BOOK REVIEW: BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST



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?





This is very nearly a 3 star rating, but I changed it at the last minute. I can't say I'm not disappointed because I really, really am. As you know, I'm a fan of Kasie West. But this one...



I will try and make this as non-spoilery as possible while I'm ranting, but I will be explaining why this book let me down. Before I begin, I will say that this book's summary was a tad misleading, and it won't be what you think when you go into it.

Let's get onto what I had issues with.

1. The summary says it's about two people locked in a library.
While that is kind of accurate, it happens for only 30% of the book. I genuinely thought the book would end with them leaving but nope. That was a letdown, because for me that was the selling point - along with the book having been written by Kasie West, but we'll get onto that.

2. There is nothing remotely bookish about this at all.
The characters don't talk about books, the protagonist doesn't even read anything. While you'd think this was a bookworm's dream book, it was lacking the book nerd charm. It's marketed very well towards readers, but it lets us down by being just the run-of-the-mill 'ugh I'm bored, there's nothing to do, I have no phone' kind of plot. The protagonist actually says this. "There's no entertainment here, I don't have my phone on me" DUDE, you are in a LIBRARY.

3. The protagonist, Autumn, has anxiety. That's not the issue though, but it's how it's portrayed by the author.
I feel like Kasie wrote anxiety a little off. As someone with anxiety, it fell very flat and kind of... inaccurate? I don't know, I just didn't buy it. I found she could control it all too well, and considering her personality and how she deals with it, it's kind of weird. She also hasn't told her friends that she has it, and I struggle to understand why she feels they'd judge her for it? Which brings me to my next point.

4. She has the worst friends in the world.
They are actually the worst. They're very self-absorbed and don't actually care about Autumn at all. (That name, Autumn, irritated me to no end in general.) I find it hard to believe that someone could be not only okay with her friends not caring about her, but also that people in general are that oblivious to someone. But, hey, at least she had the best family!

5. There was a love triangle involved.
Why. WHY. Why was this even necessary? She had to choose between two people that are complete opposites, and one she'd known for what, three days? Hmm.

6. Being locked in a library.
I know, this was the main reason I read it, but hear me out. I'm 100000% sure there are ways to get out of the library. Whether it's a fire exit, smashing a small window to climb out, or finding a folder full of log details for the computers in the library's office... blergh. It just didn't work. West wrote it a little lazily for my taste, and I just wish there was a more plausible reason as to why and how they got stuck in there. Just something a bit more creative.

7. It didn't feel like Kasie's usual storytelling.
I felt that By Your Side wasn't like her other books. This one wasn't as fluffy, cutesy or even make me squee because it was just too high school drama "woe is me" for my liking. I tend to always show gifs in my West reviews where I'm like 'THIS WAS ADORABLE' *insert gif of someone fangirling here* but I didn't fangirl once. I rolled my eyes so much my eyes hurt. Such a shame.

8. Dallin (who I kept getting mixed up with Dax because both are weird D names)...


He was so annoying. All he did was act like such a douchebag to everyone in this book. 'Woe is me, my best friend likes a girl I don't like, so I will treat her like crap through this whole book'. BRO, SERIOUSLY. All he did was throw insults. Can't stand this guy. Needless to say, he was the thing I commented most about in my Goodreads updates while reading this book.  Such a disappointment.

I know there are quite a few negatives about this book, but there were some positives too. While I didn't really like any of the characters that much, I felt it was still a good read. I was entertained and as usual, Kasie pulled me into her story and I finished it in my unusually fast manner. Her family was very supportive and I found that I enjoyed the parts they were in the most. They didn't add any unnecessary drama to the story to spoil it. They just seemed like the run-of-the-mill parents, and that was refreshing. 

While the library aspect was a letdown and only 30-35% of the book, the second half was possibly more tolerable.  I feel bad that I have mostly negative things to say about this, but it still might be worth giving it a read if you like contemporary. Just don't expect anything about books.

Sneaky marketing departments...




Many apologies for this being very ranty, I just had a few things I had to say about it. As a Kasie West fan, this let me down big time. I can't see myself giving this a re-read, as I would re-read some of her other books. WHY KASIE, WHY *bangs fist on the floor in despair*
If you do intend to read this, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Let me know what you thought if you've picked this one up! Did you like it? Let me know via the comments below or find us at any of the following social media outlets:




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BOOK REVIEW: BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST
4/ 5
Oleh

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