I’ve been reading a lot of teen fantasy books lately, which I love, but I was wanting something a little different this time (pun intended). I love contemporary teen fiction books that don’t centre around high school life. I should clarify here, because until I started working in a bookstore I didn’t actually know the definition of Contemporary Young Adult Fiction. For those, who like me in the past, just have a vague idea of what this means here is an ‘official’ definition: Contemporary young adult fiction is a novel about a teenage character who lives in the current time and deals with modern day experiences and problems.
Don’t get me wrong, I still read books set in high school (the physical place, not the time of a person’s life) and enjoy them occasionally. But I’m more of a fan of books that revolve around teenagers and their lives outside of high school. Ones that have a more intelligent and thought provoking narrative to them. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that some of my favourite young adult contemporary writers are John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Jandy Nelson (as of recently), and Stephen Chbosky. What I loved about reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was that it was set in University. This gives the characters more freedom to explore who they are, and make hilarious and horrible and awkward mistakes. I love the sense of starting anew that you get from books set in the beginnings of university.
That is why I was so excited when I picked up A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Set in university, it follows the flirtation and will-they-won’t-they relationship of Gabe and Lea. The unique part was that the story is told from 14 different perspectives, none of which are Gabe or Lea’s. Each perspective is in some way connected to the two characters, and each offers a new insight into their relationship. I found this extremely adorable, especially since the way each character thinks is different.
There were a couple things I wasn’t a huge fan of in this book. Two of the perspective were not human, one was a bench and one was a squirrel. The bench was pretty funny and allowed for some comedic relief in the story, which I kind of liked. I also understand the idea that Gabe and Lea wouldn’t always be surrounded by other people, thus making the perspective of an inanimate object necessary for a full picture into their lives. On the other hand, I really did not enjoy the squirrel’s perspective. I found the scenes with the squirrel almost irrelevant to furthering the plot, and kind of annoying and repetitive. Yes, we all understand squirrels love nuts and food, but couldn’t you give him a little more to work with?
All in all I quite enjoyed it, and would give it 3.5/5 . I would really love to read more contemporary YA fiction set in university in the future, and would love suggestions. If you have any recommendations message me 🙂
For Fans Of: Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell