Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
Expected publication: August 8th 2017 by Little, Brown
Goodreads Summary: When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.
Review: In a time when diversity is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Little & Lion brings you a community of characters bursting with diversity in many forms – LGBTQ, religion, POC, and mental illness. The main character, Suzette aka Little, has just returned home for the summer from boarding school unsure if she wants to return in the fall. There is an incident involving her roommate Iris that is mentioned quite a bit in the beginning but isn’t really explained until later on in the book. As Suzette tries to settle back into her home, there are some flashbacks to show how her family unit came to be and how strong her relationship was with her stepbrother Lionel aka Lion. In the present, it is clear that something has affected their relationship so they’re not as close as they used to be even though Suzette desperately wants their relationship back to where it was. Something caused a strain and as the story continues, and some pretty big events transpire, you find out what that was.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book even though I didn’t quite fully connect with the characters. I loved Suzette and Lionel’s family! They seem to have such a cool dynamic. With the exception of Emil, I didn’t really care for too many of the secondary characters. A few of the scenarios felt a little exaggerated but they didn’t really have a negative affect on my overall opinion of the book. One of the main things I was disappointed in was the ending. It felt rushed and was not satisfying for me. I would’ve really liked to see the ending expanded to go more into detail about what happens with the decisions that Suzette decided to make regarding school. I don’t want to say too much more so I don’t spoil anything. I’ve been torn on where to rate this one and have decided that while I liked the book I don’t think I will ever read it again so I’ve set it at a 3. It’s definitely worth a read, especially if you are looking for some great diversity. There is some sexual content so be aware of that if you are looking at this book for a younger YA reader.
I received a copy of this book from The Novl in exchange for an honest review.