My rating: green3

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hey, everyone! I’m here with a review on Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall! It’s about two friends who realize that there is more to their relationship than just being best friends. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy! I was really excited to read this book, because the last two books by Sandy Hall were amazing, so when my request was finally accepted, it made my day! Once I started reading it though, I had mixed feelings for it.

The first few chapters of the story were interesting and got me interested in the characters and their lives. But after? Been Here All Along kind of alternated between interesting and too simplistic. The story knew what it was doing and let readers in on it, too. There weren’t really any twists or turns; everything was laid out from then on out and by that point, I wasn’t really interested. The text itself sounded really artificial to my ears by the middle. Not that there wasn’t some good dialogue going on in the story, especially between Gideon and Kyle. It’s just that the main problem of the story wasn’t really interesting and was resolved pretty quickly. I saw there was potential for it to be more, but it was restricted by the characters unwillingness to be more complex, since no one wanted to be the antagonist of the story…

The characters were really flat as well. At first, like the plot, I really loved reading in their perspective, but by the end, I was ready to say goodbye. With a few exceptions (from secondary characters at that), all the characters seemed to be of a stock quality and do not break the restrictions they have, if that makes sense… Like one character being a cheerleader and greatly invested in their image or being manipulative… While there were explanations made that add to their overall character and establish them as more complex, I don’t think it helped that much. It felt like it was all tell and no show. It would have been much more interesting to see the characters act out their complexities than think it in their heads for readers only… Overall, I wasn’t really into the portrayal of the characters.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Been Here All Along. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section. Thank you for reading!

– Sumaya

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