Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Little & Lion” as Want to Read:
Little & Lion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Little & Lion

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  8,915 ratings  ·  1,573 reviews
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 so
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Little, Brown
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Little & Lion, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andie Avens As it's the first book I've read with a character with bipolar, I don't know. But I would say the writer expresses it pretty well. …moreAs it's the first book I've read with a character with bipolar, I don't know. But I would say the writer expresses it pretty well. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,915 ratings  ·  1,573 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Little & Lion
Emily May
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know how easy it is to believe you're doing the right thing if you say it to yourself often enough.

Little & Lion is the kind of book that sneaks up on you. You start reading and it all seems like a fairly quiet story about a sixteen year-old girl coming home from boarding school to see her loving family and supportive friends.

However, it soon becomes apparent that the book is so much more than it first seems. The author uses this warm, seemingly-average Californian family to explore sexual
Emma Giordano
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
5/5! Love love loved Little & Lion so much!!

TW: bipolar II disorder, talk of suicide

Little & Lion was fantastic! I’m so pleased I read it. A truly heart-warming story about family, relationships, sexuality, and personal growth.

This novel is a very diverse and unique contemporary YA novel. Our main character Suzette is black (#ownvoices!!) and jewish, and over the course of the story, she comes to terms with the fact that she is also bisexual. I really adored watching Suzette discover her sexuali
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was FUCKING AMAZING. A black, Jewish, bisexual main character with a heart of gold. Set in Los Angeles and featuring all of my favorite stomping grounds! Fuck, you guys. YOU GUYS. I have never in my life related more to a main character than I did to Suzette in this book. This was just everything I've ever wanted in a book and more. Throughout the course of this book she deals with so many things that were almost a mirror to my own life and I am just so fucking happy that this book exists. ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
This. was disappointing.

From the reviews of Pointe, Brandy Colbert's debut and one of my all-time favorite books, I think she could just be a polarizing author. Reviewers tend to find her books either fabulous or kind of messy. Unfortunately, Little and Lion falls into the latter category for me. If I'm being honest, this felt like just another contemporary, and my issues with the bi rep really took this down the drain for me.

Let's get into it.

♔ The complex,
I'm sorry but I don't feel good enough about this book to write a proper review.

I think the bipolar rep was really well done, and so was the Jewish rep, it's probably one of the first times that I really felt like I could see myself, a Jewish person, in a book.

But I disliked the bi rep. I know not everybody felt the same, and me not liking it doesn't other bisexuals who identified with it are bad bisexuals, because they aren't. But I'm tired of having a bisexual character in a love triangle. I'm
Book Riot Community
After a school year away at boarding school, Suzette flies home to California to help support her stepbrother, Emil, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But things take a complicated turn when they both fall for the same girl. Little & Lion is a compassionate, honest examination of integrity and love.

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books:


Preorder this right now if you are itching for t
Nic Stone
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea I needed this book so badly. For one, it features a black Jewish girl (she and her mother converted when she was 11). For another, it gives a wonderful example of how "family" isn't defined by blood or even by marriage, but by love and acceptance and a sense of belonging. For a third, it offered a really seating look into the idea of loyalty and the moral dilemma major secrets can sometimes present--especially if by keeping a secret, someone could wind up hurt.

I loved it so much!
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I'm still processing my thoughts... There was a lot that I loved about this, but there were also a few things I had issues with.
✨    jami   ✨
Pros: fast reading, non conventional family, complex & strong sibling relationship, jewish & black rep, fast reading, ALISHA WAINWRIGHTS AUDIOBOOK NARRATION

Not sure on my rating yet, am gonna sit on it. So review to come
Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
You can find the full review at Bookshelves & Paperbacks.

What worked?
☆ This is a wonderfully diverse book. Our main character is a black, Jewish, bisexual girl who’s brother has bipolar disorder. Emil, Suzette’s childhood friend, is biracial – black/Korean – who has a hearing aid. Suzette’s best friend is lesbian- in fact, most of the secondary characters in this book are on the LGBQ+ spectrum.

☆ Brandy Colbert discusses ‘casual’ racist micro-aggressions throughout the book, as well as stigmas su
#strangesummerreading No. 2: Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert ☀️☀️☀️

The biggest lie we tell ourselves and others when we are hiding something: "Family doesn't tell on each other. They keep secrets. They protect each other." Man, this line broke my heart for Lionel and Suzette.

This book tackles so many important topics: Mental illness/health, sexuality, identity, and family.

Things I loved:
🦁 The raw, true and heartbreakingly-beautiful representation of a person's struggle with mental illness. I l
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
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
Chelsies Reading Escape
In theory this should have been a quick read, but I wasnt compelled to pick it up so it took me longer than it should have. The summary for Little & Lion is a little spoilery in my opinion. I wish I hadnt read it because barely anything happens with the plot so the summary pretty much covers it all. This story is about familial relationships, mental health and the main character discovering her sexuality. Maybe its because Im not really into contemporaries, but I felt like not much happened thro ...more
Julie Ehlers
Little & Lion is a likable YA novel. It's got mostly interesting characters, makes good use of its Los Angeles setting, and isn't afraid to tackle a few heavy topics, including racism, coming to terms with your sexuality, and living with a mental illness. Unfortunately, the main character was a little blah and I wasn't super invested in what happened to her, so this book didn't always hold my attention very well. I almost put it on my pile of books to give away, which is where 3-star reads usual ...more
An incredible story about mental illness and the tolls it can take on a family -- even one that's close and open with one another. Colbert renders Lion(el) through both his highs and his lows of bipolar, and she creates a likable-but-flawed character in his sister Suzette (Little). Little is a bisexual Jewish black girl, struggling with how much of herself to show in her boarding school in Massachusetts, but this summer back in California has taught her the importance of being true to herself in ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5, maybe?

