8 hours 12 mins | Hachette Audio | Contemporary YA | 08/08/2017
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of “tough stuff stories about marginalized identities, so I’d been circling this book for a long time; assuming a book about a bisexual black Jewish teenager and her bipolar stepbrother would be a “the struggle” book. However, from the very first few lines of Alisha Wainwright’s narration, I was pulled into the vibrant world of 16-year-old Suzette as she returns to her artsy and eclectic West Coast community of friends and family after a year in boarding school. Colbert does an amazing job building Suzette’s world and I know it’s corny but Los Angeles is almost a character in this book.
But seriously, Imma need one of those LA street tacos.
Alisha Wainwright is a new narrator on the scene and her voice has this cool West coast vibe that brings Suzette’s first-person POV to life. Props to all the work Bahni Turpin and Robin Miles have been doing, but I ’m excited we are getting some newer and younger narrators for black characters to spice things up. Wainwright is probably best known by some YA fans as Maia in the Freeform show Shadowhunters. It’s so crazy to me that she fell into acting only a few years ago because she is so good in this, every line is filled with intention. Give her all the books. All of ’em.
The only thing I didn’t love about this book was the love triangle that shows up. It felt a little sloppy and out of left field but I do like how it all ended up.
Little & Lion is a quiet story brimming with compelling characters and a captivating audiobook narrator.
I don’t know if Colbert is taking requests but there is a character in here named Emil Choi and I need him to get his own book.