Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Sometimes, when I don't know what to do with myself, I buy books. This is one of those books.

"A Little Something Different" is just that. Something different. 

The story is told from 14 different view points - none of which were the main character. (I didn't notice that until someone else pointed it out! Thank you, GoodRead-ers!)

I'll give you the synopsis (from, and then we can get right to it:

"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...."

Let's be 100% honest and up front - it's a fluffy book. It's cheesy, predictable, gooey and one you can read in about 6 hours (if you're speedy). And I have a few problems with it:

1// The different viewpoints:
There's 14. Their creative writing teacher, the random Chinese food delivery guy, the bus driver (who reminded me of Jerry from Parks and Rec - anyone? :) ), random friends, a squirrel, and a park bench. 

I'm not kidding, the author decided to throw in a squirrel and a park bench. 

I totally am into having differing viewpoints a la "Eleanor and Park", but this one got to be too much. You heard too much from everyone. The people closest to the main characters (Lea and Gabe) were helpful and kind, because they knew the couple. They invested in them. The creative writing teacher, bus driver and diner waitress were okay - the rest? Unimportant and could have been left out. 

2// The big secret? Not big at all.
Y'all, total spoiler alert here, but Gabe was in a car accident and was injured. Granted, he lost hearing in one ear, but for some reason, the author needed to make a bigger deal about it. Hall mounted all of this tension - hinting here and there that something with Gabe wasn't quite right - and it just fell flat. Womp.

3// WE GET IT.
They're "supposed" to be together - I understand that's your whole deal, but Lord, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 

I'm almost completely exhausted reading about characters that won't DO anything. They're pegged as this weird, emo, "messed up" kid - and people just sympathize. They are celebrated for their individuality (which I am NOT sick of - you do you, boo boo!), but never helped out. Never told to grow - not really. Never given the opportunity to change.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I'm just tired of the same character. I love YA fiction, but sometimes I think I'm better off reading something else.


All in all, I didn't love it. But I didn't hate it. There are just some things I can't get over and don't agree helped the plot, characters or story along at all. But I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book - because yes, Bob the bus driver, is right.

You're never alone,

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