ARC Review: Been Here All Along

Author: Sandy Hall
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance/LGBTQ+
Page Length: 240 Pages
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: ARC via publisher
Goodreads | Amazon
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 written in classic Sandy Hall style: cute, quick romance with multiple POVs and short chapters. It's no wonder I finished this within 24 hours. In addition to her signature style, there was quality. Its shortness did not take away from how enjoyable it was.

I read her debut, A Little Something Different, which had tons of POVs and it took away from the quality of the story. However, her third book nails the use of multiple POVs. There weren't too many where they lost quality or meaning and became confusing--each POV is carefully considered and crafted. I enjoyed all the POVs, but I think Kyle's is my favorite!

Another thing I absolutely love is the diversity--class diversity, sexuality, and even religion. Ruby, head cheerleader, comes from a poor family; Kyle is a male bisexual with a learning disability; and Gideon a Jewish boy who doesn't quite know if he just likes Kyle or is really gay. While I don't think I'm quite fit to say if Gideon is the perfect coming-out gay, his thought process is similar to mine, if I were to question my sexuality (hasn't happened [yet]). Is he just in favor of Kyle or all males? Why Kyle, why now after years of friendship?

 I actually related to Gideon a lot more than I thought I would, in retrospect. Like me, he would rather study vocabulary than go to a rally; he's more intellectual than physical and he thinks everything through, and he's organized.

There is a hint of a mean girl trope, but at the end I actually feel quite sorry for Ruby. She definitely does several things she shouldn't have done, even questioning why did it take so long for Kyle to tell her he is bisexual. I would've liked to know what happened to her, in terms of her situation at home and her upcoming year of college. And while I cannot speak on if Gideon's coming-out was "right," it did feel a little rushed and not tough at all. However, I know everyone's coming-out is different; for him, he is probably very comfortable with who he is and who he is surrounded by. 

Been Here All Along is a very short, simple yet not quite so simple love story that I recommend year round. Even if you didn't like Sandy Hall's previous books, this one will impress you and redeem your opinion on her. Because of how short yet good this was, it's definitely a book I would read again and even buy. 


Jess is a young adult currently residing in California, USA. She is frequently found in art museums, the audience of poetry slams, the classroom learning about life science (her favorite science), or her backyard, blogging, watering her plants, or reading (most likely all three).

Find Jess on her main blog, Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads.

5 comments:

  1. I really liked A Little Something Different, but I do agree while it's adorable, the too many povs kinda distract me. I like to hear that in this book, every povs is more well thought, it shows how much the author has grown. Can't wait to read this, and thanks for sharing Jess!<3

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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  2. I agree with this!! Although I haven't read her other books I really enjoyed this and thought it was cute. I loved that it was a quick read but still hit on some great topics. Lovely review!

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  3. Glad you liked this one! It’s great to see such a diverse book. Can’t wait to read this one–it’s on my TBR :D Also, the title always reminds me of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” (one of the lyrics is something along the lines of it I think) and the music video kinda looks like the cover! Coincidence? Maybe... lol. Anyway, great review!! :D

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  4. I just finished writing my review of this one, and I totally agree with you that it was an adorable read!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  5. I just read this book and I wasn't as impressed. I loved the friendship/romance between Kyle and Gideon. They were just too adorable. I just hated Ruby. I didn't feel any sympathy towards her and that stopped me from fully enjoying the book. I'm glad you enjoyed it though.

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