A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads
Publish Date: August 26, 2014
Find It: 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, 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…. (from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: By now you may have heard about A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, which is a super-cute contemporary romance about two awkward college students that like one another but have a tough time doing anything about it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE books with quirky characters and I also love romances with awkward love interests, so I’m not surprised at all that I enjoyed this story. Here are a few things that make A Little Something Different stand out in a fun way:
- YES, it is true that there are fourteen points of view in this story. Interestingly, none of the fourteen POV’s belong to Gabe or Lea. This sounds a little crazy but it actually works really well. As a reader, I felt like I was watching Gabe and Lea through the eyes of whatever point-of-view was talking at that particular place in the story. When they go into class, we hear from their professor. When they go into the coffee shop, we hear from the barista. They go to various places on campus – we hear from roommates or friends. (And YES, there are two perspectives that inanimate objects.)
- All of the characters are so real. Gabe and Lea felt so normal to me, like I maybe could have known them when I was in college. And I felt like I could see myself in each of the other POV’s (except the squirrel and the park bench) – even the grumpier ones! This is one of the best parts of the story, I think. The way each character felt so believable made the story easier to fall into and made the characters easier to love.
- There are a broad range of personalities represented in the group of POV’s, which makes the story-telling interesting and fun. Of the group, I enjoyed Inga (the creative writing professor) the most. Inga had such a huge and hilarious personality – she made me laugh several times.
- The characters are diverse.
- Author Sandy Hall works as a teen librarian.
- This story was inspired in part by a young person that visited her library. The teen asked about “normal” books for people her age – people about to start college – without incredibly angry main characters or big, major dramatic issues. Sandy decided that she could write that story.
- Sandy wrote the manuscript very quickly – LESS THAN A WEEK! – and submitted it to Swoon Reads, where it was picked for publication.
- Since her book has been published, Sandy has held a Book Club with the teens at her library – featuring A Little Something Different – this made her nervous! (The teens loved the book.)
- A Little Something Different is available in audiobook format, but Sandy has not listened to the full book in audio! She checked out a little snippet to see what it sounded like but has only read it full-length in print. She DOES love audiobooks, however, and listens to them often!
- Sandy gave great advice for aspiring writers – my favorite advice was to “Keep going!” because you can always improve. (See Sandy talk more about writing HERE.)
- There are more book ideas that Author Sandy Hall isn’t sharing just yet – she wants to write different things for different ages (like Rainbow Rowell – she’s a fan!). I’m excited to see what Sandy Hall writes next and will be watching for it.