Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side By Kasie West cover

By Your Side
By Kasie West
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 31st 2017
Rating: meh

“Books, bringing people together.' That would make a good slogan for the library.”

By your side was my favorite Kasie West book since The Distance Between US or On the Fence.  I think that it has to do with the fact that West returned to an introverted MC. I think I am just more lenient about the general plot and writing when the MC isn't trying to be the center of attention ALL THE TIME. *cough P.S. I Like You and The Fill-In BoyFriend *cough. 

By Your Side is the story of Autumn Collins who is accidentally locked in a library with a strange boy instead of heading off to the mountains for a weekend with friends.   Including a different boy she actually likes. This is what comes from drinking Dr. Pepper, people. I just hope we can learn something from this.

Autumn is pretty generic. She isn't outgoing, but she also isn't a reader.  She doesn't seem to be particularly interested in much.  Photography is mentioned a few times but she never really thinks about it or takes any photos.  She is also a people pleaser to an unhealthy extent.  Throughout the book, she bends over backward to make other people happy even while those actions hurt her. Autumn has anxiety.  It wasn't portrayed in a disrespectful manner, but I do wish that instead of talking about her anxiety that we could have seen her anxiety.  She has a couple of panic attacks, but they didn't have the impact that I was hoping for.  I also think that there was a confusion between emotions and anxiety.  The representation in this book is not terrible but could have been much better. Reminder that I don't have anxiety so my opinion doesn't count for much.

I liked Dax. He is mysterious and cool and has that wounded bad boy thing that I am a sucker for as a reader.  Is anyone else like that? Bad boys in fiction- all the yes. Bad boys in real life- I do not think so. It is time for a restraining order. To be fair Dax was more a victim of malicious gossip than a bad boy. This is the Bad Boy that I like the best. A bad boy of misunderstanding. Question: Is any character in YA ever in a decent foster home?  Every single one that I can think of off the top of my head is terrible and abusive.  I know that the foster system has enormous problems, but I also hope that not every foster home is horrifically abusive.  

A good portion of the book takes place with our two lovebirds locked in a library for the weekend.  This is an excellent premise for a novel and also happens to be one of my secret desires. Sadly, there is not much reading.  Why that is I cannot fathom.  Autumn sits there for hours surrounded by the books whining internally about how bored she is.  What is this strange creature?   Just READ something, already! I am also confused as to how two people get locked inside a library accidentally.  I used to work at a library.  You do a sweep through, including the restrooms, before you lock up for the night. 

By Your Side was cute, light, and romantic.  It isn't going to stay with me much past finishing this review, but it also didn't viscerally anger me.  I liked this book more than some other of West's books, but maybe she just isn't the author for me.  I say this, but I just saw the cover of Lucky in Love, and you know I am going to be reading it.

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From Goodreads:

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?