Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

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…

Rating: 3 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Been Here All Along has the classic feel of a Sandy Hall book, what with the writing style continuing to be lighthearted and the author's use of multiple points of view. It is a quick read not only because the length of the novel barely surpasses 200 pages, but because the subject material and the manner in which it is written do not bog the reader down with heavy emotions.

The story was nice enough. It featured two best friends since childhood, Kyle and Gideon, who have the kind of friendship that forms the basis for something lasting, whether it be a lifelong friendship or something more, as the romantic threads of the story lead you to believe.

The use of multiple points of view in this particular work of Hall's was well executed. It was not heavy handed as in A Little Something Different, which famously had fourteen different p.o.v.s., and it had a few more than Signs Point to Yes. As a reader you're able to find out more information through this tool and that worked well here, though the voices of Kyle and Gideon did feel interchangeable at times. Whether this is down to the writing style or whether it was intentional because they grew up together and would obviously have similar mannerisms I do not know. In any case, those points were where the story fell a bit flat in the telling.

To sump up, I'd definitely recommend picking this up. It's perfect for a quick, light read. I would've said it was a very good summer read, but as we're on the cusp of autumn, let me rephrase: it's a very good book to read on a Sunday when you want to remember the good times of the summer, the fun that you had with friends, rather than going back to school that may or may not be all that fun (which, hey, it might be for you, who knows?).

In any case, give it a whirl. It'll be fun. :)

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