Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

A Little Something Different

Rate this book
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....

272 pages, Unknown Binding

First published August 26, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sandy Hall

9 books669 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,201 (22%)
4 stars
7,471 (32%)
3 stars
6,870 (29%)
2 stars
2,434 (10%)
1 star
1,088 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,102 reviews
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.1k followers
November 24, 2014
If you liked Fangirl and want something similarly adorable, you need to pick this up.
If you want to see how multiple perspectives can be done properly and interestingly, you should pick this up.
If you want a cute, cheesy but lovely story, you'll want to pick this up.

Obviously the gimmick and selling point for this novel, the reason everyone mentions for picking this up, is the fact that there are 14 different perspectives.. and NONE of those perspectives are the main character. I didn't buy this, it was lovingly gifted to me, so it felt like I had nothing to lose and nothing to gain: I went into the book totally neutral... and it was lovely! Seriously. I would have read it in one sitting if I hadn't needed food, but I did read it one day. It was so fun and cute and the different perspectives WORKED. They worked really well.

I couldn't believe that we NEVER saw from the main character's' perspective, but I'm kind of proud of the author for not going there! Some things can't be done or achieved, but other things were done that can't be done in first person narratives.

Why only three stars? Because it was a three star kind of book. I'm glad I read it, it was lovely, but the plot wasn't anything new, the characters aren't going to stick with me, and I didn't feel that any theme was particularly important or ground breaking. And that's okay! It was still nice and fun and did something cool.
Profile Image for Elle.
420 reviews105 followers
September 6, 2014
Flat, stereotypical characters, overused romcom clichés, and a sentient, perverted bench are just a few of the myriad problems I had with A Little Something Different. Yes, you read that right. Among Hall’s 14 viewpoints, there is a sentient, perverted bench. Let that sink in for a while.

The constantly shifting perspectives (of everyone from their bus driver to a squirrel on campus) is clearly meant as a quirky, interesting way to tell a story, but since Hall rarely spends more than a few pages in one character’s head and doesn’t allow them to think about anything but Lea and Gabe’s non-relationship, every character reads like nothing more than the author’s current mouthpiece. Hall forces her side characters into the role of narrators whose everyday thoughts and feelings are ignored because they’re irrelevant to the story she wants to tell, and the result is painfully inauthentic.

The narrators we’re supposed to like are warm, friendly romantics who somehow see a spark between Lea and Gabe even when they’re sitting on opposite sides of the room. The narrators we’re supposed to hate are perpetually angry for no apparent reason, and either dislike Gabe and Lea or represent a threat to the love story. The narrative’s treatment of Hillary, a girl who also likes Gabe, is particularly awful - to the point where total strangers (characters the reader is supposed to like) find petty reasons to look down on her and are applauded for doing so.

The “chemistry” between the two leads is practically non-existent. We’re rarely allowed to glimpse Lea and Gabe’s connection. We’re just told - through a series of painfully contrived monologues from complete strangers - that they have one.

I was drawn to A Little Something Different after reading so many glowing reviews about how funny and charming it was, but I think I must have been reading a different book. I did like the diversity of Hall’s cast, and Gabe’s commentary on living with an invisible disability, but that wasn’t enough to redeem it for me.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing a copy of A Little Something Different in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Rating: 1 star | ★✰✰✰✰
Review cross-posted to Paperback'd
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
January 21, 2016
Such a sweet and adorable read!

There are books that can simultaneously make you smile as you go through the pages, and A Little Something Different is one of them.

The story centers on two teenage main characters Gabe and Lea who share the same class in creative writing. They're attracted to each other, but because they're both being shy and awkward, they can't seem to initiate a move in order to get closer. As the story goes, we get to know some of the people that surround them who eventually try to root for them to be together.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit because of its cuteness and uniqueness. It's really something different. I've read some YA contemporaries but I've never encountered a book with so many POVs. And none of them are from the main characters. Yes. there were no narrations from either Gabe or Lea, but instead, just from the secondary characters such as Inga (the creative writing professor), Sam (Gabe's brother), Charlotte (the barista), Danny (Lea's friend), Bob (the bus driver), even the old bench and the squirrel! (Omg, the bench and the squirrel actually have a POV! LOL.)... and many other characters.

I most certainly liked the overall cuteness of this book. It's a fun, light read and with simplistic writing-- something to keep a reader entertained. The romance was also light but very immersing. It kept me involved and engaged in. And despite the numerous POVs, it didn't confuse me, but instead, I found myself enjoying the witty dialogues and the fascinating characters. If you want a quirky, fun, and a little something different to read, I highly recommend this book!



Pearl's Book Journey (1)

Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,636 reviews34k followers
September 2, 2014
I'm pretty sure that if this book accidentally fell open in your lap, a million little hearts would fly up into a cloud surrounding you in all the sweet, good-natured adorableness that is this story.

14 POVs, yet none of them from the two lovebirds, and two of the POVS are so patently ridiculous that they should absolutely not work--and yet they do, they do, they do. So flipping cute!

3.5 stars very strong stars. And it makes my 2014 favorites list, even though other more highly rated books did not. Go figure! It makes sense to me.

