Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Posted January 26, 2017 in Review / 10 Comments

Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

by Kasie West
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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?

YA Romance

Kasie West is one of my “happy place” authors.  I can count on her to write a great young adult story that won’t weigh me down with angst, nasty unnecessary drama, or leave me dangling off a cliff when all is said and done.  Ms. West accomplished all these for me, she just took a little longer than usual to get there, for me at least.

The story starts off with Autumn getting accidentally locked inside a library for a long, three-day weekend.  At the same time she’s frantically trying to figure a way out of the library, she suddenly realizes that her friends have lost track of her and she has no idea if any of them will miss her.  Not quite a happy feeling to carry over the long weekend.  So she makes the best of what she has around her in the library (she doesn’t have her phone, her purse, or anything!) and settles in… until she realizes she’s not alone.

Dax is the guy in school who flies under the radar.  There’s a lot of rumors about Dax but no one knows anything about him for sure.  Enigmatic is a good term for him.  When Autumn finds herself stuck with him for the weekend, she tries to learn more about him.  Dax won’t give up the information easily though.

For some reason, this story felt a little bit disjointed, odd, like it was two story ideas smashed into one book.  Hey, it worked.  But I’d never been reading along and then have a plot take such a sudden left handed turn like this one did.  I was all set for the conclusion in the story to happen and then I had to wait through some new turmoil to get to the HEA.  It was interesting turmoil, though!  I don’t want to spoil it but I wouldn’t want to ever be in Autumn’s situation, poor girl!!

And speaking of Autumn, I thought she was very well written as a typical teenager trying to find where she fits in.  Dax was very understanding and very patient with her, even when he got mad at her, he came around quickly.  He knew she’s never had to deal with a guy in his situation before (I’m not telling so don’t ask!).  That’s one thing Ms. West gets right every time; her writing is fabulous and her characters make sense and their actions are consistent with their personality.  Does that make sense?  I’ve spent 15 minutes trying to come up with a way to say Ms. West writes good characters and that’s what I came up with… meh.

This might not be my favorite story by Ms. West but I will probably read everything she writes so there’s going to be some books that aren’t as good as the others.  That doesn’t mean YOU won’t love this one.  I just happened to not go ga-ga over it.  I still found my happy place at the end, though.  La la la la la…

About Kasie West

I graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing. I earned my masters in Junior Mint eating (which is awarded after eating your millionth King Size box....I'm now working on my PhD). I love sappy alternative rock ballads and reading way past my bedtime. I am the mother of four--three daughters and one son. We live in Central California where the summers try to kill us with their 115 degree stretches.




About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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