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|After a year at boarding school, 16-year-old Suzette is happy to be home for the summer, but that doesn't mean life is simple. Her stepbrother, Lionel, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; Suzette has just had her first same-sex relationship (and first encounter with homophobia); and she's attracted to both her longtime friend Emil and her flirtatious coworker Rafaela-whom Lionel also likes. Although love and sexuality are important to the story, its core is Suzette's feelings of responsibility for Lionel and uncertainty about how to help him. Colbert (Pointe) powerfully depicts the difficulties that mental illness presents not just for those diagnosed but for the people around them, and her characters reflect the diversity of Los Angeles. Suzette and her mother are black, Lionel and his father are white, and Suzette's friends and love interests are ethnically and sexually varied. While the characters occasionally feel slightly idealized-Suzette always tries to do the right thing, her parents are unfailingly accepting, and her friends have an impressive ability to articulate what they feel and why-it's a moving and well-realized examination of secrecy, trust, and intimacy. Ages 15-up. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.|
|*Starred Review* Suzette's back in California for the summer after spending the year at boarding school in New England, and she's looking forward to being back home, though she's nervous about reuniting with her stepbrother, Lion. Before she left for school, she broke a promise to Lion and told their parents his bipolar disorder was getting out of control. Now that she's back, she's worried she irrevocably altered their relationship, and while she's trying to rebuild it, Lion starts to spiral again. Meanwhile, Suzette is facing some new truths about herself, too. At boarding school, she was surprised to fall hard for her roommate, Iris, and back home, she's even more surprised to discover feelings for her old friend Emil, her mother's best friend's son. As the plot bounces back and forth in time, Colbert juggles all the moving parts expertly, handily untangling Suzette's complicated feelings about herself and her relationships and gradually illuminating pithy moments of discovery. One of many notable strengths here is Colbert's subtle, neatly interwoven exploration of intersectionality: Lion is desperate to be defined by something other than his bipolar disorder, and Suzette learns to navigate key elements of her identity black, Jewish, bisexual in a world that seems to want her to be only one thing. This superbly written novel teems with meaningful depth, which is perfectly balanced by romance and the languid freedom of summer.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist|
|<p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>||
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