After losing a scholarship that is her path to her dream college and life, Liz Lighty enters into the Prom Queen competition because winning offers a scholarship. She doesn’t think she has a chance, because the town that she lives in is very white and very rich – the opposite of her. But then she starts to get to know the new girl, and the competition becomes bearable.
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: death of a parent (mentioned), cancer (mentioned), chronic illness, public outing, anxiety
This book was overall just so cute and heartwarming! I loved seeing Liz’s relationships with her friends and family change over the course of this book.
I really enjoyed that Liz’s hobbies and goals made complete sense. She is super into orchestra and playing music, because to her, it feels like an escape and it’s also something she can control. She wants to become a doctor, so she can help people like her brother (and her mother) who have sickle cell anemia. I feel like sometimes in YA contemporary, characters have interests just because they need to have an interest, but Liz’s really are important to her.
Throughout this book, Liz repairs a an old friendship that ended and also questions a current friendship. I liked how these two things were kind of parallel to each other, and both were interesting, complicated relationships, so I really enjoyed watching where they went!
I also absolutely adored Liz’s relationship with her family. She lives with her grandparents and her little brother and they are all just so supportive and so caring. There were so many scenes with them that were just so heartwarming.
The romance was super cute! My one complaint was actually that I wished there was more romance. I just wanted a little more development between them, but they were still so cute together! For a pretty short book, there was definitely a lot packed in.
Overall, this book was just such a fun time! It was a really quick read, because it is short, but also because the story was just addicting and I didn’t want to stop reading. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for whatever Leah Johnson writes next!