Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Title: A Little Something Different
Author: Sandy Hall
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Series: N/A
Pages: 272
Source: publishers for review
Rating: 3.5/5

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....

I have one word with many elongated syllables to describe Sandy Hall's debut: cuuuuuuuuuuuuute. It's cute. It's cutesy and whimsical and it's meant to make you ship the ship of awkward Gabe and shy Lea. Using many more POVs than I usually see, some with very unique viewpoints (squirrels! benches! surly and grumpy males of young adult age who are not an eventual love interest!) Sandy Hall uses these various perspectives to bury you in feels and adorableness.

A Little Something Different is the perfect popcorn novel. It's brisk and different, adorable and endearing. Though there are a few issues with the writing (girl on girl hate for nothing but highlight? Come on now.), it's a breath of easy-reading, pure fun. The characters are distinct and likeable, even the ones who really don't care if you like them or not coughVictorcough. The many POVs help to really create a sense of community for both Gabe and Lea -- and also make it so that the entire novel boasts a lot of distinct personalities.  

If I had to pick another descriptor for A Little Something Different, I would go with "fun". It's just plain fun to read; to get caught up in this will-they-or-won't-they narrative about two such complementary characters. The romance is sweet without being saccharine, important without being overly dramatic, and the characters all have a group and individual chemistry that makes it so easy to invest in the outcome. The small doses of humor are doled out with care and help to keep the story from veering into too much of one aspect. Even if the end is slightly predictable, the author still makes you hope and wait and root for this couple.

The first novel from Macmillan's Swoon Reads, I would have to say that Sandy Hall's debut is a great fit and good harbinger for the imprint. Good contemporary romances are hard to find, but A Little Something Different's originality and adorableness make it stand out.


  1. This sounds like a perfect book to read in bed on a rainy day. Cute isn't always my thing, but sometimes it's nice to read something fluffy that won't hurt your brain too much.

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts.

  2. This one was so cute! I actually liked it more than I expected and thought it was a fun, fast read. It was a great fluff read.

  3. I keep poking at time one, trying to decide on purchasing or saving the cover and fawning over it.

    It is good to know that this is a "weekend read-in-one-day" novel!


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