A Little Something Different
by Sandy Hall
Category: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads - Macmillan
Page Count: 272
Source: ARC from Macmillan. Thank you SO much!
Goodreads Synopsis: 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....
GOODREADS . AMAZON . B&N
Review: It was a few weeks ago when I decided that it might be time for me to try emailing an ARC request to a couple of publishers. I knew that there was a strong chance that nothing would come of it, but my blog had been up and running for a few months, and I had posted many, many reviews. I did not hear anything back, but I was not stressed about it, either. I knew I would continue my blog, continue doing what I love by reading books, and then try again in the future. When this book showed up on my doorstep from Macmillan in the middle of last week, I was shocked, and in the best way. I was so excited to open up the package and find this book inside. So excited, in fact, that I opened the book and read it right then and there. Cover to cover in one sitting, and let me tell you, it was so amazing.
This book is the perfect summer read for a contemporary lover, and I found that I could not put the book down (not even to have dinner, we ended up eating pretty late that night!). I just had to know what happened next with the characters, and that is an element of a great book, in my opinion. I already assumed that this would be a book I would enjoy after reading the synopsis and requesting it. I never thought that it would be this good, though, and I am so grateful I was able to read it now.
One of the best things about this book is that it is written in the narrative perspective of fourteen different people/objects, but none of them are the two main characters of Gabe and Azalea, or Lea as she prefers. Instead, we get to see everything that develops between them through the eyes and words of all of the other supporting characters within the novel. These people range between their friends, siblings, roommates, classmates, a creative writing professor, baristas, diner waitress, bus driver, a bench on their college campus, and even a squirrel! (and let me tell you, the squirrel was one of my favorites!).
The wonderful thing about getting the book in this way is that we get to know much more of the story. We get to see the main characters in the eyes of so many people around them, positive and negative views. Since Gabe and Lea are far too shy to make things happen on their own, they need the encouragement and prodding of all of these other characters as well. Their professor loves playing match maker with students in the classroom, the workers at the local coffee shop think they're adorable, the diner waitress is sure they belong together, and the bus driver is reminded of the relationship he had with his own wife when they met.
While this is a love story, it was not typical and predictable. It was not instalove that tends to drive me a bit crazy, as it's usually completely unrealistic. Instead, Gabe and Lea have plenty of issues that lead to complications when they try to make things happen between them. Gabe has physical issues that cause problems between them, as well as take quite the toll on his confidence. Lea tends to be a bit shy, and becomes impatient and annoyed instead of asking more questions. They were far from perfect, and that is what I loved about them.
This book was adorable, the romance was heart-warming, and the characters and plot line made me want to continue reading. This book left me wanting to read more; I wanted to know what happened next for all of the characters, and I love that I get to leave those things up to my imagination. (Of course, I'm a sap, so everything works out perfectly in my mind!). I applaud Sandy Hall for this book and the wonderful narrative technique she decided to use. I look forward to purchasing a finished copy of this book in August, and I'm excited to see what Swoon Reads continues to publish.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0