Rating: 3 stars
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….
A Little Something Different is a cute and easy read, which is one of the things I like about it. It’s a book that doesn’t take too long to read because the writing flows smoothly and the story is very simply told by those surrounding the two main characters.
I also like that the author kept everything so short and simple with all of the characters. While I normally enjoy reading stories with a lot of character development, I feel like that wasn’t needed with this story since everyone else was talking about these characters. Which reminds me, I really like that the author told this story from so many different perspectives. While at times it could be a little annoying because the points of view changed on every other page, I like that Sandy Hall had friends of the two main characters telling their story along with people who saw them and thought they would be cute together. It added something different to the story, let the reader know what people thought of these two characters instead of hearing the characters talk about themselves and their troubles. I especially thought it was cute to have a squirrel’s point of view in the story because you never see that type of perspective in books. And I found the perspective of the bench to be amusing because having a bench talk about the perfect butt just made me giggle.
I especially like Lea and Gabe, who I felt like I could relate to. Both characters are pretty shy and awkward, which is something I completely understand since I’m the same way. I have a hard time interacting with people socially, except for the people I’m closest to, like my friends and family. But I also don’t like people that much, which makes it hard for me to want to socialize with anyone except for the people I care about. They are also like me because I’m also very geeky. They both like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a television show I’ve seen a couple episodes of here and there but haven’t really watched all the way through and both of them are into writing, something else I obviously enjoy. I really liked that Hall had these two awkward college students as the main characters because it was something I could really relate to, and it made me want to find out how their love story would unfold. I also found them as a couple to be really endearing and it wasn’t hard to root for them to end up together.
One of the things I like the most about A Little Something Different is hearing about Gabe’s physical handicap. Not a lot of teenagers have a physical disability like Gabe, and it’s nice to see her acknowledge how this impairment affects his life. I also appreciate that we get to see him struggle with this disability throughout the book, and then see his character once he’s able to do something about it. It shows that the story does have a little character development even though it’s not much, and promotes a positive message about people with physical disabilities.
A Little Something Different is a good read because it’s such a happy book. With the amount of horrible things that happen in the world on a daily basis, it was nice to read this book, and get away from that for a little bit. I also like this book because of the romance aspect of the story. I like romance literature, and reading about this couple was exactly what I needed.
But while this story is cute, there are some aspects of the story I didn’t like too. For one, I didn’t like that the whole focal point of this book was about their romance. Every conversation the characters in the story have is about both of them, and how cute they’d be together. But I felt like the author could’ve had these characters focus on their own lives while also talking about these two characters. It was almost like all of the characters didn’t have lives of their own, like Gabe and Lea were the only thing they had going for them. It was like these people were obsessed with having these two get together, that they couldn’t talk about anything else because of it.
I also hate how hard Hall was using these secondary characters to push Gabe and Lea together instead of letting them get together if it was meant to be. While I think these two characters are cute, I find it annoying how hard the author was pushing for their relationship instead of letting things happen naturally on their own.
I was also frustrated with Lea and Gabe’s characters. I get that both of them are awkward and shy, but I feel like the author used this as too much of an excuse during the course of the story. She had them literally at the same places all the time, yet they had very little physical conversations with each other. They would just awkwardly acknowledge each other with a wave or smile each time they saw each other and that was it. I found this to be frustrating because it’s not completely realistic. I get having a crush on someone and having a difficult time getting the courage to talk to the person you like. But after a certain point, you have to make the decision to make a move or the person is going to believe you don’t like them and move on, which is actually what almost happened. I get that it’s not easy, but I felt like the author told the reader both these characters were shy too much. To the point where it made you as the reader wonder if Lea and Gabe really actually liked each other because there were times were it was hard to tell.
What I also don’t like about A Little Something Different is the way Hillary and Victor’s characters are portrayed in the story. These two characters are the only ones who don’t necessarily want Lea and Gabe together, and everyone else in the story gives them a hard time about it. While these two characters weren’t my favorite (especially Hillary, who I found to be quite annoying), I felt like their treatment was a little unfair. Especially Victor because he really didn’t want anything to do with the two of them, but ended up near them almost every time something happened. I felt sorry for him more than anything else, especially since Gabe was constantly kicking his seat during class.
I overall enjoyed reading A Little Something Different because the story was so cute and happy and it was very easy to read. It was exactly what I needed, but unfortunately had some imperfections that if fixed would’ve made this story even more enjoyable to me. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a book to read to cheer them up, a book with many different character perspectives, and is a romantic at heart like me.