Oh, and we're giving away a copy of the book! http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2014... Kim wrote the official review for the blog as well.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
May 5, 2017

The concept of this book is so, so, so, SO neat. But the writing of this is so elementary, I could barely get through 15 pages before knowing it would bother me for the entire book. I wish it were otherwise :(
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
January 13, 2016

Allow me to use this review as an avenue to greet a wonderful friend (whose review I find way more beautiful than the book) a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Someday hopefully soon, Pearl, I will love a book you love with all my heart but in the meantime, I hope this simple birthday wish for you would be enough to make you smile. HAPPY,HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WONDERFUL PEARLY! MAY YOUR DAY BE HAPPY, SPECIAL AND MEMORABLE! MAY IT BE FULL OF AMAZING SURPRISES! HAVE A FANTAMAZEBULOUS DAY!


The novel lived up to the promise of its title. It gave the reader “a little something different.” The story is told in super multiple POVS except those of the main characters, Gabe and Lea. It’s refreshing because most contemporary YA novels I’ve read are told in alternating POVs of the boy and the girl but this one is told by characters (both animate and not) surrounding the MCs including the creepy bench and the squirrel. Pretty quirky but I have to be honest about several things.

The multiple POVs in my personal opinion is spectacularly overdone and the premise, although cute, is quite too far-fetched because the 14 other characters’ (some completely irrelevant to the story and to the MCs) voices revolve around one thing- the love story of Gabe and Lea as if they don’t have a life of their own (except the squirrel, my favorite character), as if they simply exist to narrate the story of somebody else. I was groaning and rolling my eyes in disbelief half of the time and to be frank, half of the POVs can be deleted and I’d still get the same story with less groans and eye rolls and half the number of pages, pages which would have been more useful had they been used for character and plot development.

The writing is generally good and lighthearted but I couldn’t shake the number of times I thought it was also kind of offensive. For characters who were supposed to be good people, I don’t know why several times they came off as mean. This poor Hillary girl who didn’t do anything except develop a crush on Gabe was the object of consistent contempt or perhaps they just needed a “villain” (because it sure did read like a fairy tale) and the closest there is for them is Hillary.

You’ll get what I mean from the following excerpts:

“I was proud of myself because what I wanted was something more along the lines of disparaging Hillary and everything she stands for.” (said the Creative Writing professor who acts so unprofessionally by putting as her primary semestral goal to make two people fall in love with each other and to revile any other student that will get in the way.)

“The skank queen.” (said Lea’s best friend)

“Except maybe Hillary. That girl is a ridiculous caricature of everything that’s wrong with the world.” (said Gabe himself)

I was ready to just simply enjoy this. I wanted this to be just a mindless read but one cannot be blind especially when one has already seen too much. It’s true that the eyes see what they want to see and it’s unfortunate that mine chose to see these things.

However, do not lose hope for the book because the rest of my friends who read this really enjoyed this and if you will use Pearl’s pretty eyes, you will see a beautiful perspective on the novel and you will also get a chance to greet her a happy birthday. Just click here. ;)

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,958 followers
September 3, 2016



I have never read a story like this one. It is told in multiple POV's. They each have a part in the story and there are 14 of them. I thought this was really cool. We even have commentary from a bench and a squirrel which was cute and funny. I will add a couple of their excerpts in a few.

So the major players are, Gabe & Lea

The folks and things rooting for them throughout the book are:

1. Maribel (Lea's roommate)
2. Bench
3. Sam (Gabe's brother)
4. Squirrel
5. Victor (creative writing classmate) - although he hates them because they won't get on w/ it.
6. Bob (a bus driver)
7. Casey (Gabe's friend)
8. Maxine (a waitress)
9. Danny (Lea's friend) - although, he has crush on Gabe too
10. Inga (creative writing professor)
11. Pam (Inga's wife)
12. Charlotte (a barista)
13. Hillary (creative writing classmate) - don't like her at all
14. Frank (Chinese-food delivery guy)

Lea & Gabe notice each other before they even find out they are in a creative writing class together. When they get into the class you would think at one point they would talk or finally acknowledge they like each other. But, NO. And all of these people in the book are wanting them to talk and get together but they are both too shy.

Well, Hillary wants Gabe to herself and she's not a nice person so she can suck it. And Victor hates them so much and he ends up running into them everywhere he goes. He finally has it out with them about getting together and it cracked me up.

I will say it does take them to the end of the book to start really talking and finally get together. But the thing that was fun, listening to all of the people go on about them and them talking to certain people in the book about each other. It was just really sweet and cute. Just a fluffy book!

Let me excerpt SQUIRREL AND BENCH because they are funny.



The best part of this time of year is all the acorns. Acorns are delicious and amazing and the best thing that anyone could ever eat. If you're not eating acorns you are seriously missing out. I tell my friends about the amazingness of acorns and sometimes they just stare at me like I'm crazy. But I'm only crazy for acorns.
I see a boy and a girl. The girl gave me peanuts once and she always looks at the boy a lot. He looks at her too. But they always look at each other at the wrong second. But today they look at each other at the right second and they both smile so wide it looks like they're laughing.
I hope they are laughing.
I hope they like acorns. Maybe I'll throw some acorns at them. No, that's a bad idea. I don't want to lose my acorns. I don't want to share. Call me a bad squirrel, but I do not like to share my acorns.
Maybe that makes me a good squirrel. The consummate squirrel. The very definition of a squirrel.


