Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQIA, Contemporary
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 30 2016
Paperback: 240 Pages
My Rating: ★★★★★
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…
This was my most anticipated release and I am so thankful to have received an ARC of it from Swoon Reads. Shout out to Macmillan & Swoon Reads for their awesomeness and allowing me to read and review this for them!
Kyle and Gideon have been best friends since they were about the age of five. They have always been next-door neighbors and have created a close bond. Despite their opposite personalities; Kyle: basketball player/jock, Gideon: geek, brainiac they’ve become best of friends. Their friendship is one you’ll be envious of!
This book primarily revolves around exploring sexuality and coming to terms with it. Kyle is bisexual and has been out to his family and close friends. However, he hasn’t told his girlfriend Ruby because he didn’t feel comfortable. He deals with finding ways to finally tell her this big secret. While, Gideon is exploring his sexuality and coming to terms with “being gay” when he starts developing feelings for Kyle.
Sandy Hall is a writer who likes multiple POV. Similar to her sophomore novel, Signs Point to Yes this book focuses on the main characters, a sibling and Ruby – Kyle’s girlfriend. We get to know these other characters and see what they’re struggling with as well as the boys.
I enjoy the way Hall writes because she has fluffy Contemporary with a hint of dark/important topics. Been Here All Along includes a parent losing a job, surviving in the real world/life after college and a learning disability. I enjoyed these topics being implemented into the story because they are real life events and need to be seen in YA more! Adding a learning disability really hit me because it was relatable to my life and rare to see in YA books.
Kyle and Ruby have a complicated relationship – there were times when it did feel toxic. Ruby isn’t the nicest character and seems careless when it comes to others feelings. She gets jealous very quickly. However, she redeems herself in the end.
This book takes a turn when Gideon and Ruby start acting strange which causes Kyle to become suspicious. It changes the story and the characters turn on each other. This really makes the story 🙂
I loved Kyle and Gideon’s story and how many strong messages were in this book. Gideon is a friend you’d love to have. He’s super nerdy, kind and will force you to watch Lord of the Rings. Kyle is sweet and understanding, witty.
I think this became one of my favorite Sandy Hall books since A Little Something Different. I highly recommend to pick up this LGBTQIA book inspired by a fan edition of You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift! Kyle and Gideon will quickly become your new OTP and you’ll ship them as hard as I did! I would read more of these boys in a heartbeat. I love them so much. Please pick this book up, it deserves to be read 🙂