Friday, August 26, 2016

Been Here All Along - Give Me More Happy Queer Books Please

Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Series: N/A
Length: 224 pages
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Diversity (slight spoilers): Bisexual protagonist with a learning disability; gay, Jewish protagonist; major Latina character; major Jewish character
Source: eARC via NetGalley

When a book is as short as Been Here All Along, it has to grab you right from the beginning, and that’s exactly what this book did. I knew I loved Gideon from the beginning of the first chapter, when he tries to make a list of people who genuinely like pep rallies, and it didn’t take me much longer to love Kyle, too. I knew that pretty much no matter what the book was about, I wanted to know what happened to these wonderful, witty characters.

The characters couldn’t have been as incredible as they were without the writing. This book made me smile and laugh out loud so many times that I lost track. Kyle and Gideon complemented each other incredibly well, and their voices were unique enough that I was never confused as to who was whom – even long dialogue sections felt completely natural.

I have to say, though, that out of the four POVs of the book, I didn’t really see the point of Ruby’s and Ezra’s. They weren’t necessary, and while Ruby’s were sometimes interesting, I think they took away from the main plot. They just meant that too many things were happening for a book of this length, which in turn meant that a lot of the subplots where underdeveloped and unresolved.

I saved my favorite part of this book for last, partially because it’s slightly spoilery (but no specifics, I promise): it’s a book about queer people, and it’s happy. There are so many books about queer characters where their queerness means that they suffer, or that they have no hope of a happy ending. And on top of that, it’s not really a coming out book. Kyle is a self-identifying, mostly out bisexual guy right from Chapter 1, which is so rare. There’s also a queer Jewish character, which is something that I’ve never read about before. Learning disabilities and poverty are also addressed. Intersectionality is important. Queer characters with happy endings are important. This book has both.

What's your favorite happy queer book? What do you think of books with POVs of people who aren't the protagonists? Tell me in the comments!

Goodreads description:
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… 


  1. This review is completely, 100% true. I thought BHAA was all sorts of adorable. I did occasionally think that the complete lack of conflict over sexuality was a teensy bit unrealistic at times, but I think that was the author's point - she was trying to create a sort of perfect world. Great review!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. You're right - having no conflict at all over sexuality was pretty unrealistic, but at the same time, I think that with all the books where being queer creates so much conflict, it's a really nice balance.