Johnson sizzles in debut novel


Danielle Shumar, staff writer

You Should See Me in a Crown is a young-adult romance novel written by local author Leah Johnson.

Johnson, a Ben Davis alumni, published this debut novel in 2020, and it definitely met all of the expectations I had.

This book is written in a light and fun way while also tying in important issues. The ability to balance serious topics along with the lighthearted entertainment shows Johnson’s talent in driving a successful story.

The novel follows Liz Lighty, a shy and awkward high school student from a small Indiana town trying to find a way to afford her dream college education. After not receiving the financial aid she was wishing for, Liz decides to run for prom queen in hopes of winning the money that comes with the crown.

Liz then meets Mack, a new girl in school who is also running in the campaign. Through their many inevitable interactions, Liz and Mack grow closer as the story progresses. Johnson did an amazing job of creating compatibility between the characters and growing their relationships. As the story went on, the characters, as well as the plot, only got more interesting.

With college and college tuition being a main focus of the story, a realistic feel was created because the topic is so relatable for many high school students. Although there were many layers to the story, it never got confusing or messy, and it was a very heartwarming story overall.

Outside of the interesting plot and enjoyable characters, another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the personal touches the author made in regards to her hometown. There were many references to certain things and places that most Indiana locals know, and I really enjoyed that personal touch.

It was so cool to be able to read a book that was written by a Ben Davis graduate. I really enjoyed reading this story, and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and lighthearted read.