Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Review: By Your Side by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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three-half-stars

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?

Review:

This was a cute and fluffy read but while I did enjoy it, it’s probably my least favourite of the endearing Kasie West YA contemporary. Not to say there still wasn’t a good dose of sweet moments and cuteness that makes West’s contemporaries so enjoyable to read.

I mean we’re taking about a romance story where two people are locked in the library together. Bring on the adorableness! Unfortunately, being locked in the library is not that fun when you’re super unprepared. Autumn is locked in the library when her friends leave her by accident, without a phone or even a granola bar. Thankfully, school bad boy Dax is also there and slightly more prepared.

So I was a bit split on the romance. I really like that Autumn and Dax built a friendship while they were in there. Despite their differences, they were able to connect. I did root for the two. And they had a lot of cute moments as they bonded.

“We made a rule,” I whispered.
“Unlike you, I don’t follow rules.” He din’t give me a chance to respond. His lips met mine and stole my willpower.

But the big problem I had with this romance was that it was kind of a love triangle. Before being trapped in the library, Autumn has been crushing on likable goofy guy Jeff. So she’s a bit torn when suddenly she’s got all these feelings for Dax. And to make matters more dramatic, when they do finally get out of the library, there’s a huge incident that brings about a lot of emotional angst that I was not a fan of.

Autumn was an interesting character that I grew to appreciate. She has an anxiety disorder that she hides from most people. But I also did have a bit of trouble connecting with Autumn. I mean I feel for the girl, her friends were not the greatest, and she had some struggles to overcome. And I liked that she grew as a character but we just didn’t click. Dax was an interesting character. He was a bit your typical misunderstood bad boy with a heart of gold, but I liked him and I wished we got a little more character development with him.

Overall, it was a cute read with a few bumps in the road for me. I appreciated that West brought more to the story than just a romance, and gave us a heartfelt and coming of age story, too. And while I found the romance between Autumn and Dax endearing, it just wasn’t super believable. But that being said, By Your Side was still a fun cotton-candy kind of read, quick and sweet and leaves a smile on your face.

{* Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

13 Comment

  1. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! This entire day I have been seeing reviews of this book all over the internet and it just has me so ready for it!

  2. I agree it was cute and fluffy but not my favorite from her. I did love the library aspect. Great review!!

  3. I felt pretty much the same way as you did! I liked the book and I didn’t feel disappointed at all – West never disappoints. The library setting was wonderful, and I loved Dax and Autumn. The plot with Jeff is ridiculous and stupid. I don’t know why West made that such a big deal in this story! And why couldn’t Autumn just stop going? Ugh! But in any case, I liked this book and I especially liked that the entire story wasn’t set in the library, only about half. 😀

    Great review, Cyn! Have a fantastic weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  4. I haven’t read these books and I do struggle with fluffy reads. I really have to be in the mood for them. But I like that it brings more to the story than just a romance. Especially with the whole love triangle. I like it in HR but I don’t like the way YA authors write them.

  5. I have only read one Kasie West book and just thought it was okay. I am not sure that light and fluffy is really for me. I do like the idea of being locked in a library though. Great review!

  6. Kasie West is basically an auto-buy author for me. I know pretty much always that I will like what I read and this review sets that in. Thank you so much for the review. I cannot wait to read it.

  7. I just got this for review recently but haven’t read it yet. Sorry to hear it isn’t as good as some of her others. I liked P.S. I Like You when I read it last year so thought I’d give this one a try. Thanks for your review!

  8. I like the premise of being locked up in a library but I can understand when not connecting to the character it makes the book just that much less enjoyable, plus the drama later on. Overall it still sounds like one of Kasie’s fun reads 🙂

  9. The locked in a library scenario would appeal to me, too. Sounds like she is still discovering herself if she’s attached to shallow friends and her emotions latch onto two different guys. I can see how a character in transition would be a tough one to root for most of the time.

  10. This does sound absolutely cute, but it seems like a book that rests on both their shoulders so both would have to work for me to get behind this. Am I being too critical?

  11. Lori says: Reply

    I have yet to read a Kasie West book. I really really need to change that! This sounds fun. Sorry that it wasn’t your favorite of her books.

  12. Oh no, what a bummer! I love the sound of being locked in a library (I mean, who wouldn’t???) and the quote you shared is adorable, but love triangles…bleh. I’m over them!

  13. I love West’s work, it just always adorable and fun. Glad you liked this even if you didn’t love it necessarily. 😉

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