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?
By Your SideFeatured
Besides her Pivot Pivot series, I have read every one of Kasie’s books and I have adored them all. Every time a new book of her’s comes out I’m always terrified about the possibility of me not enjoying it. I honestly don't know why I worry at all because her stories are always perfect!
Each of her books provides me with a sense of comfort and hopefulness. Yes, they are romances, but her books focus on so much more. She usually looks at the main character’s friendships, family relationships, and the typical struggles that high school students face. Most of her books have been on the lighter side, and although they have dealt with serious issues, BY YOUR SIDE, has definitely been the one to explore the most serious ones yet.
The book follows Autumn Collins as she tries to navigate through a seemingly hopeless situation. In a matter of minutes, Autumn finds herself trapped in a dark library with no heat, no phone, or anything that could possibly help her escape. It’s hours before she really begins to crumble, and then suddenly, she realizes she’s not truly alone.
Eventually Dax, a mysterious and possibly dangerous boy from her school, reveals himself. So together they spend the next couple days trapped together and slowly going from strangers to possible friends.
As the story progresses, it just becomes more and more adorable. The romance was a slow-burn, which I really enjoyed because it truly allowed for Autumn and Dax to develop a strong friendship and trust. Both of the characters are extremely different- Autumn is constantly seeking to please everyone around her, she is full of laughter and joy, meanwhile Dax doesn't care for other’s opinions and plans to leave behind this town with no attachments
Dax was definitely a very interesting and complex character. He had all the qualities that would make him your typical "brooding YA love interest", but at the same time he felt a bit different. Despite all the suffering he had gone through in his past, there was a part of him that was clearly looking for someone to be there for him. Autumn was that person, and she definitely understood that it would involve a lot of patience, and some pushes, for him to accept her into his life.
Throughout the book they played games and talked about real issues that they faced, from anxiety to abusive relationships. It felt so real and natural, and it helped me really become invested in these characters. Together they built a solid friendship built on trust and understanding, as well as jokes and laughter.
From start to finish, BY YOUR SIDE just gets better and better. You’ll only become more and more invested in the lives of the main characters, as well as the secondary ones. There was so much love, acceptance, and hopefulness from beginning to end and it made for such a great read. From the weird games played by Autumn and Dax, to Dax’s resilience, to the amazing friendships and families shown in this book- it really has it all. I smiled so much reading this, so it’s definitely highly recommended by me!
Kasie West writes the best fluffy romances, we all know that and I dove into this book expecting the same level of fluff I got from The Distance Between Us and On The Fence. I didn’t get that here, but I was met with more relevant and important issues. Of course, the romance game was still on track but this book is more serious compared her other books and I love this kind of step-up.
Autumn has been struggling with anxiety and her friends have no idea about it. I don’t blame her, most of my friends does not know about mine either. I really connected with Autumn’s character. She’s so genuine and kind. Dax came off as a little obtuse and crass at first, but his character really grew on me and I really appreciated both characters’ development. Their romance was slow-burn and I loved how it played all throughout the book, plus points for their undeniable chemistry.
I also enjoyed the relationship of Autumn and her family, especially with her brother Owen. The friendships in this book are strong too.
I really loved the whole “being stuck in the library with a cute guy” concept and this book immediately rose to the top of my TBR once I heard about the premise. I also appreciated that this book talked about mental illness and an absent family. See, while Autumn had a healthy relationship with her family, Dax had none. And I wish he had more closure with his family.
Most books deal with this issues too, but Kasie West’s writing made me really enjoy the whole experience because I was crying and laughing all the same throughout the book. There’s just something beautiful about her writing style that’s truly effective.
I just really enjoyed the fact that the conflicts were resolved properly and they weren’t too dragging. This book was crafted perfectly and I really recommend it
Autumn was a character I found very easy to relate to. She had anxiety and kept it from her friends in fear of being judged, even though it meant they ended up getting used to her disappearing on them. Miscommunication led to her being left at the library when the group was leaving in a few separate cars and Autumn was locked in for the long weekend. I liked that she tried to keep her head in the situation and how concerned she was that her friends and parents would worry once they discovered her missing. She could be snarky and sarcastic just as easily as loyal and caring.
I really enjoyed the time Autumn was trapped in the library, going back and forth with fellow trappee Dax. It seemed like they would make some progress on getting along and then take two steps back because she wanted to know more about him and he didn’t want to tell her. They were very opposite but they fit well together. I did like the boy Autumn had been flirting with before, Jeff, but I was definitely pulling for her and Dax.
The book was full of great supporting characters. Autumn and her brother Owen had so many scenes that had me laughing until there were tears in my eyes. Jeff’s best friend could make me annoyed at him just as easily as making me feel for him. The friendship between Autumn and her best friend Lisa was amazing.
I thought Kasie West did a great job in handling both Autumn’s and Dax’s stories, separately and together, and it made for a great read.