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Been Here All Along

by Sandy Hall

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1038193,684 (3.57)None
Gideon always has a plan. It includes running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. It does NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend, Kyle. It's a distraction, it's pointless - Kyle is already dating the 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. So when both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, Kyle can't quite figure out what he did wrong.Sandy Hall meets Taylor Swift in this quirky and heartfelt YA novel.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Not the deepest book, but it's very cute. I like Gideon and Kyle a lot. I think Ruby and Ezra were a little one-dimensional. ( )
  widdersyns | Jul 19, 2020 |
I very much enjoyed this book. It was believable, and kept my interest enough to make me ignore other books I’ve started.
The plots of all books are always outlined in the “Publisher’s Notes” about the book and those are what attracted me to this book.I suspect that Publisher’s Notes on the dust-jackets or backs of books go a long way in attracting any reader to a given book, so there is no reason to recapitulate the plot here. I prefer to comment on things other than just what a great story this is.
First of all, I want to say I have read a lot of YA books over the last few months and most strike me as being at a reading level that would let a lot of teenagers out-sounding more like an adult novel than a YA one.. This book does not do that. It is the first I’ve read in some time that I felt was actually written at the readability level of an early to mid-teen.
Second, and this is really big for me, this is the first YA book I can recall ever reading where the language, voice, observations and remarks of the protagonists feel like those that would actually come from teenagers.
Almost everything I’ve read lately had teenagers thinking or saying things that are at levels of wisdom, psychological insight or advanced maturity that teenagers just don’t have.
I respect teenager and preteens, too. I believe adults significantly underestimate how bright and capable they are as evidenced by school curricula that are years below where they should be.
But wisdom, philosophic and psychological insight, or keen observation of human nature and motivations are not areas of strength for younger people and not for a lot of adults, either. These are skill that are the product of age, experience and a lot of personal reflection and insights that no one, no one, can have until they’ve put enough life experience under their belt.
Been Here All Along never digresses into that area of mature perception that would make the credibility of its entire plot questionable. It is truly a YA book, readable by teenagers and interesting to teen and adult readers alike. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
I very much enjoyed this book. It was believable, and kept my interest enough to make me ignore other books I’ve started.
The plots of all books are always outlined in the “Publisher’s Notes” about the book and those are what attracted me to this book.I suspect that Publisher’s Notes on the dust-jackets or backs of books go a long way in attracting any reader to a given book, so there is no reason to recapitulate the plot here. I prefer to comment on things other than just what a great story this is.
First of all, I want to say I have read a lot of YA books over the last few months and most strike me as being at a reading level that would let a lot of teenagers out-sounding more like an adult novel than a YA one.. This book does not do that. It is the first I’ve read in some time that I felt was actually written at the readability level of an early to mid-teen.
Second, and this is really big for me, this is the first YA book I can recall ever reading where the language, voice, observations and remarks of the protagonists feel like those that would actually come from teenagers.
Almost everything I’ve read lately had teenagers thinking or saying things that are at levels of wisdom, psychological insight or advanced maturity that teenagers just don’t have.
I respect teenager and preteens, too. I believe adults significantly underestimate how bright and capable they are as evidenced by school curricula that are years below where they should be.
But wisdom, philosophic and psychological insight, or keen observation of human nature and motivations are not areas of strength for younger people and not for a lot of adults, either. These are skill that are the product of age, experience and a lot of personal reflection and insights that no one, no one, can have until they’ve put enough life experience under their belt.
Been Here All Along never digresses into that area of mature perception that would make the credibility of its entire plot questionable. It is truly a YA book, readable by teenagers and interesting to teen and adult readers alike. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
Very cute!

This was a super sweet high school romance. I really liked that Ruby was relatable and not some evil ex girlfriend out for revenge. You could see where she was coming from and she tried to do the right thing. Kyle and Gideon were a nerdy, cute couple and not overly dramatic. Of you're looking for something sweet with lots of fluff, this is perfect for you! ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
A teen gay romance with good and bad points. Overall, light, simple, and relatively pleasant.
Good points: Nice to read a book about a gay first love that doesn't really have a homophobic side to the story. In "Been Here All Along" everyone is supportive. The two main characters, Gideon and Kyle, are positive, likable characters, as is Ezra, Gideon's older brother. Ruby (Kyle's girlfriend as the book opens) is largely likeable, but she's got a dark side too. (Spoiler: She completely redeems herself by the end of the book.) Except for a little spell towards the end (which is foreshadowed blatantly and extensively) it's a pretty happy story overall.
On the down side: The plot is super simple, and most of the characters are pretty one dimensional as well. When the author wants to get a message across about acceptance of LGBT folks, or people with learning disabilities (Kyle) it feels like we're getting little mini-sermons.
So, if a simple, happy, gay first-love teen tale appeals to you, go for it. ( )
  fingerpost | Apr 21, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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