Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Release Date: 30 August 2016
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…
What I Liked:
This story is adorable. I opened it up on a whim, and I put it down a couple of hours later with a smile on my face. I liked both Gideon and Kyle, and I especially loved their nerdiness. I loved their awkward inside jokes and their devotion to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They have a very cute best friends-to-lovers relationship, and I liked that it wasn’t centered around an overabundance of unnecessary drama (There is some, but I felt it was a reasonable amount).
What I Didn’t:
This book was very simple and predictable, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, it’s nice to have a YA LGBT romance that isn’t written to be about the issues and difficulties that can be caused by being an LGBT-identifying teenager. This is a simple teen romance between two best friends who become boyfriends. But, it is also very, very predictable. From about a quarter of the way through, I could have mapped out all of the plot points of this book. It was comforting, but also disappointing, because just when I thought the book might subvert my expectations, it just pulled itself back onto the well-worn contemporary YA romance path.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the first-person POV switches, either. If you are using first person, I feel that the maximum number f character POVs that you should write from is 2. It gets a bit confusing and jumbled if you have more (4 in this case), especially when the voices don’t sound terribly different.
I enjoyed this book for what it was, but I feel like it didn’t live up to its potential. While the main characters were likable and had a cute relationship, the writing and plot stayed very surface level. The constant POV switches was a bit annoying and the plot never pulled itself away from the clichéd and conventional YA romance narrative. While the romantic story was resolved, there were several plot threads that didn’t really get settled by the end of the book. This book was a short, light, and cute read, but I don’t think that I would read it again.
My Rating: 2.5/5