Enjoy the multitude of squeals below
A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy Colbert
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.
This book was absolutely everything I had hoped for and more. The cast was delightfully diverse in every way possible, religion, sexuality, and race.
It featured a questioning Bi character, a lesbian, a pan character and straight ones as well. I loved the diverse sexualities and how they were handled. I really connected with Little on her sexuality. I’m pan but I also felt her struggles with liking both girls and boys. It feels different, liking boys and girls. It’s even more confusing when you like a boy and a girl at the same time.
Little’s struggles going public with Iris is a common thing, even sometimes for out couples. It’s always a gamble being physical with someone you love when you’re the same sex, no matter how comfortable you are with yourself. It’s even more of a gamble when you’re not so sure who you are or what you want.
One character even seemed to be poly, wanting an open relationship. It was talked openly about, not being seen as cheating or greedy. I’ve never seen a poly character in YA.
While we’re here talking about sexuality, there was an acephobic remark towards the end of the book. It was a simple “they need to get laid” but that’s still acephobic. You don’t need to have sex to stop being so uptight, sex doesn’t fix any problems.
I did love the on page sex between both two girls and a girl and a guy. Each were given the same amount of detail and one didn’t seem more acceptable than the other.
I loved the talk of religion as well. Little was Jewish along with other members of her family, while other characters were questioning or of other faiths. It was all accepted and I loved the Shabbat scene with Little and her family.
I also loved the remarks about the weird looks Lion gets when she’s with her white brother and step-father. It really showed the struggles of a mixed family. There was a racist remark made and two characters challenging it on page.
The characters were of diverse races as well, from black to a mixed Korean boy.
Everything about this book, save for the one remark, was perfect. From Lion’s struggle with his mental health, Little struggling with her duty to her family and to her brother, to Little’s struggle with her sexuality. This challenged a lot of things and was delightfully diverse while being a story I was interested in wholeheartedly. This is a book I think everyone needs to read. It was a true contemporary, not the fluffy contemporaries who always follow the same pattern (though, those have their place). This book makes you think and opens your mind to the struggle of others.