Original Title: Been Here All Along
Year Published: 2016
Published by: Swoon Reads
Number of Pages: 214
First Sentence: “Like a hundred years ago my mom asked me to watch my five-year-old brother Gideon while he played in the backyard.“
Goodreads Rating: 3/3
“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 neighbour, 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 . . .”
I had such high hopes for this book and it didn’t manage to fully live up to them. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad book per se. It just isn’t a great book either. It was overall enjoyable but there are definitely better books out there. I was expecting some sort of fantastic love story and coming of age book and instead, it felt like a watered down version of a fanfic where the characters are placed in an alternate universe where they live next door to each other.
The characters were quite nice though. Gideon was the dorky, unpopular and super smart gangly boy who of course also happens to be gay. I could relate to some of Gideon’s dorkiness, like the frustration that your best friend hasn’t read Lord of the Rings and therefore cannot properly fangirl (or boy) over it.
Kyle was the jock but instead of becoming a total asshole, he was sweet and kind. If he hadn’t been a basketball star he probably would have been the typical bullied character due to his build and personality. I really did like him though, he was just really likeable.
I felt that the relationship between Gideon and Kyle felt a little forced at times. Sure, they were best friends and pretty much co-dependent, but if Gideon hadn’t realised he had a crush on Kyle they might never have gotten together (at least not in my eyes). I think that was due to parts of their friendship that was a bit antagonistic. Some of the things Gideon thought about Kyle were cruel and I kept thinking that if that was how he saw him then why did he insist that he loved Kyle? I know that we see flaws in the people we love but we love those flaws too. With Gideon, it felt like he wanted Kyle’s flaws to completely disappear.
The plot was pretty predictable but still quite fun to read. In typical teenage fashion, some of the characters mess up in ways that only overdramatic teenagers can. Miscommunication and misunderstandings created a lot more drama then there had to be, but it was still a relatively good and enjoyable story.
Yes, I realise my review make it sound like the book was pretty crap, but it was actually quite fun and I wouldn’t have been so negative if I had read it as a fanfic instead of a published book. I think that was my main issue with it, that it felt like a fanfic more than a published book.
Do I recommend it?
If you are looking for a simple and easygoing mm romance book, then sure this book will do you well.
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