A Little Something Different
by Sandy Hall
Read: July 21, 2014
Published: August 26, 2014 by Swoon Reads
Source: Macmillan Paper ARC - THANK YOU!
Category: Contemporary Romance, Mulit-POV, College, New Adult
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. But somehow even when nothing is going on, somethingis happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.
Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together….
A Little Something Different is the definition of adorable. This book made me happy. It is the story of how Gabe and Lea get together, from the perspective of all the people who want so badly for it to happen. Lea is stating her freshman year at college and Gabe is returning to school after a year absence. They are in the same creative writing class and keep running into each other. But Gabe is shy and dealing with his own issues, and Lea isn't sure how to approach him either. Yet it is clear almost immediately that they could be so great together. You will want it to happen too.
The idea of 14 different viewpoints and none of them being the main characters sounds a little daunting, but I actually really enjoyed the perspectives. I think what works about it in this story is that the 14 perspectives are all focused on Gabe and Lea. It's not like there are 14 different plots going. They are all working together to tell the same story. My favorite voices were the creative writing professor and angry classmate Victor. I also enjoyed Gabe's brother Sam and his friend Casey, though in the beginning I had to remind myself that they were talking to Gabe instead of the other way around. It worked surprisingly well to tell Gabe and Lea's growing romance from outside perspectives, but it was something I had to get used to at first. The only two perspectives I didn't care for were the squirrel and the park bench. An inanimate object and an animal were a little too silly and unbelievable for me.
Thankfully, this book was low on angst or any sort of over the top drama, both of which are almost guaranteed in a college romance. Gabe is sweet and shy and adorably awkward, which is not the normal fare for a romantic lead. He went through something a year ago that has had to adjust to. But he has a supportive brother and friends that care deeply about him, and this book didn't take the over traumatized approach of many NA books (not to downplay anything people have faced, it's just that NA books seem to make Everything More Extreme). I also genuinely liked Lea. She's a little shy too, but she has great friends that she cares about, works hard in school, but goes out to parties and has fun too. I think we could be friends.
A Little Something Different was a bit agonizing in parts because it took Gabe and Lea a while to connect. But I laughed out loud and smiled and sighed in all the right places, and was able to sit back and enjoy watching these two realize they wanted to be together as much as the people around them (and I) wanted it to happen. This book is such a sweet picture of attraction and early love, when you can't wait to run into the other person and sometimes accidentally on purpose end up where they are just so that you can run into them again.
Love Triangle Factor: NONE
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone