This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I really liked reading this book. It handled a lot of tough issues and it handled them very well. I went into this book rather blindly having never read anything by Brandy Colbert before and hadn't really seen any reviews for this book. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
Some of the things that I liked about Little & Lion:
Great Characters - Suzette and her family were really wonderful characters. They have had a lot of things to deal with over the years. Suzette and Lionel have always been close until his mental illness pulls him away but she never stops being there for him. Suzette is really working through a lot of different issues in this book and trying to figure things out. Her
Diversity - This is a very diverse book. Suzette's family is made up of more than one race with Suzette and her mother being black while Lionel and his father are white. This book also includes characters trying to figure out their sexuality and others that consider themselves to be bisexual, homosexual, and heterosexual.
Dealing with Illness - I thought that this book did a fantastic job in dealing with Lionel's mental illness. At the start of the book, everything seems fine but as you get further in the story you start to realize how hard things have been for Lionel and his family. Emil has been dealing with a physical illness and we do get a chance to see how hard this has been for him to deal with as well. I thought that the author really portrayed these illness in a realistic manner.
Realistic Parents - In some ways, Suzette's mom and step-dad seemed a little too good to be true but by the end of the book they seemed very real to me. They are very involved in their children's life and are incredibly patient and supportive. They do get upset but they are able to deal with it and move forward. It was obvious that they didn't think that they had all the answers and really were willing to listen to their kids.
Making Me Feel a Range of Emotions - I reacted pretty strongly to some parts of this book. There was one scene when a decision is made that really put me in mom mode. I could see that it wasn't going to be the best decision but I really understood how the decision came to be. Suzette's confusion over what she really wanted was perfectly described. These characters go through a lot in this story and I really felt the range of emotions with them. There were a few times that I put the book aside not because I wasn't enjoying it but simply because I wanted to think about it for a while before moving on.
All in all, I thought this was a really great read and I do recommend it to others. There is so many things to enjoy in this wonderful little story. I look forward to reading more from Brandy Colbert in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via TheNovl.com.
This book handled a lot of different issues. It felt very relevant and I enjoyed the diversity.