I don’t always love sweet, fluffy romances, and I tend to stay away from them, but I was super excited to read this one. I read Signs Point to Yes when it came out, and I did enjoy that one, but Been Here All Along probably takes the award for the cutest book I’ve read in a very long time.
Gideon and Kyle are best friends. Gideon is in advanced classes, has his sights set on a great college, and has his plans for class president and head of the yearbook committee. He has everything planned out – including an awesome family who he loves very much. So when he starts having weird feelings about his best friend (and next door neighbor) Kyle, he really has no clue what he is thinking.
Kyle hasn’t always had the same luck that Gideon has had with school, but he’s on the basketball team and has a beautiful girlfriend, Ruby, so he feels like his life is going okay. He does have problems in English class, but he figures that will work itself out eventually. When he and Ruby have a huge fight over something he reveals to her, he starts to wonder if their relationship is all it’s cracked up to be.
While Gideon is trying to make sense of his giant mess of feelings (he’s so organized he makes a binder dedicated to his feelings for Kyle, and why he shouldn’t have feelings for him. However, one night, when Ruby is over with Kyle and Gideon, she finds the binder, and, confused, takes photos of the lists with her phone. She doesn’t know what she plans on doing with the lists, but she knows that Gideon is clearly in love with Kyle.
As time goes on, and Gideon realizes that these feelings for Kyle are the real thing, he decides that maybe there is a reason that he feels the way he does for Kyle. But is he brave enough to tell his best friend that he cares about him in a way that is more than just friendship?
I loved this book. It’s so rare that anything I read gets a five star rating, so you know I really loved this. It was just so upbeat and adorable, and it really was everything I had hoped it would be. I finished it in one day because of the shorter length of the book – at first I wished it would have been longer, but then you would have had to worry about the plot thinning out and getting boring, so I think the length of this one was just perfect.
I loved all the characters in this book – Kyle, Gideon, Ruby, and Gideon’s older brother, Ezra. The four of them had so much depth and you couldn’t help but love all of them. Ruby started off as your typical annoying cheerleader type girl who bosses everyone around and is used to getting what she wants. Whens he learns that Gideon is in love with Kyle, she wants to make him suffer so she can keep her boyfriend, but as the book goes on, she starts to soften a little and realizes that if Kyle loves Gideon, then maybe she should just let the two of them be.
The chapters are broken up between the four of them – Kyle, Gideon, Ezra, and Ruby, and each character has a unique voice and story that brings so much to the book.
Kyle has that cute, pretty much completely oblivious thing going on, and he worries often about what he possibly could have done to hurt Ruby or Gideon – he wants everyone to be happy and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen. He also has some issues with school, and it’s a weak point for him. He always feels a bit inferior to Gideon, who is in all advanced classes and is pretty brilliant.
Gideon has a strong personality and is conflicted about many things – including his feelings for his best friend. He wants to be with Kyle, but doesn’t want to worry about ruining their friendship. Gideon has an incredibly supportive family, so when he comes out as gay and having feelings for Kyle, no one really bats and eyelash – except his mom, who wants to throw him a coming out party.
Watching all the characters struggle with their feelings and everyday life problems, such as school issues for Kyle and emotional issues for Gideon and Ruby, really made them feel more real and well rounded. Since I’m a HUGE fan of character development, this was probably my favorite aspect in the book.
But seriously, Kyle and Gideon? Cutest book couple ever.
If you need a cute romance to end your summer with, read this. It’s sweet. It’s adorable. It’s full of emotions. It’s one of the best romances I’ve ever read, and I’ll be reading this one again multiple times.
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
I’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.
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1 Print Copy of Been Here All Along. US/CAN only.