By Your Side, by Kasie West
Publish Date: January 31, 2017
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(Synopsis) 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?
If you have to get locked in a public building, at least it's the best possible public building out there (THE LIBRARY), and it's with the cute bad boy from school. Things could definitely be worse, right?
When Autumn finds herself locked in the public library for a long weekend along with Dax, the quiet, broody bad boy from her high school, she honestly doesn't think things could be worse. She was supposed to be with her friends at a cabin for the weekend after spending some quality time with her crush, Jeff. But, then they all leave and she's lamenting drinking that last soda which made her have to run back into the library one last time to pee.
After realizing that the library is closed for three days, the heat was turned down, everything requires a key in order to open it and Dax is really not her biggest fan, Autumn realizes that yes - things can definitely get worse. And after she is discovered and realizes all that had happened to her friends while she was locked in the library, things go from bad to worse. To complicate things even further, she now has this crazy connection to Dax that she doesn't understand, and isn't sure she wants to.
I absolutely LOVED the idea of this book. Although the execution had me scratching my head at times (what library closes down the entire long weekend for Martin Luther King Day??), I was able to overlook it because the idea was just so awesome. I mean really - what would YOU do if you were locked in a library for three days with no apparent way out and no cell phone to call for help?
A voice in the back of my head told me to calm down before I made this worse. Everything was fine. So I was stuck alone in a library, but I was safe. I could read and jog the stairs and stay busy. There were plenty of distractions here.
What was surprising for me was that the library portion of the book didn't even encompass half of it. It was a bit of a bummer, because I really loved that part, and I loved watching Autumn and Dax get to know one another. They are truly an odd couple - think Claire and Bender from the Breakfast Club. Autumn finds she wants to help Dax with his crappy home life and Dax really softens toward Autumn when she comes clean to him about her anxiety issues.
How had he made me so relaxed? How could I say whatever I was thinking to him? Do whatever I was feeling? Maybe because he was the only one around.
Of course, life was going on around them while they were locked in the library, and after they get out, they have to deal with everything that's happened during those three days. Autumn has to face her friends, she has to reassure her family and she has to find a way to balance her new feelings for Dax once they're back in school.
Every other Kasie West book has always been a homer for me, but this one fell a little short. I still had a lot of questions at the end of the book that I didn't feel were answered as cleanly as I wanted. There's some unfinished business between Dax and his mom, some unfinished business between Autumn and one of her friends, and even some questions left between Autumn and Dax. Don't get me wrong - Dax and Autumn are definitely in a happy place at the end, but for me, it felt like their future was still a little uncertain. Although, I guess when you're only 17 and 18 years old, whose future IS certain?
Overall, By Your Side was a good book that I read through very quickly and enjoyed a lot. The questions I still had at the end didn't necessarily diminish my enjoyment of the book, and I can guarantee that Kasie West's next book will be a one-clicker just like this one was.