Monday, February 20, 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West {Review}

By Your Side by Kasie West
Paperback, 342 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Harper Teen    

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?


My Review: 4.5 Stars

I love YA and I think it's because I still feel pretty young on the inside. Kasie West has a way with her words that really draws me in and brings back my teenage feelings, but in a good way.

Autumn finds herself locked in the library over a holiday weekend. Dealing with anxiety isn't easy and it's relieved a bit when she discovers she's not alone--school bad-boy, Dax, is in there with her. I've been in the library this was based on...a few times...and honestly, I thought this premise was unrealistic at first. phones? No way out? I had a lot of fun discussing possible reasons for the lock in with some friends before I read it and West writes this in a way that makes it believable.

I don't deal with anxiety, but have a loved one who does and it can be a real debilitating condition. I love that West throws that in there to give the story a challenge that many people face. Autumn isn't perfect, but I think she handles her situation and condition in a natural and real way. I really liked her character and the way she worms her way into a "distraction" with Dax.

There's also a serious issue revolving around Dax and I'm glad that was addressed too, but I really wonder what ended up happening with his mom. A few unresolved issues like that left me thinking long after I finished the book and I'm dying of curiosity. There were some hostile moments with friends--what happened with them?

This book had a few minor similarities to the movie While You Were Sleeping, and I liked those parts. Meddling family, a "pretend" relationship, feeling lonely and falling for the one you least expect to. Overall, this was a great escape book. The romance was a long time in coming, but that made it feel more substantial. A book by West is always a winner in my book.

Content: mild romance; mild violence (non-graphic accident and hospitalization); vague and brief talk of drug use.


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Kasie WestI 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.


  1. Despite the fact that I'm ten plus years older than this genre probably caters to, I love YA. Most of the time, they're my "happy reads," and I know now Kasie West is among my favorites! Her novels 'Distance' and 'Fence' have become two of my fav contemporary romances. :) Looking forward to discovering this one too!

    1. I know what you mean--I'm way past the age, but I still really love her books and they totally make me happy! I hope you love this one as much as I did.