me and had the kind of ending you saw in your head as the zooming out movie-happy-ending scene which left me on a total high.
My Rating: 5/5*
About The Author (taken from GoodReads):
Leah Johnson is a writer, editor and eternal Midwesterner currently moonlighting as a New Yorker. Leah received her MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she currently teaches in their undergraduate writing program. Her 2020 debut YA novel, YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN is from Scholastic.Linking up with Read With Me over on Mama Mummy Mum: