Book Review | By Your Side

By Your Side by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West

Paperback, 346 pages

Published January 31st 2017

2.5 stars

Welp …. That was a let down
So many things wrong with the plot from a logical standpoint … I was too annoyed to enjoy it.


The Story

(Goodreads synopsis): “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?”

What I did not like

This was my first ever Kasie West book and unfortunately I was a little disappointed. I mean she is stuck in a library! With a guy! This should be awesome … but don’t get too excited because as it turns out the library holds no real significance to the story beyond being a building. Bookish fantasy dreams dashed.

And let’s talk about the idea what our MC is locked inside the library over a holiday weekend with no chance of escape which quite frankly baffled my mind. It seemed extremely farfetched to say the least. West spent a lot of time trying to prove to us how this was a plausible situation but missed some very logical things that had my brain screaming with irritation. I get it … it’s fiction … I only read fiction … but when a realistic fiction book misses some very basic “that wouldn’t happen” moments … I have a hard time settling into the story and just enjoying the read. [By the way … I am the worst person ever to watch a movie with for this exact reason. This may be a bit more of a me problem vs. a book problem, but I know there are several other people out there like me on this so you have been warned!]

Besides the obvious “THERE ARE WINDOWS, PHONES, COMPUTERS! YOU IGNORAMUS!” moments screaming through my thoughts … I think the tiny things irked me even more. Example – at one point Autumn and Dax are having a slinky race down the stairs and Dax has the idea that he could paste a coin to his slinky with a piece of bubble gum which might make it go faster because of the added weight. When asked why he thought gum instead of tape he responded something like “I was trying to think of things we might actually find in here” … but like … you are in a library which most likely has a freaking roll of tape at or on one of several desks laying around everywhere! Why would there not be tape? And easily accessible? More easily so than gum I would wager!

Ok so yeah you see what I was dealing with here, and you can decide for yourself if situations like this would bother you like they bothered me or not, but this is not the type of book I personally can enjoy sadly.

Furthermore let’s talk about the friends situation. The fact that they just left her and didn’t notice really dominated the front part of my thoughts while reading this because the explanations were so freaking inadequate that I again couldn’t wrap my brain about the illogical nature of it. This actually ends up being a problem that is resolved nicely and in a way I could accept … so turns out there was no reason for me to focus in on it as a problem. There is a logical reason why this takes place which made me feel so much better. But this is absolutely the only reasonable question of mine that gets somewhat resolved!

Finally, I am going to take a few moments here to discuss Autumn, our MC, and why I did not love her. She read a little lot childish which was my main issue with her. She is a teenager I get that … but I felt like she was closer to 13 than her actual (somebody help me out here because I didn’t care enough to remember what her real age was … but it was not 13). She has a lot of anxiety (which is something I struggle a lot with so I was excited for the rep) but I felt like the representation was not strong here. She used it as a reason to complain most of the time and I feel like that was a really negative take. Like she is absolutely pissed at her friends for not knowing she has anxiety but she refuses to tell them … which is unfair and dumb. When it comes to Dax though, all the sudden she is the authority on “you should open up and talk about your problems”, constantly pressuring the poor boy. Yes, he needs to open up a bit but give him some space girl! The boy has issues and needs time.

In fact … none of the characters were very dynamic. Dax was precious but boring, I have chronicled many of my issues with Autumn, and everyone else was just extra … I don’t remember their names or anything about them actually. Not a good sign.

What I liked

The good thing was that the book was well written if a little juvenile, but tis the nature of Kasie West books anyway seeing as how her target demographic is around 12+, and a quick read. It’s nothing earth shattering or super unique or groundbreaking … but it was cute and that’s at least something.

I also enjoyed Dax, while lacking a full personality, he was a precious character and deserves at least a little love here. He was the light in the dark for me on this book because I really didn’t enjoy Autumn’s character at all.

In Conclusion

This book fell flat for me and was a major disappointment as my first Kasie West book. I will be giving her books another chance though because while I couldn’t love this story, it was a cute read in the end.

10 thoughts on “Book Review | By Your Side

  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    What? Why would you have a library as a setting and not take full of potential of it??? I’m disappoint, Kasie West…
    Also, I feel the “plot” was solely based on convenience without much effort on the author’s part to make it the littlest bit challenging. Not very impressive 😕
    I have yet to read anything by West but I have some bloggers friends who rave about her. Hopefully, the next book you try will be better 😊
    Awesome review, Frankie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire @bookscoffeeandrepeat says:

    Oh no, this seems like a let down. I liked the premise but the fact that the library has no significance is kind of disappointing. 😤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s