By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 31st 2017
Page Count: 346
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
I really just needed something to help me get out of my recent reading slump. I thought listening to a light and fluffy audiobook would do the trick, so I decided to pick up my first Kasie West book! While this book was definitely what I needed, it wasn’t as fluffy as I thought. I really enjoyed it and the topics that it dealt with. The only thing that really disappointed me was that I thought this book was going to completely take place in the library, but that was not the case. However, I really ended up enjoying this one more than I thought I would!
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?
What I Liked
The library setting. This was probably the main aspect of the book that made me pick it up in the first place. Trapped in a library? Literally a dream come true. Throw in a cute boy and I’d say that’s one hell of a way to spend the weekend! All jokes aside, I thought this concept was super cute and a great setting for a young adult contemporary story.
The discussion of anxiety. While I had initially picked this book up thinking it was a light and fluffy contemporary novel, it ended up containing some heavier topics that I wasn’t expecting. Our main character, Autumn, suffers from anxiety and she has been keeping it a secret from her friend which has ultimately made it worse. I wasn’t expecting By Your Side to bring up any topics such as anxiety, so that was a nice surprise. On top of that, our male lead, Dax, is in the foster care system which again, was not a topic that I was expecting to be discussed within this novel. Seeing this book tackle both topics was a nice surprise.
The misunderstood loner trope. I will admit it. I’m a sucker for this trope. I love the misunderstood bad boy who’s not really a bad boy. So honestly, this book was just perfect for me!
What I Didn’t Like
Love triangles. I hate love triangles with a burning passion. While the one featured in this book was minor, it still bothered me. I feel like love triangles take away from the story. We could have focused more on Autumn and Dax, but Jeff had to keep getting in the way and that really angered me. Especially considering Dax is the perfect bad-boy-that-isn’t-really-a-bad-boy.
The non-library setting. I really thought that at least a majority of the book would take place with our two main characters trapped in a library, but unfortunately, it was only for about the first 30% of the book, give or take. I mean, this was the main reason I picked up the book in the first place, so I was kind of disappointed once the setting changed.
Overall, I think I ended up enjoying By Your Side a lot more than I thought I would. It served its purpose as a light contemporary the get me out of my reading slump. While there were little things that bothered me about it (see above), I think it ended up being a pleasant surprise and I can happily say that I’ll probably be reading more Kasie West very soon!
About The Author
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
Thank you for reading!