Aug 31, 2014

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publishing Date: August 26, 2014
Pages/Format: 272, ARC
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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, something is 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....

Book in One Word: Different!

I wasn't really sure what to expect from A Little Something Different. Having fourteen viewpoints would either work or it wouldn't, but I was interested to see how it plays out--I mean, there's a POV from a squirrel and a bench! But I had heard that this was super cute, so I was looking forward to a nice, short, fluffy read. Unfortunately, I didn't get that.

A Little Something Different IS a little something different. It's the story about two people--Lea and Gabe--and how they are so totally meant to be. But it's never told from the POV of Lea and Gabe. Instead, it's told from fourteen others: fellow classmates, friends, family, a barista, a bus driver, etc. All these people get the chance to observe Lea and Gabe and their awkward dance around each other (because they really are kind of awkward and all that). It was actually cool to see a romance unfold without knowing what the romancers were thinking.

HOWEVER. I was never really super duper into the story. Sure, it was a fast read, and the short sections kept the pace going, but something was missing for me to fall for this love story. Some of the POVs did stand out, but some--like the admittedly adorable squirrel and funny bench--just weren't really necessary. It would have been nice to see, in addition to the fourteen viewpoints, Lea's and Gabe's, too. It would have had added some nice to insight to the characters (who are main characters but we're never in their head), and maybe given me a chance to care more about what they did (though I did care). Because having so many viewpoints didn't work out too bad--but they needed some tweaking.

My other problem was the writing. It's totally readable and it wasn't bad, but it's not super great, either. Some of the conversation just seemed kind of awkward and stilted, and kind of unnatural. It was simple, but not a sophisticated simple. The writing did change a bit for some of the viewpoints and gave them some voice, but some were also similar so they kind of meshed together. A different writing style could have improved this book a bit.

I'm slightly disappointed by A Little Something Different. It has a cute cover and so many people have said it's cute, but it just didn't read that way for me. Like I said earlier, I did go through this pretty fast, which is a bonus. And I did feel some secondhand embarrassment and such because my gosh, Gabe and Lea are so awkward and just my gosh, some of the things! I did like them and kept waiting for them to get together, but I was never really very OH MY GOSH and flaily. I definitely liked this book more so than not, but it's not a standout.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Probably not.
Would I purchase it? Eh.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of romance with a twist, lighter contemporaries, and Doug from Up.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.


  1. While I thought this book was really cute I definitely get what you mean. There were some parts where I felt like I would care for the characters more if I was actually in their heads and I definitely got confused a few times on which POV we were in because some of them were very very similar. Though I did love the bench...I don't know why but I did.
    Great review! =)

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