Little & Lion is a YA realistic fiction book about struggling with sexuality and mental illness that I got from my school library. Suzette's stepbrother, Lionel, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She leaves her boarding school to come home and support him, only to fall in love with Lionel's girlfriend. Lionel has stopped taking his pills and made Suzette promise not to tell their parents, swearing that he'd no longer love her. Now he's trapped in a downward spiral, and she must find a way to fix her mistake and save her family before it's too late.
I truly loved this book! Anyone who has a family member or friend who's struggling with an illness needs to read this book. This serves as a guide as to what to do in response to alarming situations. I love how this book tackled stigma on mental illness, and disapproval of one's sexuality. An added bonus was the fact that Suzette is African American while Lion is white. The author packed in every controversial issue she could think of, which was amazing. What I loved most about this book was how it combined multiple issues into a beautiful, intense story.
I do not blame Suzette for her mistakes, and more than anything I love characters that mess up and aren't perfect. It's boring to read about people who are normal and never make a mistake. I was surprised that both characters had their own stories and their own problems. They both wanted the acceptance of others, and didn't stop to love themselves. Suzette was trying to understand what it meant to be bisexual while Lionel was trying to understand what it meant to be bipolar. I loved how both characters were on separate journeys but were united in their efforts. Little & Lion is an honest book that I highly recommend!
Title: Little & Lion
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 Stars