A Little Something Different was a book I picked up when I was looking for a short but sweet story to read in between chapters of the monster of a book that is A Clash of Kings. The premise is pretty straightforward – it’s a love story, only the entire thing is told from literally everybody’s perspectives except those of the central characters. I was intrigued by how precisely this could work, so I gave it a go…
The premise I thought was adorable, and the concept was really unique and fresh, with a total of fourteen points of view being used. Some of these included a squirrel and a bench. Yes, you did hear that correctly. A freaking bench! Using an inanimate object to narrate a novel shouldn’t work, but it really, really does. It certainly was ‘a little something different’ from start to finish. My personal favourite POVs were the squirrel, the bus driver and the creative writing professor; why can’t my real life teachers be that awesome? In spite of the fact that there are so many points of view to contend with, each one is distinctive and you aren’t likely to get muddled at all.
The ending was admittedly predictable, but Gabe and Lea’s happily ever after worked for me nicely. It felt very ‘Love Actually’ – a grand, public declaration of love, and I’m always one who enjoys gestures like that. Maybe I’m really just a sappy romantic at heart? Don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation to maintain.
However, it definitely felt a bit underdeveloped, which may possibly have had something to do with the number of perspectives. I did like them all, but I reckon some should either have been utilized far more or removed completely, because they just seemed like they existed purely for the sake of having more perspectives, rather than truly adding anything to or enhancing the story. Sadly, this meant that at times it was a bit choppy and lacked the flow it needed to work really well.
Also, I felt the characters acted a bit juvenile for the age group they were supposedly representing. It might have fit better had it been written as a high school story rather than a college one, because at least in that kind of setting the whole ‘just get together already’ trope wouldn’t have seemed so odd and unnecessary. I felt the urge to shake some of those characters and scream ‘Just talk to each other for crying out loud!’ until they finally manned up and communicated.
I think A Little Something Different deserves three out of five stars. Not my favourite book, but I found it endearing in its simplicity; it’s a super quick, super cute read that I’d recommend to fans of Rainbow Rowell, or to anyone just looking for something light and fluffy that’ll make you smile.