Book Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

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Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Goodreads Review

Rating: ★★★★

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 favourite 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?

I read this in 1 sitting and I really enjoyed it. Although you know how the story is going to end (because it’s a contemporary…) I found myself not being to put it down because I just needed to double-check and see how it happened.

I didn’t enjoy 99% of the characters in this book, some were very annoying and their decisions didn’t make a lot of sense. However, Dax was extremely well written and very real. There was no insta-love, or “bad boy turned good in 10 pages” as I find with many contemporaries. I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more though if it was written from his perspective instead of Autumn’s.
Also, this is the first book I’ve read where the protagonist has an anxiety disorder. As someone with anxiety, it annoys me a lot when it’s incorrectly portrayed. I can’t say this is an exception, not everything was perfect, but I could relate with a lot of Autumn’s feelings at times. It’s a very personal thing and everyone’s triggers are different, but the realisation she comes to in the end about putting herself first, e.g. not attending events or going places because she wouldn’t be comfortable and extremely anxious, is something I find myself doing very often. And, although her fear of not being “accepted” may be very irrational to some, the feeling of not fitting in or not being able to do what everyone else can do so easily is very real. For this reason alone, I would have to give this book 4★.

happy reading,

Tessa ♡

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