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...
Have you ever just watched two people who are not a couple but absolutely should be and just wanted to smoosh their face together and make them kiss? That’s what A Little Something Different is about. Essentially a story of a very shy boy and a pretty awkward girl, Gabe and Lea, A Little Something Different is told in the many perspectives of the people who’ve observed their great chemistry and are rooting for them to get together.
“Watch these two.. 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 weirdest couple on Earth. I want to write math equations about them.. No, really, look. Their trajectory of attraction is like an equation.”
Gabe, Lea, their creative writing teacher, their friends, schoolmates, classmates, the local Starbucks baristas, the Chinese food delivery guy, diner waitress , bus driver and even the resident bench and squirrel serve as the multitude of characters you’ll get to read about in the book. Fourteen very strong and unique viewpoints but none are the actual main characters’. That’s definitely something different right there. I’ve never read a contemporary romance like this at all but I assure you, it works. In fact, it’s goddamned adorable and so original- I just love the concept!
“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.” – Charlotte, a barista
While the perspectives are ingenious, the writing is direct and simple, and rightfully so. This isn’t meant to be one of those incredibly profound and deep books and that’s okay. Since the viewpoints are from outsiders, the story mostly touches the surface of the main characters and of how exactly Gabe and Lea feel about each other and in general. So may just be frustrating for some, possibly as frustrating as it was for everyone watching Gabe and Lea’s romance slowly unfold. (Took them two semesters!!)
“He’s the most amazing and perfect and precious boy on the planet and you need to be with him if I can’t.” – Danny, Lea’s friend
That said, it isn’t hard to love Gabe and Lea as individuals and together. I do feel like Gabe’s side was more explored because he had these issues that needed to be addressed as they seemed like the major cause of why Gabe and Lea still hasn’t happened. But anyway, Gabe Cabrera is the perfect shy boy, you guys. MAJOR LIKE. Almost sorta kinda love him. He is definitely in the nice guy category and just a little bit of misunderstood. The way he tries to overcome his shyness and work out his issues was so nice to watch. And to think that you’re only seeing it through the other characters’ viewpoints- that’s pretty impressive.
“She needs to know you exist and that you like her, if you want anything to happen.” – Casey, Gabe’s friend
Lea is very relatable as a girl who has a huge crush on a certain boy. I liked that she was had to overcome her own fears (of being awkward and of being rejected) to compensate with Gabe’s shyness. Through the many witnessed interactions and eavesdropped conversations of the two gathered from the people around them, you see why they make sense and understand why everyone is shipping them as a couple.
A Little Something Different is such a cute, heart-warming book. Definitely out of the ordinary, I found this quirky romance novel ultimately refreshing and enjoyable.