August 17, 2014

Review: A Little Something Different

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Grade: B
Release date: August 26, 2014
An ARC was provided by Macmillan/Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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....

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: From the moment I heard about this book, I knew I was dying to read it. It sounded like such a cute romance.  While it wasn't without its flaws, A Little Something Different certainly lived up to its name.  There were 14 different POVs (if I counted correctly), and each one adds something different to the story.  I could've done without the POVs from the bench and the squirrel (those were just too weird), and maybe Pam, since she didn't add much to the story, but the rest were definitely effective.  Towards the end, I really wanted to see Gabe and Lea's POVs, so that's a definite flaw.  We never get a true look inside the heads of what I'd consider the true protagonists.  However, there is surprising diversity in this book (Lea is Chinese, and Gabe is half-Portuguese, just for starters), and serious issues were touched on.  A Little Something Different is still a romance, though.  It was cute, and fluffy, and interesting.  It didn't follow the formula of a typical love story, and Gabe and Lea were not your typical love interests.  I will say that one part of the book is pretty unrealistic - Gabe and Lea are in the same creative writing class, and I'm pretty sure Gabe and Victor were in it just to fulfill an English requirement.  Since it seemed to be upper-level, I'm pretty sure this wouldn't actually happen.  Lea is only a freshman, so it was a bit unbelievable that she would be in an upper-level creative writing course, but I suppose it could happen.
Romance stayed pretty clean, surprisingly (since these are college students), there was underage drinking, and language was the worst of it (the s-word was used on multiple occasions).

The Verdict: Cute, fluffy, fun summer read, but it doesn't follow the usual teen romance novel formula.  Give it a try!

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