Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall – Review & Giveaway

Posted August 22, 2016 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Giveaways (Ended), Reviews / 12 Comments

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall - Review & Giveaway

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall – Review & GiveawayBeen Here All Along by Sandy Hall
Published by Swoon Reads on 8/30/16
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 224
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4 Stars

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…


My Take copy3

This book is sweet and fun and all sorts of adorable. It was a typical, simple high school romance, but it was kind of nice to see one of those with LGBT characters – without a lot of angsty complications.

 What Fed My Addiction:

  • Gideon and Kyle. It would be hard not to love this duo. They’ve been best friends for almost their whole lives – they bond over their love of Lord of the Rings (they even speak Elvish) and other geeky things. Kyle is a bit “cooler” than Gideon because of his athletic ability, but I love that they never let that get between them. When Gideon suddenly realizes that he has feelings for his best friend, he tries to talk himself out of it – after all, Kyle has a girlfriend and Gideon certainly doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. But it’s apparent that once he sees Kyle in this new light, he can’t change his perspective. I was rooting for these two from the very beginning.
  • Learning disability. This book is obviously primarily a romance, but it also tackles the topic of learning disabilities. I think that this issue is handled realistically. Kyle feels a bit ashamed at first about his academic failings, and he doesn’t want to admit his difficulties to anyone. I definitely sympathized with Kyle and appreciated his journey toward self-understanding and self-acceptance.
  • No “villains.” I thought for a moment that Kyle’s girlfriend was going to end up being portrayed as a vengeful mean girl, but her story was more complex than that. In the end, I kind of liked that Ruby was very flawed but she didn’t completely lack integrity.

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Too easy? While I was happy to have an LGBT book that didn’t focus on the characters’ angst over their sexuality, I did sometimes feel like Hall made everything a little too easy for both Kyle and Gideon. It was almost as if she were trying to create a sort of “gay-topia” where everyone was ultra-accepting. While this was nice, it seemed a little unrealistic – especially when Kyle told his girlfriend that he was bi and she had literally no thoughts about it whatsoever. None. The book was being told from her POV at that point, so I would have at least liked to have seen some internal reaction to his news – not even necessarily a negative one, but a moment of … something. And this was pretty much the case with everyone in the book. No one batted an eye for even a moment. In an ideal world this would be the case, but since we don’t live in a perfect world it felt a little manufactured.

If you’re a fan of cute YA romance, this book will hit the spot. It was a super quick read – perfect for when you’re looking for some light reading. I give it 4/5 Stars. 

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via XPresso Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About Sandy Hall:

Sandy-HallI’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.

Author Links:
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12 responses to “Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall – Review & Giveaway

    • I do think that Hall was probably purposely making things ultra easy on her protagonists – almost trying to show how wonderful things would be if sexuality was a mere footnote that no one really thought or worried about. It rang a little false to me, but I applaud her for the idea!

  1. This one sounds like a good one and I like the cute style of the cover. It does seem like many LBGT books deal with some difficult topics, so it must be nice to have a more lighter books with LBGT characters for a change as well. I love a good friends to lovers romance, so that aspect sounds good to me. I am glad to hear Ruby didn’t end up as a villain, even though she was flawed. It does sound a bit too perfect/ unrealistic with how everyone is so accepting. And yes in an ideal world that would happen, but it’s just not as realistic. Great review!

  2. Nao @naonotrealname

    Your review really spoke my thoughts about this book aloud. I totally agree with your point about how easy everything went with this book and Ruby was indeed an interesting character. Other thing about this book that bugged me a bit was Ezra. I loved his character, but sometimes his pov felt unnecessary to the story. And I would love it if the author gave us some disclosure on his issue. It’d be nice I thought to see it being tackled in the story.

    Anyway, good review! I’m happy we’re on the same page about this book 🙂

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