Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Review: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Published: August 26th, 2014
Paperback, 272 pages
4 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
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 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 barista 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...
There is one main selling point for this novel, actually make that 14. This love story is told through 14 different viewpoints and not one of those perspectives is one of our lovers. It was the most interesting way to read a story and I found myself not being able to put it down. Through the eyes of Gabe and Lea's peers, teachers, and a squirrel, we find out everything we know about our couple and we watch as they slowly, hopefully, get together. Some of these characters know our couple, like Gabe's brother and Lea's roommate, but others are pretty indifferent to the situation yet find themselves just as involved as the rest. Soon everyone is rooting for these two to get together, yet Gabe and Lea can't seem to find a way to do it.
I loved every different perceptive. Inga, the creative writing teacher became quickly entangled in the two of them and slowly tried to get them together. She was very invested for an outsider, but I liked how she picked a different couple every year so play matchmaker with. We learn a lot about Lea from her roommate and we quickly discover that she does like Gabe, she's just really shy. Gabe likes Lea too, he tells his brother about her a lot, but there's something stopping him from being with her, and boy is he just as shy as she is. The baristas were my favourite. She hated watching the two of them, but soon she was part of the team, rooting for them to get together. The lady at the diner sits them together in hopes of something happening and the chinese food delivery guy makes a point of pointing out that they always order the exact same thing and if they share, they could save some money. It was really cool how much everyone wanted them to be together, but it was also a little much. Everything was always about Gabe and Lea. We didn't learn much about all these other characters as everyone was so focused on our couple. As a hopeless romantic, I loved it, but it just didn't seem real enough. The best is still the squirrel, who loved when Lea sat with him because she always gave him food, and the bench, which spoke of cold butts sitting on it and not appreciating it properly. They were nice little laugh out loud perspectives that broke up the book nicely.
I loved the diversity in this book. Lea isn't white, Gabe isn't the perfect guy and we meet such an array of characters that not one of them is blatantly stereotyped. This book was certainly something different and it stands out on its own amongst the rest of the love stories out there. Gabe and Lea were so much like real teenagers, shy and scared of what might happen if you put your heart out there, and it was a nice change from the insta romances I've been reading a lot of. This is definitely worth a read. It's a quick, fun story that will have you laughing, pouting, and rooting along with the rest of the characters for Gabe and Lea to get together.
"Watch these two. They come in here every once in a while, and she goes to one corner and he goes to the other, and then they move around the store creating parabolas as they come together and bounce apart. They're the weirdest couple on Earth. I want to write math equations about them."
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