Short & Sweet: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
Been Here All Along
by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads
on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA, Young Adult, YA
Pages: 224


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…

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.

I’m perpetually on the lookout for new YA fluff and when I saw that Swoon Reads was publishing one of its first LGBT romances, I knew I had to read it. I’m so glad that Been Here All Along didn’t disappoint, and it was so fun to read.

Kyle feels ready to come out to his girlfriend as bi. At the same time, Gideon realizes that he may have feelings for Kyle. As Gideon struggles with his feelings, Ruby (Kyle’s girlfriend) may have realized something going on between them. Been Here All Along is a short but wonderful novel about two best friends who may realize their feelings may extend deeper than just friendship.

I loved the romance between Kyle and Gideon. While the novel is short, I think it was clear to see their feelings (having been neighbours/best friends all their lives) were established. I love the ‘best friends turn into something more’ trope so I’m happy to see that their feelings were well-established and that the trope worked well.

The only thing that may not work for some readers is that for a short novel, there is a lot of drama that may seem a bit petty but I think it’s important to keep in mind that the two main characters are in 10th grade (which is a bit on the younger side of YA lately) and that without drama, the plot would probably be a bit dull. I think that the ending/character development of some characters resolves most of the drama.

In terms of diversity, it was great to see on-page bisexual rep (Kyle). While Gideon never gives himself an ID, I think he could definitely be on the ace spectrum but as this is a short novel, he never really explores how to ID himself.

Overall, Been Here All Along was a cute novel about two best friends falling in love that I highly recommend for those who want a cute (albeit a bit angsty) short read.
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3 thoughts on “Short & Sweet: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall”

  1. I just read this one and I was not impressed. I did love the fact that one of the characters was bisexual and I loved the friendship/romance between Kyle and Gideon. They were so crazy adorable. I just didn’t like all the POVs (Ruby and Ezra were 1000% unnecessary) and I despised the character of Ruby. If Ruby hadn’t been part of it, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Great review though. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
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