- “Little & Lion” by Brandy Colbert
- Young Adult Contemporary
- Read as an ebook
- 4/5 stars
- Finished December 3, 2017
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.
Brandy Colbert’s first book, “Pointe” was my favorite book of that year. It was beyond phenomenal and beautiful and I kind of fell in love with her writing style. This is her sophomore book, and it’s wonderful and groundbreaking again. We meet Suzette who is home from boarding school and her stepbrother, Lionel. Suzette is dealing with questioning her sexuality, while Lionel is dealing with his bipolar disorder. Both of these come to a head when Lionel and Suzette fall for the same girl.
I really loved this book. It was beautifully written and really dealt with issues of mental health and sexuality in a very realistic and kind way. The main characters are both POC, making this an own voices novel and Colbert excels at it. I loved discovering all the layers to her characters, seeing how their Jewish faith impacts their lives, and seeing parents who seem realistic. So often in YA books parents are over-involved or underinvolved, but I found in this book that wasn’t the case. I found the book a quick read, and very moving and touching. Colbert knocks out another wonderful book that I cannot wait to get on the bookshelf for my future students.
“Lionel said as much to me once, how so many of the same people who are quick to empathize with physical disabilities don’t understand why someone with depression can’t just get up and get on with their day like the rest of the world. It’s like they need a receipt that proves someone is actually going through some shit before they can care about them.”
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