Bench (on the green)

I'm the oldest bench on this green and I get no respect.
I'd like to say there are worthwhile things about the job. And maybe sometimes there are. Sometimes you get a really perfect butt; however, all rear ends are not created equal.
The one currently seated upon me is the kind I appreciate; it's the kind of behind that I would invite back time and again, if I had the ability to speak. And the best part is that it seems to be attached to a person who wants nothing more than to sit. No chatting, no moving around, not graffiti or gum. I could get used to this.

more from bench,

Bench (on the green)

No one sits on me all damn winter except that idiot squirrel. And now it's snowing and I'll be covered in the stuff for weeks and then I'll be wet and I won't see a single butt for the whole duration.
All those ungrateful delinquents walk by hour after hour, day after day, week after week. Not one glance my way, not one single decent sitter in the whole bunch.
No one has time for benches in the winter.
If I could, I would grow spikes. That would show them, come spring when the birds are chirping and the sun is out. They would sit down and I would grow a spike right into their rotund rear ends. Then they'd stop taking me for granted.

I totally loved bench and I would sit on him in the Winter since that's my favorite time of year :-)

I fell in love with this cute little book. If your looking for something warm and fuzzy and a little funny then you will probably like this book too. ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
December 31, 2014
This book was exactly what I was in the mood for: a cute romance book that didn't take itself too seriously. I loved the multiple POVs, from the romance-obsessed teacher Inga to the oldest bench on the college campus's green (yup, there is a bench's perspective in this book HAHAHA!). The only issue I had with this book is that because it was from perspectives other than the main two characters, I wasn't really able to wholly connect with them and at some points the will they/won't they aspect of their shy relationship dragged. Despite this, I read this book SO quickly and had a lot of fun reading it! I literally laughed out loud several times in the dead of night when my family was all asleep.
Definitely would recommend!
Profile Image for Mith.
284 reviews978 followers
September 2, 2014
Story about two cripplingly shy love-birds told from everybody's point of view, except theirs. Cute, right?

Only, not so much.

After what seemed to be the millionth POV of an utterly random stranger (with no connection whatsoever to the two leads) who gushes about how special the two are, and how there is just this chemistry between them and how they are so sure that the two are just meant for each other, I decided to throw in the towel.

So, SO much telling, absolutely no showing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. None.

Did NOT work for me.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
August 8, 2014
Awww! What a cute and sweet read. A Little Something Different is exactly that - a romance story that is different from any I've read before, and one that leaves you with a silly smile on your face. The perfect rainy-day read, that's for sure!

In short, this is a love story about two people who keep misreading each other. One is extremely shy, the other is quiet and reluctant, not realizing they're both into each other. What makes this book unique, though, is the way it's told. We don't go into this story with the perspective of our main characters, but rather everyone around them, even including a squirrel and a bench who, unsurprisingly, talks a lot about butts. The number of perspectives is at a whopping 14, rotating every page or two. It may sounds like a lot, but the flow is remarkably smooth and easy to read throughout. We're meant to keep track of the two lovebirds, not the characters whose perspectives we're given, so it avoids being disjointing or overwhelming.

So many perspectives was actually fun in this case, too, because we got to see this romance unfolds via several point-of-views and different mindsets. So many people were rooting for them and noticing their attraction and chemistry, that it made you see it too. The downfall of not getting the main characters' POV is that I felt as if I was kept at arm's length - which came to no surprise. There were no toe-curling bits or anything very intense, emotionally, but it was still full of smiles and "aww" moments. There's also a good dose of humour thrown in.

I did have a few, albeit small, gripes. This may sound like a weird one at first, but sometimes, it felt as if it was too much about the romance. And I mean, all the time. We couldn't read even one paragraph without it being about them two; no matter the perspective, there was never any side-joke or comment that were not all about Gabe and Lea. It was obsessive-like. Some voices were also more realistic than others. Victor, for instance, was inconsistent, and he was a character used for convenience, when needed. Lastly, Gabe was built as a bit of a mysterious character with some kind of secret. One that affected his daily life and self-confidence, that much was obvious. What it ended up being was a tad underwhelming. I felt as if he made a huge deal out of nothing. Maybe getting to know him and how he personally felt about it all would have helped, but seeing as it was fixed so easily and "invisibly", I don't get why he waited so long.

Whenever you're in the mood for a cute, short, and happy read, A Little Something Different is the perfect lighthearted book. It's full of romance and teen awkwardness, and the writing style promises a fun and original reading experience!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Eliza.
596 reviews1,376 followers
July 1, 2017
1.5 stars

You might wonder how I can rate this so lowly if I read it entirely in one day. But that's just it. I was trying to finish quickly because I couldn't take it anymore. I was done with the mediocre writing, the bland and annoying characters, and the predictable ending that anyone could've seen coming.

This whole book just made me feel tense and indignant. Could Lea stop being so possessive? And could Gabe start acting his age - rather than behaving like a 10 year-old, all the time? Also, the other characters were ridiculous - they all acted and spoke the same way! So even though the book was written in fourteen different perspectives, it only felt like one.

Overall, this is not a book for someone looking for an "easy-read," like I was. The entirety of it is just pointless and not enjoyable. I only gave the extra half-star for the sheer creativity aspect. That's it.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,243 followers
September 3, 2015
2 stars

I feel really bad rating this a 2, especially after the awesome Buffy reference, but this book really was just okay for me.

What I liked:
-The author's voice: she's a very witty and funny gal, and bravo to her for all of the different character POV's.

What I didn't like:
-This story was not in any way, shape or form believable to me. 14 different people all routing for this couple to get together? For an extended period of time? I'm sorry but it just didn't sell me. And I got really bored there in the middle.

