I received this book for free from Publisher at ALA Midwinter in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Publisher at ALA Midwinter
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In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.
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?
Kasie West is a must read author for me. It’s to the point now that I don’t even read the summaries of her new upcoming releases, I just auto-click it as a must-read and wait patiently to get my hands on a copy. So heading into By Your Side I really didn’t know what it was about. To no surprise it was exactly what I expected in a Kasie West novel.
Our main character, Autumn, finds herself locked in the library (say what?!) over a holiday weekend after a series of unfortunate events left her stranded without a phone or a way out. But she is not alone. A loner boy from school, Dax, who remains quite mysterious is trapped in there as well (or is he?) and in an effort to keep themselves entertained, they develop a bond of sorts. Distracted friends as they call it. They open up to each other and share things about themselves not many others know. This only grows after they are rescued.
This was a quick and super fluffy read that left me with a big smile on my face. Autumn was adorable and selfless. She was a little awkward at times that just made her all that much more cute to me. I wish we were able to explore some of the mental health issues that come up a bit more with her though, if I have to nitpick. Her anxiety is kind of a big deal and we only touched the surface of it. Dax is a quiet type soul. He chooses to avoid attachments because he longs to escape and be free to be whoever he wants to be, go wherever ho wants to go. Friends and relationships don’t fit into that plan. Even though he was so reserved, he managed to open up and be a huge support for Autumn, and vice versa. I adored how their relationship progressed. They develop a bond and share things about themselves they haven’t to others before through a friendship that evolved into something more. There were some swoony moments that are a staple in a Kasie West novel. One particular scene in a car was a favorite of mine!
Overall, I cannot say enough great things about Kasie West novels. Fans of her previous work will not be disappointed and if you are new to this author, what are you waiting for?! This is perfect for those looking for something quick and fun to read.