ARC Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

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….

3.5 cupcakes

As the title suggests, A Little Something Different is unlike any book I’ve read before. It’s an ode to love and an ode to shipping, but it’s not your typical love story. Instead of seeing the whole “boy meets girl” and “girl meets boy” scenario unfold from one of the participant’s perspectives, readers get to watch the relationship unfold from the perspective of absolutely everyone else — from Starbucks baristas to squirrels to a bench on the school green. 14 diverse POVs may seem overwhelming at first, but they definitely made for a quirky, fun way to tell a story.

While the multiple perspectives were one of this book’s greatest strengths, they were also, at times, its biggest weakness. I didn’t feel as though I really got to connect with Lea and Gabe all that much; sure, I was rooting for their relationship to happen, but since the majority of the book involves various people trying to get them together, there wasn’t a lot of time spent on its development. The perspectives themselves were very similar-sounding (with the exception of the bench and the squirrel) and the “voices” seemed a lot younger than they actually were. Aside from the occasional party, they definitely didn’t act like college students, so perhaps this would have been better-suited for a high school setting.

The relationship between Lea and Gabe is a sweet, slow-burn story. Instead of jumping straight into a relationship, both parties have issues of their own that they need to work out. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of communication problems that take up the majority of the story; after a while, it started to get a bit frustrating, and I just wanted to shake both characters and tell them to talk already!

Overall, while A Little Something Different seemed to be written for the younger YA range, the multiple perspectives made for a quick, adorable read.

I received an advanced copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

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