I do think that Sandy Hall is a fantastic writer and would read her future books, but this story/plot just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
513 reviews305 followers
December 9, 2015
Fafa's Book Corner (Wordpress)
Fafa's Book Corner (Blogger)


When I first heard about this book I thought that it would be fun. It sounded sweet and unique. Aj (click on her name to see her review) posted a review on it and I was starting to have doubts. I found a sample on iBooks and read it. Unfortunately I was not impressed and dropped it. I didn't really read that much so I'm not going to use a spoiler tag.

This book is narrated in first person. It shows us different people's point of views. Including a squirrel, a bus driver, a bench and so forth.

The book begins with Lea's best friends point of view. The two are walking to their classes. On the way there Lea bumps into this cute guy she then proceeds to class. We are then taken to Gabe and Lea's professor. Their professor has this thing with setting up her students. In the romantic way. Apparently the former professor used to set up students for group work but this professor decided to take that in the romantic way.

Then we see Gabe's brother and you find out that Gabe has some issues that he is not talking about. Then to the bus driver, the woman who works at a diner, the squirrel, and Gabe's friend.

I found it really stupid that all these people thought that Lea and Gabe were meant to be. And at that tried to get them together. I would understand Lea's best friend, Gabe's brother, and his friend. But their teacher, the bench, the squirrel, the bus driver, and the woman who worker at the diner? Now that is stupid. And ugh their professor is really annoying! She is completely unprofessional and I have met enough unprofessional people to last me a life time.

The only good thing I have to say about this is that it is a unique way to write a story and writing style was pretty good. However this didn't keep me invested in the story.

Overall this wasn't a good book. I recommend it to those who are looking forward to reading this and anyone looking for a fast contemporary.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,838 followers
May 4, 2017

A Little Something Different is, ‘a little something different.’

Okay, wow that was bad, I should probably keep my day job.

So, told from fourteen different perspectives ((except the main characters)), A Little Something Different is a hella cute love story.


Basically, there are these two super cute human beings (Gabe and Lea) and EVERYONE in the world ships them but theyre SO FRICKEN DENSE they are completely oblivious to it.

So the whole premise of the plot just revolves around that and YES, it can be very tedious because it’s kind of circular in that: they show up in a place, they smile shyly at each other, and they both exit and nothing happens and you’re kind on the verge of ripping your hair out of your head after reading that for 200+ pages.

But don’t worry, while you embark on this story, there’s lot of humor to keep you occupied. And great perspectives. Including a bench ((yes a bench)) and a squirrel and the sweet old waitress and a snarky barista and many, many more.

It’s super easy to read, which is always a plus ((like I binged it easily in one afternoon)).

ALSO, im in LOVE with the cover, like that beveled imprint of cuteness, I LOVEEEEEEE.

So, it’s cute, but it’s not EXCEPTIONAL but it’s interesting and kinda really funny and sweet.

“Sometimes it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all.”

3.5 stars!!
Profile Image for Giulia.
152 reviews139 followers
February 28, 2016
“Sometimes it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all.”

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall is exactly what the title says. After constantly seeing it on my Goodreads page, I finally caved and bought the hardback on Amazon a few months ago. I couldn't resist it.
I read it in two days, but it could have been easily read in a few hours. All I know is that I had heart eyes and manic "oh-please-kiss-already" interjections while reading this. The story is a cheesy romance turned into an epic retelling from the perspectives of others. I am not sure I would have liked it this much if it was written in the protagonists' perspectives. Now, onto the actual story.

The story follows Gabe and Lea. They go to the same university, attend the same creative writing class together and they even live in the same dorm. They like each other, but they don't know it yet. Their friends, their professor, the driver of the bus they always take together, the waitress at the Starbucks they always go to are even too aware of what is going on. The attraction between the two isn't a secret for no one but them. Everyone is ready to do what needs to be done in order to make the two understand they are perfect for each other.

“They sit there in the window of the coffee shop for almost an hour, not talking much, but looking at each other over the tops of their books, flirting somehow even without words. It would be gross if it weren’t adorable.”

What makes this book unique and what made me like it the most was the change of perspective. There are 14 different point of views from different characters linked to the two protagonist in some way. They are the ones showing us the story while we don't actually see it. Does it make sense? The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks barista, their best friends, brother, the college bench and the squirrel. They are the narrators of this adorable story and this demonstrates just how much this book is a little something different. The POVs are insightful, funny, sensitive, acute, sweet and everything else in between.

“...their voices are quieter than the other groups around them, but their body language speaks volumes.”

Now, let's comment on the cover. How cute is it? I know it's pink with hearts, flowers and a cuteness overload, but I can't help but love it. I have to admit I was actually firstly really drawn to this book because of the cover. And I am happy to report they haven't changed it in the translated edition. *high five to the editors for once* Also, I love the coffee cups, books and take out box being added to the cover as a way of symbolizing the story as a whole.

My rating for this book would be a 3.75 stars. It is completely and utterly adorable. Seeing two people fall in love from their perspective is cute enough, but see it happen through other spectators' eyes and you have utterly cute! However, these aren't the only good points. We see and get to know Gabe and Lea through 14 people, meaning we learn about them and almost become friends with the characters.
The book is not fully concentrated on romance: it has hilarious moments, which I admired and loved as a whole. At times I found myself giggling simply because of the conversations and little things. I have to admit the bench and squirrel perspective being presented made it extremely hard not to be amused.

