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By Your Side Paperback – January 31, 2017
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“A simmering romance that gives weight to mental health and hard choices.” (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Kasie West lives with her family in central California, where the heat tries to kill her with its 115-degree stretches. She graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing.
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Top Customer Reviews
• When was the last time Kasie West disappointed me? Never!
• How awesome would it be to be stuck in a library? I don't care how unrealistic the logistics were, it would be fun!
• I was pleasantly surprised that By Your Side did not take place entirely in the library. This made the book so much better because we get to see what happens after the library.
• So many feels!
• Autumn has anxiety and I appreciated how well she was written and the message that came across with it. Autumn was still a strong character, but it also showed how she dealt with it (or in some cases didn't deal with it).
• Dax was smooth and easy despite his upbringing. He had a lot going on even though he wasn't given a lot to start with.
• There is a little more to the story than just the library, which I appreciate. I won't go in to details, but I will say that I didn't like all of Autumns friends. The situation regarding how she got left at the library made me angry, and I don't feel that they were true friends. Autumn explained som
Overall another great contemporary from Kasie West. You won't be disappointed!
I have heard nothing but good things about Kasie West books over the years, and while I have a few, I’ve never managed to find time to pick one up and read it until now. After finishing it, I have to ask myself why I waited so long to read one of her books – it was one of the best love stories I’ve read in such a long time!
I was drawn into this book by the synopsis – Autumn, the main character, gets locked in a library for an entire weekend with the high school’s bad boy, Dax. Right away, I knew that I was going to love this book – locked in a library for a weekend, with the promise of a blossoming relationship? Yes, please!
Autumn Collins has a group of great friends, an almost boyfriend, Jeff whom she adores and can’t wait to spend more time with, and a family who loves her. However, when she and her friends are on their way to a cabin to have a fun camping weekend, Autumn gets left behind in the library by accident. When she tries to get out of the library, she realizes that she’s been locked in – all of the locks are in place, the lights are out, and to top it all off, she left her bag – complete with cell phone – in Jeff’s trunk. She figures she will wait a few minutes, and someone will come and rescue her.
So she waits.
And waits some more.
Only no one comes. Autumn is alone, and locked in the library.
Only, is she alone? No, she discovers that she is locked in the library with the school’s bad boy, Dax. While at first, Dax doesn’t really want anything to do with her, Autumn doesn’t really want to be locked in the library for three days with someone without talking. So she tries to make the best of it.
Together the two of them look for food, try to stay warm, and come up with entertaining ways to keep themselves sane while stuck there. They figure that if they can stick it out, they’ll be fine, and Autumn will only have to deal with worried parents. So the two of them watch TV, scrounge for leftovers in the library staff’s kitchen, and play games, all while slowly getting to know each other.
“‘So, do you want to play for something?’ I asked, meeting his dark eyes. ‘We already established that you have nothing,’ he said. ‘We could play for secrets. Questions.'”
However, their time at the library can’t last forever, and when it’s almost time for the library to re-open, Autumn and Dax see something shocking on the library’s television that sends Autumn into a full blown anxiety attack, and Dax has to act fast to help her.
When Autumn is released, she has a choice to make: Does she try and make things work with Jeff, and see where they go, even though she doesn’t really believe he, or the rest of her friends, actually knows the real Autumn? Or does she try and make something of her and Dax, who she knows she has feelings for, despite the fact that everything tells her she shouldn’t, and she might lose her friends?
“Possibilities don’t hurt as much as realities. Possibilities are exciting and endless. Realities are final.”
And since Jeff is in a pretty bad position now due to an accident that happened that weekend, does she have it in her to risk breaking his heart, too?
I’m really not one for love triangles, as you all know, but this was just so tastefully done and actually added to the book, instead of making it unbearable. It made the story so much more interesting, and I actually found myself trying to figure out which guy would be better for her. Of course, it’s kind of predictable how it will end, but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing!
While only the first 40% of this book is about Autumn and Dax’s adventure in the library over that weekend, that part of the book was by far my favorite. The remainder of the book is about Autumn and Dax’s interactions outside of the library – at school, at parties, etc. At the same time, Autumn is dealing with the fact that the guy she is almost kind of dating, Jeff, is having some problems, and she simply isn’t sure how she is supposed to act around any of them at this point. Does she spend time with her old friends and try to make something out of her and Jeff, or does she stay true to what her heart is telling her, and go after Dax, aside from the fact that she believes her friends and Jeff will all hate her for it.
I really liked both Autumn’s and Dax’s characters, and I felt like the chemistry between them was real, and not forced for the sake of the book. It felt like a true romance was blooming between the two of them, and despite the fact that they were stuck in a library over a three day weekend, they really got to know each other and made the best of it, even if Dax was rather reluctant at first.
There were a lot of things going on in this book, so if you think it’s a slow paced romance, and that’s it, you’d be wrong. It also deals with issues like drug use, family struggles, severe anxiety, and a car accident. It’s a pretty strong novel, and wow, did Kasie West do an amazing job fitting all of this in here. It was such a great read – I read it over the course of a single night because I simply could not put this one down.
The only real issue I had with this book was, seriously, how Autumn got left behind in the library in the first place. How could her friends not realize she wasn’t with them? And what the heck took them so long to realize she wasn’t with them? The book offered several explanitions as to how it happened the way it did, but I guess I just think her friends were a tad neglectful.
This is seriously one of the best books that I have read in a long time in terms of romance! While I try to shy away from romance in general, because most of the romance novels in YA that I’ve read just seem quite…cliche and overdone (not to mention being full of insta-love and love triangles). But I knew I had to read this one, and I’m so glad I did. Yep, I’m definitely off to binge read all of Kasie West’s other novels now!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, HarperTeen!
The story begins with Autumn locked in a library for the weekend. Yes, locked in a library! I loved the Breakfast Club feel to the beginning of the story. At first Autumn panics, but she soon resigns herself to relaxing and reading books for the weekend while scouring the staff kitchen for any food. Autumn soon runs into Dax, who is a loner at school and came to the library obviously prepared to stay for the weekend. They eventually start to open up to each other- but when they finally get out, will their relationship be the same?
I ate up every page of this book. I loved the library scenes when Autumn and Dax were playing silly games to entertain themselves, it was extremely cute and made me giggle. They also had quite a few tender moments when they talked about more serious topics. Dax comes from a broken home, and he’s much darker than most love interests in Kasie West books.
Autumn is a well-liked senior in high school- she has a loving family, a group of friends the care about her, and an almost-boyfriend, Jeff. What she doesn’t often talk about is her anxiety disorder. Even if it was a bit simplistic, I love how Autumn was portrayed with anxiety. She constantly worries about outcomes she can’t control, and we witness triggers that lead to several panic attacks throughout the story. I love how Dax was a calming presence for Autumn and helped her work through her anxiety.
This story was just as much about Dax and Autumn’s relationship as it was about Autumn working through her anxiety and learning to accept it and take control of her life, rather than ignoring it. I know life isn’t as simple as it is portrayed in this story, but it was a nice message! I don’t expect dark, moving and emotional stories when I read a Kasie West story. I expect light books that make me happy and giddy for the rest of the day- and that’s exactly what this books is.
Another very enjoyable story by Kasie West! I highly recommend any of her books, but I think this one is another one of my favorites. Its a quick, happy read. Hope you enjoy it!