This was so wonderful.

Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
I... definitely understand why this has such mixed reviews now. emotional cheating & narrative choices that play into harmful bi stereotypes really aren’t my jam 🙃

> 2.5 stars
Olivia Chanel's Stories in Space
Thank you so much, Hachette Book Group, for my advanced review copy of Little & Lion. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.

Little & Lion is my favorite read this year and truth to be told, I love it in a way that is hard for me to describe. There are some books that you read that you just know will mean a lot to you and Little & Lion was definitely that for me. When I heard this book was being released, many months ago, I just knew I had to read i
Another really good book by brandy colbert.
I read this in about 2 days and really enjoyed it, I also buddy read this with my friend Sydney and I can't wait to check out more of her books!

Minor spoiler: I just don't know if I understand which LGBT Rep our main character is... Maybe they mentioned it and I just missed it but there are some LGBT Rep in this book.
There's also trigger warnings for: Drug/alcohol abuse, Family seperations/family fighting
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad at all. A good story about a family adjusting to one family member's mental illness. I didn't really connect with the characters in this story though. Usually I have no issue with that but for some reason I just couldn't. There were times I wasn't completely into the plot also. Not a bad book at all though.
Book of the Month
California Dreaming
By Judge Katie Cotugno

Little & Lion is a California dream of a book, a must-read for anyone who’s ever felt caught in between—places, people, identities, or two entirely different worlds.

Sixteen-year-old Suzette is home in Los Angeles for the summer after a year at boarding school in New England. Suz and her stepbrother Lionel have always been close, but their relationship isn’t as easy and effortless as it once was: Lion seems distant and unreadable, worried and frustrated th
”“They were better when they were alive.’
‘Aren’t most things?””

3 stars
TW: suicide is mentioned multiple times
read full review here
*full review include favorite quotes and a spoiler section

The Writing
The writing in this was very easy to read and allows you to really fly through the book. Suzette is very honest with herself in not having a clue as to what she is doing or who is and that gives this book this raw feeling that you don’t get in a lot of contemporaries. I did feel like Suzette
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I find books that heavily rely on characters to drive the plot to be my kryptonite; I also love seeing supportive family and friends with a little bit of romance on top. In this case, Little & Lion perfectly fit the bill. It’s not a surprise I love it.

The story is told from the point of view of Suzette a Black bisexual Jewish teen, who is back for a summer vacation in LA after spending the whole year in a boarding school. She’s grappling with a lot of things. First, she recently learns that she
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 strong stars! I liked this one more than POINTE & am so glad I decided to pick this one up. LITTLE & LION is a fantastic story of family & trying to do the right thing for the ones we love, no matter how hard that may be. I just have to state first that the representation is amazing- we have a black, bisexual, Jewish teen who is attempting to look out for her brother the best way she knows how. Suzette's stepbrother, Lion, is bipolar & decided to tell Suzette that he is now off his medication. ...more
Julie Zantopoulos
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I cannot speak personally to the bipolar or bisexual representation in this book but from an outsiders perspective they seemed well handled, written, and explored. I was frustrated with the pacing and writing style of the book at the beginning, all the teasing as to what happened that sent Little away, but in the end I enjoyed the characters and the storyline.

I personally felt that there could have been more depth to the characters and the story, but I appreciated that problematic behavior was
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A poignant, gentle, and powerful book. What a way to start the year - with an excellent first book that sets the bar high for 2018.

- A wonderful character-driven book centered on Suzette, and how she navigates her life after returning home from boarding school.
- Do you know why I love this book? It's because it explores questioning sexual identity. The MC, Suzette, is in a stage in her life where she's questioning her sexual identity. She has an inkling of where she is, but she's still figuring
Kate Olson
This YA book covers a wide array of issues, including sexuality, race, religion, mental health and family structure, and did so satisfactorily. It will be appreciated by many teens and would be a great addition to large high school library collections. As an adult reader who has read a LOT of YA, however, it was a middling read - no major criticisms, just a bit flat for me and I have to admit that the flashback chapters tripped me up sometimes. I am glad I got this from Book of the Month as one ...more
Yesenia Cash
The potential was there, there were moments when I wanted to give this a 4 star rating but in the end it didn’t take me there. The plot was very interesting but I didn’t connect with the writing style.
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mental Health Boo...: August fiction - Bipolar: Little & Lion 5 44 Aug 27, 2019 06:03PM  
Stephanie's Book Review 4 1 2 Mar 01, 2019 01:03PM  
FYA Book Club of ...: August 2018 - Little & Lion 5 6 Jan 08, 2019 04:49PM  
Read Your Face Of...: Chapter 18 - End 1 8 Jan 03, 2019 05:06PM  
Read Your Face Of...: Chapter "Then" - 17 1 4 Jan 03, 2019 05:04PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Felix Ever After
  • You Should See Me in a Crown
  • The Firefly Letters
  • The Black Flamingo
  • Clap When You Land
  • Full Disclosure
  • The Henna Wars
  • Grown
  • Slay
  • Pet
  • Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give, #0)
  • Punching the Air
  • Cemetery Boys
  • With the Fire on High
  • Dear Justyce (Dear Martin, #2)
  • Darius the Great Deserves Better (Darius the Great, #2)
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1)
  • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
40 likes · 14 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Bravery doesn't always look like you think it will. And it's never too late to stand up for the right thing.” 11 likes
“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 care about them.” 10 likes
More quotes…