Another point I would like to make is how much we are connected to other people. Wanted or not, everyday we come across someone, even just for a second, and we might do not know it, but what if we made an impact on their lives? How about all the times we think about that person we accidentally bump into that day in the street? I think we all have thoughts about each other, even though we don't admit it and this story is a great example of that. Maybe the waiter at the bar we always go to has made up a story in his mind about you and that cute boy/girl who sits alone.
Maybe I am saying something totally stupid but, how cool is that we all have a mind of our own with thoughts, building castles in the sky? How could we make an impact on other people' lives with the power of our actions, even if it is just the smallest thing?
Well, these were some of the thoughts I had while reading this book, I thought I could awkwardly share them, because why not? Maybe someone else has had the same considerations.

Anyway, I found this book an enjoyable, quick, and easy read, which I would recommend to anyone and everyone wanting a light and fluffy read. Even if at times I am sure you will end up like:



Now, let's go it some Chinese food, shall we?
Profile Image for Jennifer.
166 reviews88 followers
December 22, 2015
This novel is about a love story, told in 14 different points of views. I read this in one sitting - I couldn't stop! This is probably one of the cutest and most unique books I've ever read! I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Fenia.
262 reviews455 followers
January 13, 2015
This book was so special and unique!! ♥ I loved it!! If you want a fluffy new book then you better pick this up!! Its a tale of two people and how 14 people see them. Their point of views are the only way we get the chance to follow the couple,because these two don't have POVs,but that's what makes it so special!!

I loved the squirrel and the bench. This book made me laugh out loud in public. Great book! :D ♥
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
250 reviews1,003 followers
February 20, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Alaina.
8 reviews
May 29, 2015
My disdain for this book had nothing to do with the fact that it had 14 different viewpoints it was the fact that all 14 of them sounded like the exact SAME person. I'm sorry but if a 20 something year old college kid sounds like an CREATIVE WRITING PROFESSOR there's a problem for me.

I found this book on a target bookshelf and after reading the summary I thought I was in love, it sounded so interesting i just wanted to read it right away. But by the end of the first 'chapter' I was confused as to the mediocre writing style. I guess I may have expected too much, but i was thoroughly disappointed

In theory the 14 view points would have been a refreshing new book plot, and it shouldn't have been boring, confusing, or irritating but without a doubt it all of those things, Not to mention the obvious 'chemistry' between Lea and Gabe was not obvious at all and at most times painfully awkward.

High expectations may have been the down fall to my liking of this book but i still personally feel the writing style was very cliche and juvenile. Even at the squirrel parts and the creepy bench parts I was bored.
Profile Image for Romie.
1,094 reviews1,270 followers
July 31, 2018
I decided to reread this book, grabbed it, started reading, and then two hours later I was done. But damn, did I have two amazing hours.

I love that this story is told from 14 different point of views, but never the two love interests. I just loved seeing how everybody — their friends, the barristas at Starbucks, a squirrel (yeah), a bench (you read that one right as well), the bus driver, their teacher, were so invested in Gabe and Lea's possible relationship. It was absolutely adorable.

I wish more books were written this way, I don't know, it makes it even more enjoyable I guess. Also, why hadn't I noticed the first time that Lea is Chinese? Wtf @ me.

November 5, 2016
This book was so cute. Sometimes annoyingly cute, but still cute.

I've yet to read a contemporary romance story like this one! It's a love story told from fourteen points of view - those of the people and things that our main couple, Gabe and Lea, interacts with. There's even commentary from a bench and a squirrel! Here are the points of view we get to see:

1. Maribel (Lea's roommate)
2. Danny (Lea's friend)
3. Casey (Gabe's friend)
4. Sam (Gabe's brother)
5. Bob (bus driver)
6. Charlotte (barista)
7. Maxine (waitress)
8. Frank (Chinese food delivery guy)
9. Victor (creative writing classmate)
10. Hillary (creative writing classmate)
11. Inga (creative writing professor)
12. Pam (Inga's wife)
13. Squirrel!
14. Bench (on the green)

Lea and Gabe are literally soulmates - they get the same pop culture references, order the exact same Chinese food without knowing, and hang out in all the same places. But Gabe has some issues from previous traumatic events and is painfully shy, and Lea seems aloof with no intention to hang out. This story is about them, but we aren't seeing through the eyes of the MCs - we're seeing these two through other characters' eyes. And these secondary characters are well aware of how much Gabe and Lea belong together, too. All they want is for both to overcome their barriers and get together already.

I loved the Squirrel and the Bench because they were hilarious. It was so fun to read from the point of view of an inanimate object.

The best part of this time of year is all the acorns. Acorns are delicious and amazing and the best thing that anyone could ever eat. If you're not eating acorns you are seriously missing out. I tell my friends about the amazingness of acorns and sometimes they just stare at me like I'm crazy. But I'm only crazy for acorns.
I see a boy and a girl. The girl gave me peanuts once and she always looks at the boy a lot. He looks at her too. But they always look at each other at the wrong second. But today they look at each other at the right second and they both smile so wide it looks like they're laughing.
I hope they are laughing.
I hope they like acorns. Maybe I'll throw some acorns at them. No, that's a bad idea. I don't want to lose my acorns. I don't want to share. Call me a bad squirrel, but I do not like to share my acorns.
Maybe that makes me a good squirrel. The consummate squirrel. The very definition of a squirrel.


All in all, A Little Something Different was a beautifully innocent and lovely read that didn't fail to warm my heart. I definitely enjoyed reading it!



