By Your Side
by Kasie West
Published on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Also by this author: Pivot Point, The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, The Distance Between Us, On the Fence
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?
So… I read The Distance Between Us and On the Fence and love them both, BUT I haven’t read any other Kasie West’s books. I even own all of them. But I digress my dear readers, I did read By Your Side and loved it 🙂
By Your Side starts with a magical setting: the library. Now, any book that starts with books is bound to be awesome (just saying). We start with Autumn getting locked in the library on a Friday before a long weekend. She has no phone, food, clothes… and then she discovers that she’s not alone after all. She’s locked in with Dax, a mysterious handsome boy with a not too stellar reputation.
‘I was fine. There was no one in the library but me. Who else would be dumb enough to get trapped in a library?”
Autumn suffers from anxiety and although her family is very supportive and tries to protect her, she keeps this fact a secret from all her friends. She doesn’t want to be perceived as being different or weird. Instead she deals with it by avoiding difficult situations, confrontation and escaping with things get tough. However, when she gets locked in the library with Dax, she’s completely honest with him in most things. She’s playful, honest, and tries her best to make friends with him. Afterwards, she keeps looking for him and getting to know him better.
“Let me try.”
“You can push a button differently than me?”
I nudged him with my shoulder. “Maybe.”
Dax’s mom was an addict and he has been in the foster system for a while. This is the reason why he takes refuge in the library for the long weekend. He’s misunderstood and a loner. He’s smart, sensitive, very private and used to people not caring about him. They become friends, partners in crime, and then something more. I love it when characters develop and grow and make each other better.
When Autumn is presume dead due to an accident of one of her friends, she goes has a panic attack and Dax acts as the knight in shining armor. She’s able to see past Dax’s facade and finds a friend that make her happy.
Autumn has a big group of friends that try to be supportive of each other, but not knowing about her anxiety, they pressure her into doing things she’s not comfortable with. Her family is present in the story, but not too prominent. What I loved more about the writing was the banter between Autumn and Dax, it’s really something. The story is not too complicated and it explores topics like anxiety, addiction and the foster system.
“Even though I knew this might end in heartbreak, that he might make my life scary and complicated and unpredictable, I knew I couldn’t let him walk away. Because I knew he’d also make my life happy and comforting and full.”
Overall, I loved By Your Side. It was sweet, uncomplicated, quirky and moving. Here’s to books, cronuts, driving lessons, best friends, and photography.