A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, Swoon Reads, 2014. ISBN: 9781250061454. Reviewed by, John R. Clark, MLIS.
Do we realize how many people watch us? Lea and Gabe are two shy, awkward and undeniably likable college students. When they find themselves in the same creative writing class, it’s clear to Inga, the instructor that they are the ‘couple’ for that semester. She’s picked two students every term that she’s convinced are made for each other and has often tailored the assignments to help them find each other.
Inga’s not the only one who realizes that Lea and Gabe are meant for each other. The barristas at the local Starbucks get it, Maxine, the older and slightly cynical but still romantic waitress at a nearby restaurant sees their unconscious attraction, Gabes’ older brother Sam in in, as is Lea’s roommate Maribel. Heck even the friendly campus squirrel and a bench that thinks Gabe’s butt is the best one that ever sat on it gets their unconscious mutual attraction. In fact Lea and Gabe are possibly the least aware of how made for each other they are…At least when they’re near each other.
Told from fourteen different viewpoints, this is a maddeningly delightful love story. At times you want to scream something like “Can you two get a clue, for heaven’s sake?”, but as their history is revealed, particularly the tragic events that affected Gabe during what should have been his sophomore year, you can’t help but become sympathetic and start rooting for them to get that bag of clues that’s dancing in front of them.
This is a risky book. Keeping this many viewpoints clean and interesting is no mean feat, but the author pulls it off quite nicely. Teens and many adults who remember how awkward the dating scene was when they were younger will like this book a lot. It’s certainly a good addition for both school and public libraries.