Published by HarperCollins on January 31st 2017
When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.
Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?
I received this book for free from edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have always seen so many amazing things about Kasie West books, but haven’t read one yet. Well, that finally changed! By Your Side is about this girl, Autumn, and how she gets locked into the library with Dax, the bad boy no one knows much about.
Let me start with the obvious. This book is not a serious book. It is a fluffy, feel good book that does touch on certain topics, but it does not go deep. It was super adorable, but pretty cliche for me. It is a great book to read in between harder/longer novels. That said, I did like it. I thought it was fun and I didn’t really struggle getting through it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending though. It felt a bit flat and abrupt and didn’t quite flow with the rest of the story. I’ve read other novels where there is an open ending, but it still flows with the rest of the story. That’s not quite what happened here.
I really appreciated the nod to mental illness and self care. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself, anytime there is a fairly realistic view of it in literature (especially young adult books), I can’t help but to love that book a little more. I liked that it showed kind of two sides of it. It showed how Autumn was dealing with it (which was not always the smartest) and how Dax really noticed what she was doing and tried to help her. He really cared for her and really tried to make sure she was taking care of her mental health.
Dax was definitely my favorite character. I liked how he approached things and his choices made sense and you really did get the feeling that he cared for Autumn. I also really liked Dallin, which is not a very popular opinion. He really cared for his friend Jeff and it shows. It’s very much like a guy in high school. Jeff bugged me though. One of the things I didn’t like was the whole almost love triangle thing. Jeff was annoying and I really didn’t see why there was such a struggle for her to realize who was better for her.
Another thing I just wasn’t entirely a fan of was how she got locked in the library and how she ended up getting out. I’m sorry, but how can people claim to be such good friends and not realize someone was missing? Also, how could it have taken them almost 3 days to finally see the news about what happened? How did the library staff not thoroughly check to see that everyone is gone? How are there not motion sensor alarms that would have noticed people moving around the locked/closed building? The whole concept was a bit far fetched.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was nice and easy and fun and fluffy. I’ll definitely seek more out by Kasie West, but I hope this wouldn’t be considered her best. I feel like there’s so much potential for her as an author so I’m hoping I enjoy her other novels even more!