In this post, I share a book review of You Should See Me in a Crown, plus four joyful finds, including a Hitchcock podcast, a new striped dress, a musical soundtrack, and a docuseries about movies.
You Should See Me in a Crown, by Leah Johnson, is about a high school senior named Liz, who has her sights set on a prestigious college, called Pennington. But when her financial aid falls through, she finds herself forced into finding a creative way to get the money she needs to make her dream come true.
You Should See Me in a Crown Book Review
The thing that first made me pick up this book, was the bold, purple cover. But what really got my attention was the synopsis. It sounded nearly identical to the set up for the book I’m writing!
The protagonist in my story, Elisabeth (same name!), also has her sights set on high places (Yale), before an unexpected financial situation prevents her from enrolling. The similarities end there, but I thought that it would be insightful to read another story about a character in a comparable situation.
You Should See Me in a Crown is set in fictitious Campbell, Indiana— the Prom capital of the country. Prom is such a big to-do in Liz’s high school, that it awards their Prom King and Queen with college scholarships. Despite being shy, feeling awkward, and feeling at a disadvantage as one of the few black students at her school, Liz pushes out of her comfort zone, and throws her name into the ring.
What follows are a series of events and activities to help bolster her chances to win the crown. Since the book is set in current-day, social media plays a strong role in the story, as her classmates document and judge one another’s every move. The school even has its own social network, called Campbell Confidential.
You Should See Me in a Crown, is very much a modern-day Cinderella story, told in a fresh, compelling way. I really connected with the character of Liz and loved how Leah Johnson crafted her transformation.
The ending of the story is my favorite of all of the books I’ve read this year. I very much expect to see You Should See Me in a Crown adapted for the screen. At least that’s what I’m hoping for!
Here are a few more things that are bringing me joy this week:
The Watch Podcast Episode: Top Five Hitchcock Movies and ‘Psycho’ at 60
My Instagram followers already know that I am a huge fan of Hitchcock films. Every October, my husband and I revisit our favorites in a month-long movie marathon. It is a tradition we started when we were dating and something I look forward to every year. I’m fairly certain that our first joint purchase was this Hitchcock DVD box set.
So when I saw that one of my favorite podcasts had released a two-hour episode on Hitchcock movies with a deep dive, on Psycho, I may have done a cartwheel. The Watch delivered, as they always do, and I especially enjoyed the segment where each of the hosts shared their top five favorite Hitchcock films. Even if my favorite, Dial M for Murder, did not make it onto any of their lists.
I’ve long dreamed of doing some sort of Hitchcock project, maybe a limited series podcast, or blog segment, and after listening to The Watch, I’m even more inspired. If that’s something you’d enjoy, let me know.
New Old Navy Dress
The calendar says Fall is coming, but Florida is ignoring it, so I am too. I had been eyeing a few pretty blue dresses on Draper James all summer, but could never convince myself to spend the money, considering I wasn’t going out very much this year.
But when I was in Old Navy last week, I spotted this dress, tried it on, and felt like it looked just as classic as a Draper James. I’m sometimes iffy about Old Navy clothes, but this dress feels high quality, and has a nice lining on the inside. Not to mention that it is extremely comfy and can be dressed up or down.
I feel like this is going to be one of those dresses that I wear for years. Even if it’s just around the house, to start!
Alice by Heart Soundtrack
I’m so grateful for the musical-theater loving people in my life! A few weeks ago, my friend Katie recommended this soundtrack to me and it DELIVERED.
The story is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and comes from the creators of Spring Awakening. If you’ve seen Spring Awakening, or know the music, you’ll recognize the similarities. The songs are every bit as haunting and beautiful.
This show hasn’t made it to Broadway (yet), but I hope that it will. In the meantime, I’ll just keep hitting that repeat button.
The Movies Docuseries from CNN
I love how books, movies, tv shows, and even documentaries can provide you with different experiences, based on when you consume them.
I watched this six-part series when it first aired last year, and loved it, but hadn’t given much thought to it since. But when I spotted it on HBO Max, I remembered that I never got to see the final airing, (the Golden Era of film) and ended up rewatching all six parts.
This time, it was in a whole new light, because I was watching it from the perspective of a storyteller, instead of a consumer. Since I’ve started writing my book, I’ve become hyper-aware of the way narratives are presented, and this docuseries inspired me in so many ways.
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