My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: ARC via Netgalley
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Point of View: First Person (Multiple; Kyle, Gideon, Ruby, Ezra)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
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…
“Friendship is kind of a stupid, arbitrary thing when you think about it. You should be able to hold your friends’s hand whenever you want. How is holding hands more intimate than giving a hug? Who makes those decisions?”
I remember when I saw Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me music video. The whole premises read to me like the perfect recipe for one of my go-to feel-good romance YA novels. There’s something there that speaks to a lot of us—the whole crushing on the guy next door, the best friend, the one you secretly like from afar but likes someone else. Perhaps has someone already. Back then I wanted it, the book, the story. Hell, if I had known back then about fanfics, I’d probably stalked AO3 for a sterek fic. Hmm, be right back.
It’s 2016. Been Here All Along is a thing, that exists—that will exist. A cute thing that will exist.
Gideon has fallen for his best friend Kyle, but Kyle has a girlfriend. And we’ve heard this story before, usually there’s just no way that Kyle would fall for Gideon, seeing how he has a girlfriend and Gideon is a guy. But, Kyle is bi. And hallelujah! We have a gay protagonist and a bi love interest. Despite that he still has a girlfriend, and cheating is never the answer. So what is a guy to do?
One could write a list. Or multiple lists. You know, the usual. Reasons to Like Kyle and Everything That’s Wrong with Kyle. Yikes, maybe not that one. But Gideon means well.
See, Gideon hadn’t know he was gay, really he was much too busy for such frivolous things, until that fateful day that he got happy that maybe possible Kyle and Ruby might break up.
Been Here All Along was all types of rainbow and cherry topping cute. For most of it I enjoy the hell out. Explicitly their friendship, how connected they always seem. Goodness chocolate! They talked elvish which each other, and if that’s not love or super friend mode then I don’t know what is. Above everything it was Gideon and Kyle’s friendship. And then their romance comes and it’s like sunshines and puppies and kisses on the cheek and first dates. It’s all so cute. Like cute galore, all mush out on the floor. And I love that; that the guy got his best friend crush, that love persevered and the gay kid wasn’t left alone at the end of the movie/music video/book, that the gay kid didn’t die. Or turn in to a tree (shade).
But. Ruby. Man, Ruby. I dislike her for some of her actions, and I tried to put on the shoe and understand or at least see the other side, but nothing. She had me all kinds of confused, and she was mean and vindictive and for why (any GMW watchers?)? Specially when it came to Kyle, especially because a lot of the vileness was directed at this cinnamon delight. Kyle who has trouble at school, but is trying. Who could very well be golden boy, but is so shy and all things adorable.
Honestly, I’m glad this book will out, to be read. Whilst I had some quibbles with certain characters *cough cough* Ruby, I thoroughly enjoy this quick read. And hey, I didn’t hate Ruby all that much, just certain actions and thoughts, that were a bit rectified by the end.
Kyle and Gideon, carry on being all types of cute and adorbs.