Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre/Themes: YA, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
Release Date: August 30th 2016
Page Count: 224
I’m sure you have all had the same experiences as me, where you’ve been reading heavy, dark and depressing books one after another before you realize you just need something light and fluffy to pick you back up. That was me recently. I noticed the heavy nature of the books I had recently read and decided that it needed to change. I needed something to make me feel happy and light and Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall was the perfect choice in terms of what I was looking for.
Gideon and Kyle have been next door neighbours and best friends for as long as they can remember. They tell each other everything, which is why Kyle came out to Gideon as bisexual not too long ago. Of course, Gideon is accepting and totally supportive of Kyle, especially when he starts dating the head cheerleader and most popular girl in school, Ruby. That is until he starts to experience a little feeling of jealousy. He is especially shocked when he realizes that he isn’t jealous that Kyle is with Ruby, he’s jealous of Ruby being with Kyle. Gideon tries to convince himself he couldn’t possibly have a crush on his best friend…or could he?
Been Here All Along is a super cute, light and fluffy read that I devoured in two sittings on my commute to and from the city one evening. I had just finished reading a few novels that were heavier in nature and I needed something quick and happy-go-lucky to give my brain a little bit of a break. I’m so glad I chose Been Here All Along as that book because it was exactly what I needed.
The characters were absolutely wonderful. I loved Kyle and Gideon, but I also low-key loved Ezra and I wish we got to see a little bit more of him throughout the story. He was the perfect older brother to Gideon and I really enjoyed every scene that he was in. I loved how well he knew his brother and how much he cared for him. Kyle and Gideon kind of remind me of me and my best friend/neighbour. We have known each other for 20+ years now, and while we definitely have not fallen in love with each other (sorry to disappoint you), we have a lot of similarities to Kyle and Gideon. My best friend is very outgoing, popular and social, I’m very introverted and I would much rather stay home and read on a Friday night then go out anywhere. Sometimes I think that if we hadn’t met each other at such a young age, we probably would never have become friends at all. I loved that Kyle and Gideon were so different from one another, but deep down, they had a few similarities that made them the best of friends.
At first, I thought I liked Ruby. She seemed accepting and friendly…and then that all went to shit…but then she redeemed herself. I wish we got to explore her troubles at home a little bit more. I think that could have helped with understanding her ups and downs and why she was so great one moment and then terrible the next.
I found that the conflict that arose within Been Here All Along was pretty obvious and I could see it coming from a mile away, but it worked as a good storytelling device. I don’t think it was particularly unique, but it definitely worked. I did like the way that the conflict was resolved though, and I’m happy that this ended happily.
Been Here All Along is perfect for those who want something quick, fast-paced, happy-go-lucky and fluffy. It was exactly what I needed to read and I’m so glad that I chose it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandy Hall is a teen librarian from New Jersey where she was born and raised. She has a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When she isn’t writing, or teen librarian-ing, she enjoys reading, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr.