Title: Little and Lion
Author: Brandy Colbert
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult
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.
Source: Thanks so much to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
As most avid readers of my blog would know by now, I love diversity in the novels I read. Since fantasy isn’t often my cup of tea, I like to delve into books involving cultural diversity, neurodiversity, and more. Therefore, it was no wonder to me that I was anxiously awaiting to get my hands onto Little & Lion!
I must say that this book left me a bit disappointed. Although I do want to praise the strong amount of diversity it brings to the YA genre, several things about it bothered me, including the protagonist and the slow-paced plot.
For a brief synopsis, Little & Lion follows main character Suzette. She attends a boarding school in New England and is bound to return home to Los Angeles. Because Los Angeles has been her home and everything she’s known for her whole life, she is having doubts about going back to boarding school. She especially feels this way because her stepbrother has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and needs her support. Soon enough, Suzette is stuck in some drama- she has developed a crush on the same girl as her stepbrother.
To be completely honest, I found Suzette to be extremely annoying. I truly adored and appreciated the fact that she was a coloured Jew exploring her sexuality (we need more characters like this!), however she was much too stubborn and whiny for me to stand. At times, she did not seem to have a care in the world- she appeared to care more about her friends, boyfriend, and crush than her struggling brother.
Plot-wise, I will be truthful and say that I was bored due to the slowness. Aside from the diversity, there was nothing unique about it- nothing that stood out, and nothing I will remember well in a year from now.
Moving away from the negatives, let’s talk some more about the diversity of this book! As mentioned before, Suzette’s stepbrother Lionel has bipolar disorder, and in addition, the siblings’ crush Raphaela is pansexual, and Suzette’s boyfriend Emil is deaf, black, and Korean. I’m probably forgetting some characters here, but this is just an idea of how awesomely diverse this novel is!
Overall, this was just a ho-hum, average read. Even though it was sweet and sent out some strong messages, I have ultimately read so many like it. If you aren’t as seasoned in the contemporary genre as I am and are looking for a quick, diverse read, then Little & Lion is the one for you.
*I received a finished copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*