A Little Something DifferentA Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads on August 26, 2014
Pages: 224
View Title on Goodreads
Bantering Books Rating: three-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 ment to be together....

Bantering Books Review

I don’t read many romance novels. In fact, I tend to stay far, far away from the genre. I like my romance “on the side,” where it’s not the central focus of the story and the characters have way more important things to do than gazing dreamily into each other’s eyes over and over and over again.

I have a cold heart. This I know.

BUT — every once in a while, the ice around my heart thaws a bit, and I get a hankering for a good ol’ romance, usually of the rom-com variety.

And this is what led me to pick up A Little Something Different.

The hook of the novel is clever. The love story of Gabe and Lea is told through the viewpoints of 14 different characters, none of which belong to the two main protagonists. It’s as if the reader is a fly on the wall . . . a spectator to the development of Gabe’s and Lea’s relationship. By being privy only to the observations of others around the lead characters — including those of a squirrel and a bench — a unique perspective is given to the reader as the pieces of the story fall neatly into place.

It’s an effective method of storytelling . . . mostly.

Fourteen character viewpoints are A LOT. The format of the novel, however, makes for easy, quick reading and eliminates confusion. Each viewpoint is short, and there are clear labels of who is who in the story.

The problem is that there just isn’t much distinction in the voices of the characters. The novel is filled with dry, witty banter (which I love), but ALL of the characters speak with the same dry, witty banter. Man or woman . . . animal or bench . . . the characters would’ve benefitted from a dose of depth and individuality.

And don’t even get me started on the viewpoints of the squirrel and the bench. I get what the author was trying to accomplish . . . kind of . . . but she missed the mark. The squirrel and the bench just did not work. At all.

Still . . . the story is quite cute. I rooted for Gabe and Lea. I wanted them to be together. I didn’t mind it when they gazed dreamily into each other’s eyes over and over and over again. I even felt a little flutter of my heart at the very end of the novel.

And yes, I found myself chuckling many times at . . . well . . . all of the dry, witty banter. I’m a sucker for it. The author is quite skilled at writing it, too.

If you’re looking for a light, mindless, feel-good romance, give A Little Something Different a try. It made me smile . . . and it might make you smile, too.

Just skip over the parts with the squirrel and the bench.

Oh! And FYI . . . I would categorize the novel as Young Adult-ish in nature.