Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
Little & Lion is the journey of Suzette and her brother Lionel. Lionel has bipolar disorder and has been struggling with recovery without Suzette. After Lionel was diagnosed, Suzette’s parents decided to send her to boarding school in New England, thousands of miles away from her home in Los Angeles. Suzette and Lionel are part of a blended family, Suzette’s mom being African American and Lionel’s dad being Jewish. Throughout the novel, Suzette is asked to keep a secret that could destroy her brother’s health but also their relationship. Additionally, she struggles with her sexuality as she forms a relationship with a boy in her neighborhood but also feels guilty about abandoning a relationship with her former roommate at boarding school. She also has a crush on a girl that her brother ends up dating.
Overall, I felt that this book had too much going on without a lot of plot development. The character development was strong, the sibling relationship was relatable and loveable, but there wasn’t too much happening.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
One of Us is Lying is an investigation into a death at Bayview High. Bronwyn is Yale bound and has a clean record, Addy is known for her beauty and popularity, Cooper is a jock who is being scouted by colleges, and even the minor leagues, Nate already has a criminal record for dealing drugs, and Simon is a loner who created the popular Bayview High gossip app About That. This novel follows first person perspective of each of these characters in suspect of Simon’s death. Each person was in detention that afternoon, and they were the only people who were the last to see and witness everything. When the police discover evidence that his death could not have been accidental, the students become suspects in an investigation. They all had a motive for wanting him dead, since he was planning on posting secrets about every person on his app.
One of Us is Lying was a fast and intense read. The novel follows each student and their relationships with each other and old friends as they morphe as they go through a criminal investigation. I enjoyed the individual perspectives of each student, their family lives, and how the world moved differently through each person. Although predictable, it was a good read.
And the winner is…
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus will be moving forward in the tournament. It’s a nail biter that keeps you hanging on until the last page. Even throughout the actual investigation, there manages to be school drama, love stories, and maturity of characters that is all artfully written.
Bio: Caitlin is an avid techie and maker in the library industry. In her free time, she enjoys writing, snuggling with her pug Butch, and avocado toast. Follow her on Twitter: @femme_b0t