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By Your Side by Kasie West: Review

By Your SideTitle: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
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 have enjoyed ever Kasie West book that I have read, which is all of them, and my absolute favourite is still The Distance Between Us. I know what to expect from her books; cutesy romance and some great snarky humour. By Your Side was another enjoyable read by West, although it certainly isn't one her best and it isn't without its problems. One of the big ones being that is was a little lacking the both the cutesy romance and the snarky humour.

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I'm not buying the locked in aspect of this book!
By Your Side is being pitched as two people locked in a library falling for each other, just be warned that it's not exactly that. Yes, it involves two people getting locked in a library, but it actually only takes up the first third of the story. Be prepared, you need to suspend your disbelief in order to buy the whole locked in the library scenario. As someone who has worked in libraries for 8 years now, I guarantee the situation in this book is impossible. A library would have a security system, it would register there were people inside and cause an alarm with the security company, who would then send someone to have the building checked out. You would need that in place to get any kind of insurance, which you most definitely need. Not only that, but there would at least one phone on the main desk, even the smallest library I worked at had 4 phones.There would also be a way to exit the building from the inside, like a fire exit or something, otherwise that would be a major problem. So yes, that might have bugged me for the entire time that I was reading, as that whole situation was ridiculous and unrealistic.

I really liked the character of Autumn, she was funny, whilst also being very awkward. She also happens to suffer with anxiety, which I really liked seeing. I felt it was handled well and quite realistically, especially with Autumn trying to 'overcome' her anxiety, but not always in a healthy way. She also tried her hardest to make sure none of her friends would realise she suffered from anxiety. I loved seeing her come to terms with her anxiety and being more honest about it. I also love her supportive parents, and how much understanding and love they gave her when it came to her anxiety.

Image result for it's so cute gifDax isn't my favourite leading man of a West book, but I did still really like him. It doesn't help that I absolutely hated his name, why would anyone name their child that. Dax hasn't had the best upbringing, which has led to him becoming the silent, brooding type who pushes people away. The only problem here being that it makes it hard for you to actually get to know him. Dax totally won me over with his understanding and treatment of Autumn's anxiety, and calling out her friends for being so oblivious to it. I also liked seeing him slowly open up to Autumn, watching their relationship grow was adorable.

I still really enjoyed the romance here, our two leads definitely had a lot of chemistry. Plus it had some adorable moments, which I absolutely loved. It has one incredible kiss scene though, but one is not enough! Kasie West just seems to have a habit of rushing her stories at the end. I'm always left feeling like I want at least another chapter, if not more. I just love watching her characters get to know and fall for one another, sometimes I just need more of a pay off by the end. If you're in the mood for another cute, quick contemporary romance from West then you definitely will get it here, but it isn't her best.

3/5 Butterflies


  1. I'm glad you liked this one! I got really frustrated with the library thing too! I mean, buildings are DESIGNED to not be fire hazards so there was pretty much no way that would happen. 0_0 And I just don't get how there were no phones?!? I mean, we all probably fantasises about being locked in a library, but I think the circumstances could've been worked out a bit better. Also she didn't even care about the books?!?? WHAT. Waste of a good premise!!😂

  2. I've read one Kasie West book and I didn't LOVE it, sadly. I would like to read this though because I have anxiety and I always love reading books where the characters do too because #relatable. Great review!

  3. My thoughts exactly! I thought this book was enjoyable, but it wasn't anything mindblowing or new. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  4. It seems like this was an okay read, but not one of the author's best. I haven't read a book by Kasie West before, but I don't think this will be one of the ones I start for me because it seems lacking in uniqueness :/

  5. oooh i am super excited to read this! i have yet to read kasie west but i cannot wait to because i am a huge contemporary fan!

    xx anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

  6. Despite its flaws, I'm glad you enjoyed this one, and appreciate what you say about knowing what to expect from a novel by Kasie. That's part of the charm for me with certain authors/books too. I know what to expect and that's why I respect and/or love those books so much. Kasie is an author like that for me too. I've only read two of her novels, but so far 'Distance' is my favorite too! Looking forward to this one and the rest I own from her.


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