I'm so excited to start this book, it seems different from an ordinary YA contemporary :D Here I go!
Profile Image for BookLover.
387 reviews80 followers
July 21, 2016
Bumping this up to a 4, really a 3.5 - 3.75. Gotta give it points for originality!

Things I loved about this book:
1. The ooey gooey sweetness of the story. It kept me smiling. This was a an overall sweet and light read.
2. The humour. There were some real gems in this book. I really felt the different voices of the various points of views and many of them cracked me up.
3. Gabe - gah, I really loved him!!!

Things I…meh, didn’t love about this book:
1. Part of the reason why I loved this story, the unique point of view(s) was also something I didn’t like about the book. In the beginning, I had a really hard time getting into the story. But once I got into a groove, I let it go and just “went with it”.
2. Sooo many random strangers take such an avid interest in Gabe and Lea getting together. I didn’t buy all of them!
2. Squirrel - this part of the story just irritated me.
3. The bench - I mean, really?
Profile Image for Debby.
589 reviews538 followers
April 17, 2021
4.5 stars

As soon as I heard the premise of the book, I was sold. This book would have a 95% chance of success for me. 14 point of views all shipping two real life people, trying to get them together? SO PERFECT SO CUTE MUST HAS. Then that cover was revealed and my GRABBY HANDS came out to play. All my instincts were 100% correct: this book is adorable, feel good, happy making, and incredibly entertaining.

So the premise of A Little Something Different is that Gabe and Lea, two college students sharing a creative writing class, are just perfect for each other - but both are too shy and uncertain to do anything about it. The match, however, is obvious to almost everyone else, and so we follow 14 POVs of characters surrounding Gabe and Lea, as they watch the relationship slowly transform and bloom.

How ingenious is this plot, though, seriously? For anyone who identifies themselves as a fangirl or fanboy who loves their romance and their ships, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. Obviously part of it's success hinges on whether or not you too will like Gabe and Lea as a couple. We don't actually see their thoughts, but we see their behaviors through the eyes of their friends, professors, roommates, etc., and I think they are 20 different kinds of adorable. They're both shy and quiet, but that makes them so much cuter. If you are the romance fan that needs driving action and hot make out scenes, however, they might let you down a bit - because the relationship is just sugary sweet and develops extremely slowly.

Though this could be classified as New Adult for the college setting and ages of the characters, it's not NA in terms of sexiness - let's just be clear on that. But I didn't miss the heat, because it really was so relatable as someone who frequently roots for couples to get together in books, TV shows, movies, etc. It may be a little cliche, but it was the fluffy sweetness that I needed on a hot summer day, as the drought of my own love life had shriveled my heart to dust.

So what are these POVs that are explored in the book if not Lea and Gabe's? Well, as said, friends and roommates. But there are the more funny ones that make this story completely laugh-out-loud funny and SO entertaining. First of all there's the Squirrel. The Squirrel roams the college campus in search of his acorns, because WHERE DID HE HIDE THEM? CAN HE FIND THEM AGAIN? The mystery persists. No, I'm kidding, but he gets fed by Lea and grows to like her, while he grows to tolerate Gabe.


There's also the Bench, who observes a couple conversations between Lea, Gabe, and their friends over the course of the year, while also providing a meaningful commentary on the value of good butts. You may think I'm joking. I'm really not.

I'm the oldest bench on this green and I get no respect.

I'd like to say there are worthwhile things about the job. And maybe sometimes there are. Sometimes you get a really perfect butt; however, all rear ends are not created equal.

The one currently seated upon me is the kind I appreciate, it's the kind of behind that I would invite back time and again if I had the ability to speak. And the best part is that it seems to be attached to a person who wants nothing more than to sit. No chatting, no moving around, no graffiti or gum. I could get used to this.
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

So now you know. Respect your benches. No but seriously, at that point, I was basically on the floor laughing.

But there are more human POVs as well, which perfectly display the full range of levels of shipping. There's the professor of the creative writing class, Inga, who picks out Gabe and Lea in her first lecture and instantly knows that's the couple that she's going to try to get together that semester. She tries her best to devise situations in which they are forced to talk and work together and gushes about their cuteness to her wife (lesbian couple ftw). On the other side of the spectrum, there's Victor, their classmate, who is the most hilarious pessimist who hates everything - ESPECIALLY how cute and perfect Gabe and Lea are for each other (or, Big Foot and Giraffe, as he lovingly calls them). In between, there are more passive observers: the bus driver who notices they come and go from the same stops but never talk to each other, the barista whose colleagues are big shippers and gradually gets drawn in herself by Lea and Gabe's frequent and weirdly coincidental encounters at the Starbucks, the Chinese food delivery guy who is baffled by identical orders coming from the same dorm for two different people at the same time... Every single POV is distinct and extremely entertaining, which speaks to the quality of Sandy Hall's writing.

The level of entertainment is, obviously, extremely high - but the relationship doesn't just thrive on the meet-cute idea and all these fate-like moments that indicate that Lea and Gabe are perfect for each other. Nor is their relationship perfect when it finally does evolve. Both Lea and Gabe - but particularly Gabe - have some issues in their past that they're working through. It doesn't get dark or anything, but it adds the level of heartfelt depth the relationship needs to not be too corny or perfect. It's not a fairytale book, and it doesn't carry the perfectly happily ever after ending that would make it fall completely out of the realm of believability. But it is sweet and made of happiness.

