Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall Review & Giveaway!

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads
Publish Date: August 26, 2014

272 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

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....
 (from Goodreads)

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

My Thoughts:  By now you may have heard about A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, which is a super-cute contemporary romance about two awkward college students that like one another but have a tough time doing anything about it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE books with quirky characters and I also love romances with awkward love interests, so I'm not surprised at all that I enjoyed this story. Here are a few things that make A Little Something Different stand out in a fun way:

  • YES, it is true that there are fourteen points of view in this story. Interestingly, none of the fourteen POV's belong to Gabe or Lea. This sounds a little crazy but it actually works really well. As a reader, I felt like I was watching Gabe and Lea through the eyes of whatever point-of-view was talking at that particular place in the story. When they go into class, we hear from their professor. When they go into the coffee shop, we hear from the barista. They go to various places on campus - we hear from roommates or friends. (And YES, there are two perspectives that inanimate objects.) 
  • All of the characters are so real. Gabe and Lea felt so normal to me, like I maybe could have known them when I was in college. And I felt like I could see myself in each of the other POV's (except the squirrel and the park bench) - even the grumpier ones! This is one of the best parts of the story, I think. The way each character felt so believable made the story easier to fall into and made the characters easier to love. 
  • There are a broad range of personalities represented in the group of POV's, which makes the story-telling interesting and fun. Of the group, I enjoyed Inga (the creative writing professor) the most. Inga had such a huge and hilarious personality - she made me laugh several times. 
  • The characters are diverse. 
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall is a quick read that had me smiling while I read and left me smiling after I finished the book. It was a fun story and while I admit to being unsure how I would feel about so many perspectives initially - it only took a little while before I was fully immersed in the story and felt like the different perspectives flowed well enough that I had forgotten that there were so many. Gabe and Lea likely would have never taken steps to get together without a few nudges from a few of the key people around them, and hearing the thoughts and conversations of these people is KEY in understanding how everything played out in the end. 

The awkwardness between Gabe and Lea is big, and early in the story we learn that part of Gabe's awkwardness stems from some event that happened prior to the book's beginning. It takes almost the length of the book for Lea (and the rest of us) to figure out what happened that made him act the way that he does - his awkwardness is almost uncomfortable at times, poor guy - but the payoff is there if you can hang on with Gabe and give him a chance. 

Gabe and Lea are adorably quirky, and their romance is even more adorable. The entire cast of characters is fun and the story leaves you happy. A Little Something Different has caught my attention not only for debut author Sandy Hall but as the debut title from Swoon Reads. I recommend this story for fans of YA/NA Contemporary Romance, fans of quirky characters, and fans of stories that take place at college. 


I was so fortunate to sit down with Author Sandy Hall while she was touring in support of A Little Something Different! I think it was especially awesome to me because this book is the first book published by Swoon Reads. 

  • Author Sandy Hall works as a teen librarian. 
  • This story was inspired in part by a young person that visited her library. The teen asked about "normal" books for people her age - people about to start college - without incredibly angry main characters or big, major dramatic issues. Sandy decided that she could write that story. 
  • Sandy wrote the manuscript very quickly - LESS THAN A WEEK! - and submitted it to Swoon Reads, where it was picked for publication. 
  • Since her book has been published, Sandy has held a Book Club with the teens at her library - featuring A Little Something Different - this made her nervous! (The teens loved the book.)
  • A Little Something Different is available in audiobook format, but Sandy has not listened to the full book in audio! She checked out a little snippet to see what it sounded like but has only read it full-length in print. She DOES love audiobooks, however, and listens to them often!
  • Sandy gave great advice for aspiring writers - my favorite advice was to "Keep going!" because you can always improve. (See Sandy talk more about writing HERE.)
  • There are more book ideas that Author Sandy Hall isn't sharing just yet - she wants to write different things for different ages (like Rainbow Rowell - she's a fan!). I'm excited to see what Sandy Hall writes next and will be watching for it. 


A Little Something Different will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance
Multiple POV's
College Setting

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
is current available for purchase. 


Thanks to the generosity of 
Author Sandy Hall and Swoon Reads, 
one winner will win a signed copy of
A Little Something Different! 

This contest is Open Worldwide and ends on October 16, 2014. 

You guys, I thought that this book was a lot of fun! 
Good luck! 

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  1. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    I'd love to read this book! It's awesome to live a romance based on everyone else's thoughts and perception and I LOVE that the characters seem real and likable and complete!

    LOVE your photo :)

    thank you :)

    1. This was such a fun way to make a romance - I loved reading the progression of Gabe + Lea as everyone talked about them and thought about them. It was such a neat way to tell the story (:

  2. This has been on my TBR list for a few months now! I love YA contemporaries and I've heard great things about this book. That's so cool that you got to talk with her.

    1. This author was very cool. I loved meeting her! I can't wait to see what she writes next. I hope you enjoy this book! It's so much fun.

  3. It's been on my TBR ever since I found out about Swoon Reads. So cool that you got to talk to her.

    1. Yes! Swoon Reads is such a neat idea! This book was a great book for their first publication! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  4. Wow! This is a fantastic giveaway! I'd really love to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity!

    1. You're welcome! Good luck! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it!

  5. This is definitely on my TBR list. I've heard great things about it, so I'm curious to read it myself. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. My friends all adore this book so It's definitely on my TBR list! *fingers crossed*

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  8. I need this book! I read the synopsis and it's so so me, like...right now! Thanks for this contest!!


  9. I wasn't going to add this to my TBR list because there was just too much POV until I realized that they're all just talking about the couple that they ship together! This is just too cute! :)

  10. Book sounds awesome!!!!:D Thanks for the giveaway<3

  11. This book sounds really unique. It'll be totally different to read if from other people's POVs. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  12. Oh my gosh!!! She only wrote the first draft in A WEEK!!! That's incredible! I love your review Asheley. I think the title of the the book explains everything about it. It's a refreshing, quirky, feel-good book for contemporary romance lovers.


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