Hi Virtually Readers! It’s the Season of rereading! Yay! If you’re wondering what this is, ‘Tis the Season of Rereading is a seasonal feature on Virtually Read in which we reread books and discuss the experience. I’m going to talk about reading A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall.
I reviewed this book the first time I read this, when I’d only been blogging for maybe 2 months. I would link to this post, but I’m so ashamed of the post quality that you’ll have to search for it yourself if you’re really curious. My perspective on it,though, that the 14- perspective love story was very cute and creative. I generally find that when I’m busy or stressed, I like easy, fluffy reads, and since last week was stressful and busy, I thought I would like rereading it. was that it was really cute and creative and I really liked it. I was pretty busy when I started reading it last week, which is why I thought I would like it.
Maybe I’ve read more contemporaries recently, or maybe I’ve become cynical and jaded in my old age. But this book didn’t feel unique or particularly cute, as it did when I first read it. Having fourteen perspectives that weren’t the main characters made the whole story somehow different and detached, which gave me a lot of problems with the story.
Firstly, there was the issue of character development. We only ever see Lea and Gabe, the main characters, in the context of other people. So while I got a sense of what they were like in their creative writing class or what they were like at the local restaurant, we never hear Gabe and Lea’s thoughts, apart from in dialogue. I never really felt like either character, but especially Lea, was particularly interesting. Gabe has an issue that gets resolved toward the end of the book, and seeing him struggle with it made him more complex, although I think why he was ashamed of this thing and what actually happened could have been explored more deeply even without his narration. While Lea has some kind of family issues that are hinted at, I never really felt much about her except that she liked Gabe. Although at the beginning her roommate Maribel’s perspective seemed promising in showing more of who she was through friendship, Maribel mainly talked about how Lea felt about Gabe.
Because there were 14 perspectives, I also didn’t really get to know any of the other characters. Each of them mainly talked about Gabe and Lea rather than themselves, and none of them got that much ‘airtime’ when they had to share with other narrators. Also, while cute and curious, some POVs, such as that of a bench (who is very fond of Gabe’s butt) and a squirrel (who likes Lea because she feeds him) and the wife of the creative writing professor failed to have much purpose.
Was the plot good? It was a very conventional basically insta-love-everybody-knows-you’re-meant-for-each-other-get -together-already thing, with much ‘what if he/she doesn’t like me’ and angst about nothing when she/he clearly does. And I don’t go for the it’s-all-about-romance thing myself, and it bothered me that Gabe and Lea were only depicted by their friends in the context of them liking each other, rather than as people who did things other than have crushes. Gabe and Lea only get together in the very end (which isn’t really a spoiler because it’s so obvious) and so we never see them in the context of having, y’know, like an actual relationship.
Altogether, I was very disappointed by my reread of this, which thoroughly disillusioned me. The characters didn’t work, the plot didn’t work, and the book was so focused on the characters and it’s own cutesey uniqueness that the setting and themes never felt fully developed. Oh well. At least I can take cute pictures. On the other hand, it was easy to read and kind of felt wintry, which I liked, but didn’t make up for its boringness.
Have you ever been disappointed by a reread? How do you feel about many POVs? Do you go for much romance, or do you like books which happen? Have you read this? (also pleeaaase don’t read my old review of this for the good of the world). Also, feel free to write about your own rereading experiences! That would be fine as long as you link to us 🙂