Published by Swoon Reads on August 30th 2016
Also by this author: Signs Point to Yes
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I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 pretty adorable friends to lovers romance that I really enjoyed. I have to admit that it wasn’t my favorite because I felt like the POV’s weren’t as well developed as they could have been and I wanted to see more character growth as a whole, but it still was a decent novel. It was ridiculously short and I was able to read it in just a couple of hours. I recommend it if you want to read a fluffy romance between two teenage boys that has its fair share of drama, but isn’t tragic either. I wasn’t totally blown away by this book, but I didn’t dislike it either. I think it was a solid read, I’ve still read LGBT books that I personally enjoyed a lot more than this one, that’s just me though.
My favorite part of the novel was likely the two main characters Gideon and Kyle. They were both relatively nerdy guys who were both completely likable for various different reasons. I thoroughly liked the friendship that was already established between them before anything romantic was ever going on. Out of the two, Gideon might be my favorite by a landslide, but both had extremely likable qualities about them. Anyway, Gideon was great because I loved how nerdy and adorable he was. As I’m sure I’ve made clear before, nerdy boys are my absolute favorite. At times, Gideon did drive me a little crazy, but he was still a pretty well developed character as a whole.
Kyle was a lovely character who I really sympathized with on some levels. Specifically, I felt so bad for him when it comes to his struggles in English class and just with reading in general. He was a basketball star, but at the same time, he was much more than your stereotypical jock. His only problem was his girlfriend Ruby, who I disliked the whole time. I understand why Sandy Hall wrote it this way, she wanted to make Kyle completely unattainable to Gideon, but I still feel like her personality could have been a bit more developed.
So the friendship turned romantic relationship that Gideon and Kyle had was ridiculously adorable. Truthfully, that’s really the best word I can use to describe them. They had such incredible chemistry, even as best friends. I also loved how they geeked out over Lord of the Rings together. Naturally, it was a rather slow developing thing since there was quite a bit of drama involving Kyle’s obnoxious girlfriend. But once everything finally worked out, it turned out to be just as adorable as I was expecting it to be.
While I did find this book to be a short and sweet read, it was far from being perfect. I had some major issues with the narration, the four POV’s didn’t work for me. I understand including Gideon and Kyle’s voices, but throwing in Gideon’s brother plus Kyle’s girlfriend made everything a bit of a mess. I couldn’t stand Ruby, and her voice wasn’t very well written in my opinion. Have I mentioned that this book is really short? It’s over 200 pages, and I feel like it’s just not long enough for all of the characters to be fully developed. Some of the solutions were just sloppy and not fully resolved. Unfortunately, I was expecting more from Sandy Hall. It was definitely a swoony read, but I was still anticipating a lot more from the plot and characters.