The only remotely negative thing I have to say is that there's an unfortunate amount of hating on one of the girl characters in the story: Hillary. She sits in their creative writing class and quickly tries to put the moves on Gabe. Sadly, this is met with SCORN by all, especially the professor Inga, and though I can understand the frustrations of someone getting in the way of your OTP, since this is real life, it was disturbing. Particularly Inga's thoughts about her, practically making Hillary out to be a slut for liking Gabe, were upsetting - but more upsetting was the fact that this thought was echoed by other characters. Not one of them seemed to think that Hillary was worth anything. Though I could brush this off for the humor, cuteness, and entertainment of the story, it's something I could have lived without.

Summing Up:

A Little Something Different is an ode to shipping. It's made of cuteness, giggles, sugar, spice, and everything nice. Possibly getting side tracked, but still - anyone who has ever been in any kind of fandom, who has shipped a couple so hard it resulted in physical flailing and squealing, who is a fan of happiness, needs this book in their life. I see myself rereading this whenever I need a dosage of good cheer. Instant good mood!

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of adorable love stories like Meant to Be, The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, and Fangirl.

*ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,558 followers
March 21, 2016
This book was cute. I was looking for a super fast contemporary and that's what I got. Oddly enough, I didn't really like the couple in the story...but I loved a lot of the side characters, and it's told from their perspectives so it worked. It didn't blow me away, but I enjoyed my time reading it.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,666 reviews1,231 followers
November 19, 2014
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review, however, is based on the audiobook version, which was procured from my local library. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

This story was absolutely adorable and exactly what I needed while I was reading. I never would have believed that fourteen (14!) different perspectives -- and two of those from a squirrel and a bench -- could work so well, but they did. Even despite the fact that none of those were actually from the couple in question -- or possibly because of it.

I delight in people-watching, guessing where people are headed and what their stories are, and that's essentially what this book is: fourteen different viewpoints and opinions on one couple's path to each other, some even from inanimate objects. I was ecstatic to see how painfully awkward Lea and Gabe were around each other, as seen through the eyes of friends, casual acquaintances, and even a nut-obsessed squirrel. (He was my favorite point of view, in case you were wondering.) Despite how cute the story is, it's actually quite realistic, if you discount the fact that a squirrel is narrating at times. :)

I had an ARC of this title, but there are never enough hours in the day to read all the novels you'd like, so I went the audio route, thanks to my local library. And, oh my goodness, it was even more adorable than I would have believed. Will Damron narrates all of the male perspectives, plus those of the squirrel and the bench (IIRC), and Amy Rubinate voices the female narrators in the story. Considering there were so many different perspectives, it would have been easy for some of them to sound similar, but each narrator did such a fabulous job of making each character's voice unique, making them sound like the type of person they were portrayed as while they relayed what they knew of Lea and Gabe.

If you're in the mood for a quirky little romance that's as unique in it's presentation as it is genuine, I heartily suggest you pick up this would-be comedy of errors, full of missed opportunities and miscommunication. You'll be smiling all the way through, I guarantee it.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,746 reviews6,672 followers
September 16, 2014
A Little Something Different is a standalone novel written by author Sandy Hall. I adored this book! It's not a story that makes you think, it's not one that teaches life lessons or has some underlying theme going on, it's just a short and sweet book that makes you smile, and sometimes you just need that kind of reading experience.

The writing style in A Little Something Different is so much fun!! This is a young-love romance from fourteen different perspectives - basically, everyone around these two cutie-pies are chiming in on their slow-going crush...everyone but the two themselves! And some of the perspectives might surprise you! This type of storytelling definately worked for me. I remained engaged and completely invested, even sneaking small moments to read another blurb real quick when I could find the time. The characters watching this romance unfold are literally buzzing with anticipation and it rubbed off on me! This book is going on my favorite's shelf for all of the reasons above. I have no complaints, other than I wished it were longer :) At 244 pages (paperback), this book was a breeze! Based on a Q&A with the author at the end of the book, I got the impression that she may have originally written this story as part of a contest and won, but I so hope she continues to write. She's certainly got a natural talent for it!

My favorite quote:
"Watch these two," he says. "Why?" "'Cause 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 wierdest couple on Earth. I want to write math equations about them."
Profile Image for Marta Álvarez.
Author 23 books5,747 followers
December 18, 2016
Una historia simple que se lee en un suspiro. No hay más trama que el romance, pero se agradece que los protagonistas no cuenten la historia. Los narradores están en el mismo punto que el lector: deseosos de que los otros dos se junten de una vez.
509 reviews2,413 followers
October 29, 2014
Too cute! Loved all the perspectives, especially some unexpected ones. Unexpected how? Well, for the first time in my life I got to read from the perspectives of a bench (yes, as in the ones we sit on) and a squirrel.

The only reason this isn't a five star read is probably because I was confused sometimes since I'm not used to hearing from perspectives other than the MCs'. Full review to come!
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,727 reviews867 followers
December 2, 2018
A Little Something Different is without a doubt my least favourite Sandy Hall book so far. The premise was so intriguing, it had so much potential, but several aspects bought it down.

