I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review!
Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 30th, 2016
Genre: YA, LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary
“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…”
Sandy Hall is one of those authors whose book’s I happened to stumble upon in the store and impulse buy. I’ve been hooked ever since and Been Here All Along didn’t disappoint. It was exactly what I needed to read to take a break from all the serious reads I’ve devoured this year. Been Here All Along can be summed up in five words; light, quick, cute, sweet, and heartwarming. But it also has undertones of a few things we all encounter in our lives; figuring out who we are, accepting who we are, and learning from our mistakes. I loved it.
I’m in love with this author’s writing style, the simplicity of it is beautiful. I love how she conveys so much with so little. It’s refreshing and extremely different from what I usually read.
The simplicity of the writing makes her books very character driven. Been Here All Along is told in the alternate perspectives of four different characters, which is something this author is known for doing in her books. I’m not usually a fan of books that have more than two perspectives but her books are always an exception to that.
Gideon and Kyle. They’ve been best friends since they were five. In a way, they’re complete opposites; Gideon is very organized and goal oriented while Kyle is very disorganized and forgetful, but they have an incredible friendship and a lot in common. That friendship slowly starts to morph into something more… And well you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what happens next. I loved their friendship. I loved the fact that they were both giant nerds. They were absolutely adorable together. I seriously can’t get over how adorable they were!!
Ruby, I didn’t like. There is always that one character I don’t care for and Ruby was that character in this. She was self-centered and had a bad attitude. I felt terrible for how her life was at home, I could relate to those struggles so much. However, I didn’t feel that it excused her behavior. Toward the end, she seemed on the path to redemption but I couldn’t get over how she acted for 90% of the book.
Ezra, Gideon’s older brother. He was there and extremely supportive of his brother, but I didn’t feel like we really got to know him. I didn’t form much of an opinion about him. I wish we had gotten to know him a bit better, but the fact that the main focus of the story was Gideon’s and Kyle’s journey it made sense that we didn’t.
Overall this was an enjoyable read. I did have a few moments where I found things a bit too perfect, thus unrealistic, and found certain dramas very eye roll worthy so it wasn’t without small flaws. However, if you’re looking for a quick, cute, and light contemporary then this book is perfect.
If you’ve never read any of Sandy Hall’s books but want to give them a chance then I highly recommend Been Here All Along!
I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for us with her future books. I, for one, will definitely be reading every book that is published.
Sorry for the lack of quotes in this. I usually add quotes, but I screwed up while transferring stuff to my Kindle and lost all of my notes and highlights. 😅