A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Book Description (From Amazon):
The distinctive new crowdsourced publishing imprint Swoon Reads proudly presents its first published novel--an irresistibly sweet romance between two college students told from 14 different viewpoints.
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. You'll be rooting for Gabe and Lea too, in Sandy Hall's quirky, completely original novel A Little Something Different, chosen by readers, writes, and publishers, to be the debut titles for the new Swoon Reads imprint!
I have to say, I really loved this book. On the surface it is a simple enough love story, told often enough. Boy meets girl but it takes the entire film or book for them to tell each other how the feel. What made this book so enjoyable was seeing Gabe and Lea’s story unfold through 14 points of view, not all of them human or even animate objects.
They are both so awkward and shy, both so insecure that they can’t see what everyone else sees and assumes. They have stories and rather than have it all out in the open in the beginning, we see only snippets, we only know the piece of the story that someone has witnessed or has been told.
As the characters pass through the scenes in the story, we get to find out a little bit more. It is a literary game of tag, but instead of being it, the character tagged gets to reveal some of Gabe and Lea’s story until they in turn tag another character, so the story keeps moving along and is always fresh because the perspective changes so frequently.
You gotta love Gabe. He seems kind of dorky, but right from the beginning, you know there is something up with him, but he doesn’t talk much, even to his friends. He’s got a lot of very personal stuff going on in his head and he keeps it to himself. It kept me wondering what could have possibly happened to damage him so badly. Why was he so awkward and quiet? Why would he not talk to anyone about what he was thinking? How could anyone be so clueless? But I routed him on because he was nice and polite, saying thank and please, but he was just so sad most of the time. And he would blush furiously and get flustered so he couldn’t speak. He liked this girl so much, but he just could never get up the courage to try to talk to her and I really wanted him to.
Lea, while shy and insecure, is a bit more outgoing than Gabe. She notices him, watches him. She can’t help it. She gets frustrated because he never says much, so she tries to engage him in conversation, but it usually ends up being a one-sided conversation which becomes extremely awkward. When he reads an essay he wrote in class about how he is a shy guy, she finally starts to understand him. She, like Gabe, is a sweet person. She is pleasant to the people she encounters, our perspective characters, but she is also kind to animals. She made friends with a squirrel and often talks to him and give him crumbs. She is a very likeable person and people notice her. I like that she keeps making an effort to get Gabe to open up, but she often gets frustrated by his lack of communication. She really likes him, but she can’t tell if he really likes her or not because he seems to run hot and cold. He wants to be friendly, but then he ignores her. And I want her to get through to him, for him to open up to her because these two really just need to be together.