by Kasie West
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 31st 2017 by HarperTeen
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Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Autumn was supposed to spend the weekend with her friends and with her crush. When everyone is getting ready to leave from a study session at the library, she has to go pee. When she’s about to head out of the library, every door is locked. It is there that she encounters the silent and mysterious Dax. She slowly starts to get to know him and realizes he’s not a bad guy. She also notices that around him, her anxieties aren’t existent and she can just relax.
Autumn suffers from panic attacks and she hasn’t told any of her friends. She’s scared of the way people might treat her so she keeps it hidden. Autumn is an authentic teen girl with a great personality, and at times she can be awkward but in a cute way. As I mentioned above, Dax is a mysterious guy. Everyone at school has formed their own opinion of him and is why he has a “reputation”. The students think he’s a drug addict who’s a criminal, but he’s actually not. He’s a very reserved and shy guy. His living situation isn’t the best and is why he was at the library. Autumn was very relentless in wanting to know Dax and because of her persistence, Dax was able to open up to her.
I really thought this would be a love-triangle but I’m happy to announce it is not! Kasie West handled this angle very well and I was so happy with the outcome. I was expecting this book’s setting to be completely in the library, but it wasn’t. It was divided between the library and after Autumn and Dax got out, which I really liked since the reader is able to read how Autumn is after getting to know Dax, her interactions with her friends and her crush, and with Dax himself. In the second half of the story, Autumn and Dax got to spend more time together and they grew closer and closer! Their romance was the sweetest! Just the smallest brush of Dax’s finger on Autumn’s jaw would send my heart into overdrive (I had to highlight that part on my Kindle).
I was happy that Autumn could see the difference between her crush and Dax. Where with Jeff, Autumn’s anxieties would be present all the time, with Dax, she could just relax and be herself. He had this calming vibe to him that helped with Autumn’s anxieties and I loved the way Kasie West showed this to the reader. Speaking of anxieties, this subject was also handled really well. It wasn’t thrown into the story just because, but it wasn’t the major focus of the story. It was more in the background but it played a big role as the story progressed. I felt Autumn’s anxieties and my heart went out to her.
To be honest, I was expecting more of the story. With her previous book, I was head-over-heels in love from the get-go. However, I never got that feeling with this one, but I still found it adorable and equally entertaining. The characters are great! There was this one character that had me mad but his reasons were legit so I tried to ignore how I felt towards him. I wish Autumn’s friend Lisa had made more appearances! I feel like she was barely there and I wish she had been. She was funny and a huge supporter of Autumn.
Overall, By Your Side is a sweet and adorable story that’s equally fun and emotional. For me, it did lack that Kasie West magic, but it’s still good.
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