Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Been Here All Along

Sandy Hall
Contemporary Young Adult
224 pages
Swoon Reads
Available August 30th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

Been Here All Along is a lightning-quick read, the adorkable-ness of both Gideon and Kyle making this story easy to fly through with a smile on our faces.

Gideon and Kyle have been neighbors and best friends since they were little, but as so many of us can relate, there's a moment between them where everything shifts, and suddenly this person they've known all their lives becomes something else entirely. Told in alternate point of views (as well as the point of views of Gideon's brother and Kyle's girlfriend), we get to see both Gideon and Kyle charmingly flail when their relationship heads into uncharted waters, though thankfully the one major misstep between them is righted easily toward the end with minimal angst.

Though Gideon and Kyle, with their love of Lord of the Rings and their penchant for writing notes in Elvish, couldn't be cuter, we stay largely on the surface of both the romance as well as larger issues like coming out and learning disabilities. Gideon has an epiphany relatively early on in which he realizes he's gay, and in the blink of an eye (and after a few lists to help him organize his thoughts) he's accepted it, blurted it out to his friends while drunk for the first time, and announced it to his family who are all so thrilled they throw him a coming out party of sorts. That's not to say there aren't a huge number of families who are unflinchingly supportive in such situations, but those looking for perhaps a more nuanced or layered story of sexual identity and coming out won't find it here.

Additionally, the viewpoints of Ezra (Gideon's brother) and Ruby (Kyle's girlfriend) seem largely unnecessary, with Ruby being unlikable for nearly the entire book until the last few chapters where she realizes she's been vindictive and tries to right all her wrongs. Those issues aside though, this is a story easily devoured in one sitting and is the perfect fluff read for those who love a good best friends to lovers romance.

Rating: 3.5/5

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This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.


  1. Of course the gf has to be evil *eyeroll*

  2. Hmm not so sure how I feel about this one. It seems like this one skims the surface of all the issues it could potentially highlight and bring to the forefront.
    Either way, lovely review!

  3. I have been curious about this one. I love the concept of best friends with the possibility of something more. Plus, we need more books like this for young people. Great review, Jenny!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jenny, despite the fact that it wasn't as tightly crafted as it could have been. I've never read anything by this author before but I heard her speak at a Fierce Reads event a few months back and I was definitely intrigued by her description of this. I have an ARC so I may still check it out! Great review, my dear! :)

  5. It does sound like maybe there were one too many POVs in the story. Glad you were still able to enjoy it though and the messages that it had.

  6. I wonder why they included those additional, unnecessary POV, I find those distracting. Otherwise, this sounds fun and cute.

  7. Despite the issues you mentioned here, I'm intrigued by this one. I like a light and easy read sometimes and this one is geeky plus diverse! Lovely review my friend! xx

  8. This sounds fun and cute, but I wish we got deeper into the issues and the characters. I also wonder about the additional and unnecessary POVs too.

  9. I'm glad to hear that this one was quite a lot of fun even if it was a bit more on the surface!

  10. This sounds really cute, but lately I have been in th mood for a deeper kind of contemporary read. Along the lines of I'll Meet You There. Still glad you liked this one.

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

  11. Gideon and Kyle do sound "adorkable" and the plot sounds lighter for a change which is a nice as its nice to just see things work out without too much angst.
    Lovely review, Jenny :)

  12. Aww sounds like a fun little end of summer read.