I struggled with the writing. It was short and sharp, lacking details and descriptions to make the story come alive. The unique use of perspective should have been intriguing but the way the Hall executed this premise did not work. Instead of having each chapter told from the POV of one of the secondary characters, the story was broken up into shorter passages told from random and mostly unnecessary perspectives. The squirrel and the park bench POVs added almost no commentary to the overall story and while these passages could have been humorous, perhaps, they did nothing other they disrupt the flow of the plot. Other characters - like the bus driver, Inga’s wife, Pam, and the Chinese takeaway delivery guy - were similarly unnecessary. Incorporating all these different perspectives made the story much clunkier and disjointed than it should have been.

This was certainly worsened by how much the characters lacked personality. All the narrating characters focused on conveying Gabe and Lea’s story; to the point that they failed to have distinctive voices of their own. Gabe and Lea themselves felt entirely generic and had no chemistry whatsoever. It was another case of instalove and, strangely, forced connection. The fact that literal strangers pushed these characters to get together - rather than the characters naturally forming a friendship or romantic relationship themselves - made me feel uneasy. There is a difference between thinking two people would make a good couple and actually taking steps in real life to get in real life people together.

Inga, in particular, took it way to far. She went out of her way to force a relationship between Gabe and Lea. As their teacher, this made me deeply uncomfortable. There is no real harm in pairing them up for work projects if an assignment requires random partners. The fact that she changed the final (major) assignment of the semester at the last minute, purely as an attempt to get them together, made me rage. She also attempted to stop one of her best students from joining her class in the second semester because she was a threat to her ‘student OTP’. That is beyond unprofessional.

I did like the diversity, though! Lea was Chinese and Maribel was Mexican. We also had three main characters on the queer spectrum, including a prominent lesbian couple. Gabe himself was Portuguese-Welsh and had a physical disability from a recent car accident. His struggles with adjusting to his loss of hearing in one ear definitely hit home for me and I tabbed quite a few things he said. This portrayal was, by far, my favourite aspect of the story.

However, I was deeply uncomfortable that Gabe was portrayed as having lied to Lea by not revealing his partial deafness and physical injuries earlier. Disabilities are personal. It is incredibly problematic to suggest people are obligated to reveal personal details about their lives; in this case, especially because Gabe and Lea were not even friends, let alone dating. It should be obvious that choosing to confide in someone on a personal topic like this is a personal choice. Full stop. Maybe if the topic had been discussed in more depth or from Gabe’s personal POV, it might not have been so bad but the way it was handled was not good imo.

What really let me down, though, was Hall’s use of one of my least favourite tropes of all time: the Betty & Veronica (or the Slutty Female Rival). If you are unaware, this god awful plot device is when a writer creates a female character who is ‘slutty’ or ‘exotic’ (ick) in order to make their female protagonists - who are usually more conservative or virginal, etcetera - comparatively better love interests. In A Little Something Different, Hillary is Gabe and Lea’s classmate who also has an interest in Gabe. Obviously, the fact this girl has a crush on a single boy is not acceptable because Lea, our protagonist, already has a crush on him. Ignoring the fact that Lea’s best friend, Danny, also had a crush on Gabe - and, in fact, called dibs for the first third of the story - it is Hillary, and only Hillary, who is villainized for her crush. She is called a skank for asking Gabe out on a lunch date, despite the fact that he is single and available, and is ridiculed for the supposed cheap quality of her hair dye. Her own teacher even purposefully attempts to dissuade her from signing up for following semester’s class, despite her talent at the subject, because she did not want her to ‘sabotage’ her student OTP. Hillary’s sole purpose in the narrative was to be a comparative love interest for Gabe (where Hillary is extroverted and talkative, Lea is shy, nerdy and placid, etc). She serves no other purpose in the story. Ugh.


I really think that A Little Something Different could have been amazing. The idea of having a story told entirely from the perspectives of secondary characters is so creative. Hall’s approach did not do it justice, however. Her juvenile tone did nothing for me and I felt like the wrong characters were given POVs. I didn’t connect to any of the characters - either the narrators or Gabe & Lea themselves - and felt like the romance was entirely forced. Inga’s involvement in her students lives made me feel quite uncomfortable, as did Lea’s attitude towards Gabe’s disabilities once they were ‘revealed’ and Hillary’s characterisation. I did love the commentary from Gabe about his loss of hearing but it didn’t play as big of a role as I would have liked. This was easily my least favourite Sandy Hall book so far but I am still lowkey excited to see what she’ll come out with next.

🍂 Rep: Gabe (mc) is deaf/hoh, physically disabled, and portuguese-welsh; Lea (mc) is chinese; Maribel (sc) is mexican; Danny (sc) is gay; Pam and Inga (scs), married lesbian couple.

Profile Image for Vera-Michele.
521 reviews57 followers
February 5, 2018
3.75 ⭐️
I read this while I was home sick with a fever. It was just the cute contemporary I needed. I didn’t have to pay attention to it as much and invest in the characters.

I loved getting new view points from like a squirrel and a bench as well as people who see Gabe and Lea a lot. I will say that I wanted Gabe and Lea’s perspectives. I think that I would have enjoyed it so much more if I got their perspectives.

I also got annoyed with Lea’s friend Danny in the beginning. I get that he had a crush on Danny but he was assuming that Gave was gay which made Lea feel sad. It just annoyed me that he brought it up all the time. Like dude calm down.

I also hated how it wasn’t until the last 4 pages that they finally got together. I wanted more of them maybe in their perspectives.

My favorite characters were probably Inga and her wife Pam. They were a really great couple and I loved their perspectives. I also loved getting the bench’s perspective. How he would talk about the perfect ass. Hated Hillary and Victor.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,102 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.