Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

by Sandy Hall

I picked this book up because I just wanted a breezy, cute read to read for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, I finished it in one day, and now have to find another awesomely cute read! This book is so fast paced and I got sucked in to the characters' lives so quickly. I was worried that I wouldn't get to know the characters well enough because it wasn't told from either of their perspectives, but I, just like all the narrators of the story got so invested in Lea and Gabe's relationship. I felt like creative writing teacher, Inga, rooting for them so hard, while at the same time cursing Hillary. I think this is a perfect Valentine's Day read or for an everyday pick-me-up.


I have to admit that at first I was doubting the author because I found all the different viewpoints confusing. I just didn't understand how I would be able to read about important milestones in Lea and Gabe's relationship if it was told from everyone except them. I quickly grew to like them however. They kept the story fresh and I liked hearing how invested all of the narrators were. I loved how the bus driver Bob, fantasized about stopping short so that Lea would fall into Gabe's arms. I was a bit confused by the bench narrator but I figured the bench would be where Lea and Gabe had an important conversation (and I was right!). My favorite narrator by far though had to be the squirrel. I was reading this book in bed, and I would randomly shout "squirrel" and read passages so my roommate could hear all of the cute things the squirrel said. One of my favorite squirrel lines had to be when he didn't know what a bagel was, but he hoped it was a kind of nut (lol). By the way, I am also a first year college student so I found a ton of the material in this book to be very relate-able. I also really enjoyed the pop-culture references that were sprinkled throughout the book. Great movies and TV shows like Buffy, Mean Girls, and Teen Wolf were mentioned. I did figure out that Gabe had a hearing issue before it was actually stated it but I love figuring out twists and having them be right almost as much as I love being surprised. 
One of my favorite interactions between Gabe and Lea was when they introduced themselves to each other at midnight breakfast after sitting next to each other for an entire semester. Poor Victor was narrating this scene and he broke up some of the second-hand awkwardness by pretending to stab himself with his fork. The most frustrating part of the novel was when Gabe decided to talk to Hillary to get used to talking to girls. I immediately knew that Lea would be offended. She spent so much time and effort trying to get Gabe to talk to her but he was too shy, but he can just walk up to Hillary and chat. He obviously didn't like her, which was why he was able to talk to her but Lea didn't know that and the rift this caused between them was heartbreaking. Gabe finally got up the nerve to talk to her in the coffee shop and she left when he tried. Despite this, they finally worked all their shyness out and the bench had it's big scene with the two of them...

MY RATING: ****1/2

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet

The Secret to Letting Go
Katherine Fleet


One summer can change everything…
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.


Before reading this book I only briefly scanned the synopsis; reading about the first paragraph before deciding it was something I was interested in reading. I had the idea that this book would be a romantic story of two people overcoming past struggles. Although this is a good description, I was not expecting the darkness in this book. I think it was good for me to start the book without really knowing what it was about because the sudden shifts in the emotion of the book kept me totally engaged. Also, this book plunged right into the story, I didn't have to wait at all to meet either of the main characters. These were character that were so lovable and I really enjoyed that I didn't have to read for awhile before getting to know them. Clover was so awkwardly cute and innocent seeming, while Daniel was completely understanding and always willing to help her. Both characters had problems from their past but the problems didn't directly present themselves in the story. I loved first getting to know the characters and observe their interactions before diving into their grief. Their problems started to present themselves and the book started to take a darker turn but it still had surprisingly adorable scenes that perfectly balanced the grief. One of my favorite parts in the book is when Daniel takes Clover to see her first movie. The fact that she helped clean up the theater after and Daniel let her was the cutest thing ever. Moments like these really balanced the mystery of Clover and Daniel's past so the reader wasn't overwhelmed. I expected Clover's secret to be bad but not as horrible as it was. I felt really horrible about how she blamed herself. She didn't understand society because her "father" had kept her secluded and she felt she had no one to turn to.I liked how Daniel handled the situation and supported Clover. I was also completely surprised and blown away to find out that Mr. Garret was Clover's dad. It was nice to know that she had family besides her grandpa left and that she would be able to count on them in the future. Finding out that Sam was her brother was also a really nice part to that surprise. I like how quickly Sam stepped into the role as older brother; even defending Clover when he saw Daniel kissing Morgan. I really loved the unexpected nature of this book, as well as the romance. The romance was unique because even though Daniel and Clover helped each other start to heal, they finished their journey on their own. They both really were able to understand themselves and the pasts before they started dating again. 

My Rating: ****

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