Trapped In A Library But Not As Awesome As It Sounds — By Your Side by Kasie West {Book Review}

By Your Side by Kasie WestTitle: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date:  January 31st, 2017
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary – Romance

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I liked it

What it’s about:

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?

My thoughts (Spoiler-free):

“Books, bringing people together.’ That would make a good slogan for the library.”

So where were the books? I went into this thinking: oh yes, boy and girl trapped in library, bring on the book love! But then… they watched tv? They were surrounded by books and they watched tv? Talk about disappointing.

Seriously, I love Kasie West. All of her contemporaries are cute, fast reads that make you swoon. This was no exception to that. I read it in a day. It was cute and adorable. I swooned.

But… it’s one of my least favorite Kasie West books so far. While I liked it fine for all the reasons above, it lost some points for the following:

The library plot was a bust. Maybe a silly reason, but the being trapped in a library plot sounded so much more awesome in my imagination. But in reality this story has hardly any bookish references and it’s all over before you know it.

– The characters could have used a bit more development. I liked both Autumn and Dax just fine and had no issues with them while reading. It was only after that I realised I had no idea who these two people were. It’s like their entire personality boiled down to the basic and shallow: Autumn is a girl with anxiety. Dax is a brooding loner. That’s it. That’s all I have on them. Could have used a bit more time to get to know them better.

– Anxiety is used as a single defining personality trait. Ok, I LOVE that Kasie wrote about a character with anxiety. We need more of that. But like I said above, don’t make it their only defining personality trait. A person is more than his or her anxiety. Also, something felt off about the anxiety. I can’t judge because I know it is different for everyone, but it felt a little… convenient? Like, Autumn had it sometimes, but other times almost could ‘turn it off’. Sometimes it felt realistic, and other times I was thinking: how come she can do this? This feels like something to get really anxious about and nothing is happening?

– Annoying friend group. How can you just not notice your friend is not with you when you’re leaving? How can you not notice one of your best friends has anxiety? How can you be so generally annoying? I’m sorry, I usually love friend groups in fiction, but this one annoyed me to no end. They all felt shallow and childish.

But. Other than those few issues I had with it, I did quite enjoy this book. And I would recommend you to pick it up if you’ve loved other Kasie West books or if you’re just in the mood for a cute, fluffy and quick-to-read romance.

Have you read By Your Side? What did you think about it?

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