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Been Here All Along

Review

Been Here All Along

Gideon and Kyle have lived next door to each other since they were seven years old and have been best friends ever since. Even with their differences, they manage to stay as close as ever as the years go by. Until one day Gideon realizes he has much stronger feelings for Kyle than friendly ons. Unfortunately, there are many things stopping Gideon from being with Kyle. The fact that he’s currently in a relationship is a major one, plus a few more bumps that pop up along the way. BEEN HERE ALL ALONG is a sweet and charming story about the highs and lows of relationships along with the rest of the drama that high school contains.

"If you’re going into the book wanting a quick and light read, this should be perfect. Sandy Hall never seems to disappoint, and this book only proves that point further."

First off, if the synopsis didn't make it easy enough to see, the representation in this book is amazing. Books featuring gay characters have been becoming more popular and common in YA than ever before, but bisexuality is something often underrepresented on the spectrum of sexuality. Yet BEEN HERE ALL ALONG features a bisexual character who states his sexuality clearly in the within two chapters. Plus, I enjoyed how though one main character was gay and the other was bisexual, that was not a huge plot point or the focus of the story. Many books featuring an LGBT main character focus on them accepting their sexuality, and while that is amazing, it is nice to see LGBT characters starring in a plot line that is similar to something straight characters often star in.

Speaking of the characters, a majority of them were very likable from start to finish. Even if I wasn’t a big fan of a certain character, I still found them very well-written and interesting like Ruby, Kyle’s girlfriend. Many different characters were dealing with something outside of the main focus of the novel, providing a lot more depth and interest to the story. Even a learning disability became a small side plot of the story, which is not something I have read about before. Plus, in typical Sandy Hall fashion, there were many different point of views all going at once (if you don’t know what I mean see A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, which has 14 different point of views in one book.) The novel bounced between four points of view, handling the transitions beautifully.

My only problem with the book in the writing itself. The plot felt very rushed at some points, especially when building up towards the end of the novel. Some aspects that I wanted to more expansion on seemed to speed by quickly. But by the end, I wasn’t too worried about that issue, simply because of how adorable the last chapter was. If you’re going into the book wanting a quick and light read, this should be perfect.

I recommend BEEN HERE ALL ALONG to anyone who loves “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift. That might sound ridiculous, but seriously, it works. It was like the music video but in a book and with gay romance instead and it was wonderful. Sandy Hall never seems to disappoint, and this book only proves that point further.

Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member on September 27, 2016

Been Here All Along
by Sandy Hall