A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different
Written by Sandy Hall
Contemporary, Romance
Published September 1st 2014
272 Pages
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia 
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 staff at the local Starbucks can see the subtle smiles. The take away delivery driver can tell that you in all his years, no two people have ever ordered the exact same meal. The bus driver can't wait to tell his wife at home about the two that ride the bus each day but never speak. Even their Creating Writing professor and the little squirrel in the park on campus can see that this could be only the beginning of Lea and Gabe. Pity neither Lea or Gabe realise it yet.

But where Lea is an introvert, Gabe is shy and finds it difficult in social situations. And as much as he enjoys the awkward company of Lea, she interprets his non committal responses as nothing more than his lack of interest. Everyone from the bus driver, the Starbucks staff, both their friends and even the acorn obsessed squirrel that inhabits the park they both frequent are nudging them together. But who will make the first move?

My Thoughts


Every once in a while, a book comes along that is the epitome of what a young adult romance should be. Affectionate, tender and endearing. A Little Something Different was incredible and captivated my attention from the very first page. Uniquely told from fourteen different points of view, everyone except Lea and Gabe, the storyline begins at that tentative first meeting and follows the should be couple as they navigate their feelings towards one another. What makes the storyline so unique, is that the reader isn't thrown into the action, but swept up in the romance of simply being a voyeur through the interactions of fourteen seperate characters. It was incredible.

He stands with her while she waits for her drink and I hear him say, 'Do you want to, um, maybe, um, you can say no, of course. You could maybe, if you wanted to, sit with me.' I hate to admit that it is absolutely endearing, the way he digs his hands so deep into his pockets and how he sort of kicks at the floor tile and doesn't look at her. I feel like this whole exchange is being wasted on me. I wish the others were here to see it.

Both Lea and Gabe are in college, but the innocence of both characters, both socially awkward, are both about to endear the campus to their love story of glancing, blushing and half conversations. And along with all the secondary characters, you'll find yourself mesmerised. This isn't a story of instant love or physical lust, both Gabe and Lea are realistic and I can't recall two characters that I've ever found so utterly perfect for one another. 

I don't swoon often, but I was smitten. With Gabe and Lea, their story and felt as though I was part of something incredibly special. It's beautifully written. Amazingly so. Fluffy, romantic and heartwarming. It's akin to sleeping on a cloud or surrounding yourself with puppies. It's simply joyful.

20 comments

  1. Can I just say how beautiful this cover is. I want it on my wall!
    Great review, this isn't normally my kind of book but I want to get into romance more and this sounds like it has a little bit of an edge to it that makes it different to most cliche love stories! Brilliant review, always enjoyable :)

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    1. It's not only completely different, but no instant love as well. That's a big plus in my book. Pardon the pun. It's just so fluffy and heartwarming, it's been one of my favourite young adult contemporaries this year.

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  2. Glad to see you liked this one too Kelly :) It's so nice to see a light and realistic YA romance without the insta-love, that is also told in such a creative way. Fantastic review!

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    1. It was just beautiful. I loved the awkwardness of Lea and Gabe navigating their feelings towards one another. It was just so stinkin' cute!

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  3. THIS SOUNDS ADORABLE. I'm a liiiiittle worried about how many POVs there are, but still, this sounds like something a little different (HA) and I'd love to read it :)

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    1. I thought I'd have issues with the muliple points of view as well, but it's only snippets where each side character is observing either Gabe, Lea or both together. It really added to the magic.

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  4. Thanks for a fantastic review, Kelly - I'm glad you enjoyed this book! It's definitely a book I want to read soon, and I'm glad you found yourself smitten, as that's exactly what I'm expecting from this story.

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    1. It was so incredibly charming and included all the awkward parts that you'd expect from two characters who are so consumed with one another, but have no idea how to express it. Ebony, you'll absolutely love this one. So unique and heartwarming.

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I've been oohing and aaahing that cover for ages now (because let's get real here--it's amazing) but have been on the fence because contemporaries and I don't mix. And I can barely take two POV changes and fourteen sounds...extreme. But I'm glad that it all worked out! A sweet romance without instalove? That sounds perfect. Fantastic review, Kelly! <3

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    1. I really think this is the ultimate booknerd love story. No instant love, two very realistic characters, none of this I'm broken I want to fix you bullshit, just pure fluff and romance. It's also incredibly quirky. One of the points of view is from a squirrel and a park bench that loves bums. It sounds ridiculous in theory, but it worked. I absolutely fell in love reading this one.

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  6. I'm so incredibly excited for this book! Fantastic review, I definitely plan on picking this one up when I get the chance. Although I'm not a massive fan of this genre, it still looks like something I could very easily enjoy. :)

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    1. I don't mind contemporaries, but only ones that are out of the ordinary. Usually the quirky adventures and fluffy heartwarming reads. This was a mixture of both. I loved it and even let out a happy sigh after I put this one down.

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  7. KELLY, YOU'RE REVIEW JUST CONVINCED ME. (sorry for the caps.) No, but really though. I've seen a lot of reviews about this book, and majority of them are positive. Now I want to read this too :) I love fluffy stories! Thanks for sharing :)

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. I can almost guarantee you'll adore this one too Jillian, we've got a really similar taste in books. It's just so lovely, I was completely enchanted.

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  8. I want to read this, mostly because I'm bitter that I studied Creative Writing and nothing like this happened to me. So I need to live vicariously through this book and re-write my past :P

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    1. And there's no better way to do it Allie! You never know, your very own Gabe might have been in your class, but was just too shy to create your storyline.

      See what I did there.

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  9. To be honest, I think this cover screams adult fiction, which is why I never really looked into it. BUT I'M GLAD YOU LOVED IT. Because this sounds really awesome, and I really do want to read it now! Especially when both the characters are in college, like me!

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    1. I thought so too. But it's so incredibly whimsy as well. It's beautiful. They're both in college, but unlike most new adult, this isn't an intense sex romp. Just two shy, lovely people slowly falling in love. It's so joyful.

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  10. I finally have a copy of this one! I've been so excited to read it ever since I saw the cover because isn't it just lovely? But then the reviews came out, and most of them are not so positive. I admit that I held back a little but I'm so glad that I saw your review. Yay!

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  11. Awww sounds like you really enjoyed the romance in this one and I love the 14 different perspectives! I bought this recently but with my recent shelf reorganisation who knows where it is - will have to dig it out. Lovely review Kelly!

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