Saturday, August 12, 2017

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

ARC, 336 pages
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Published by: Little Brown
Read from: August 6-8, 2017
Source:  TxLA 2017 
For fans of: Grief, Finding Yourself, Mental Illness, LGBTQIAP+, POC MC, Diversity, Diverse Families, Realistic Fiction, YA 

     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.


     I went into this having never read a Brandy Colbert book so I didn't know what to expect. From this book I found that her writing style was awesome and she did an amazing job at showing that her characters didn't take any bull. So naturally, I was smitten with it. 
"Even with the little experience I had it wasn't so hard to imagine someone might be attracted to both- or more- options."
pg. 88
     Suzette cam home from boarding school to find she missed LA more than she thought. She missed her family, her brother, and her crush. But things start to feel different when she finds out more about herself and her brother. Things she hadn't expected but needed to know.
"It just feels... People don't really care if you like more than one person if you're gay or straight, but if you say you're bi, it's different. Like the same rules don't apply."
pg. 94
     I loved so much about this book that I literally had to write it out long hand before I could compile it into a review. The number one thing that stuck out to me was all the ways the main character and her family were diverse. It wasn't a typical diverse read where the character is only diverse in one way, but the MC was bi, African American, and in a diverse family. This easily gave the book a more realistic feel. It was nice to see that it wasn't just focused on one aspect. 
"They were better when they were alive.' 'Aren't most things?'"
pg. 125
     I also love the relationship between Little and Lion. Although they weren't really brother and sister, they loved each other like they were. This hit home for me because I have an "older sister" and we have the same type of relationship. But looking at us, you'd never believe that it wasn't a "real" thing. It was nice to finally see that in a book. It was something I hadn't seen before and I loved how real Colbert wrote it.
"Bi, queer... It doesn't really matter, as long as you're happy. Just make sure you don't let anyone tell you what you are. People can be real assholes about labels."
pg. 193
     I also of course loved her writing style. She knocked it out of the park. It had a bit of a slow start which is the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. Once it got going, I couldn't put it down. I used it as a way to get sucked out of a bad day I was having and it worked perfectly. I was able to lose myself in Suzette's world and forget my own troubles. 
" 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."
pg. 206
     Lastly, I just really liked the representation in this novel. There's only one aspect I can speak 100% for, and I feel it was done really well. (Ahhhh the power of Own Voices!) It made the story so much more authentic and I loved being able to see someone like me on a page. However, I can only speak towards the stigma that Colbert mentions about mental illnesses (see above quote) and with my anxiety and "Pure O" OCD, I can say that this is unfortunately a very true statement and I'm glad that Colbert shed some light to it. Hopefully now, if people read this, it might make it happen less often. 
"Bravery doesn't always look like you think it will. And it's never too late to stand up for the right thing."
pg. 324
     I really felt this contemp was a great diverse read about finding one's self. It was great to finally see someone like me, diverse in more than one way, on a page. And if I felt that way as an adult, I can only imagine how a teen feels.
Overall, I give this

Did you read this?
What did you think? 


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