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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: By Your Side by Kasie West

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 can officially say I love Kasie West’s books. I know when I pick one up I’ll end up with a smile on my face and I’ll leave it feeling good. By Your Side was no exception. I even cut down the time of buying it vs. the time I take to read it (it was bought on a Saturday and I started it Monday, I’m taking that as a huge win for me).

I have to start off with the obvious: is it really believable that two people would get trapped in a library over a long weekend? I work in a library and I know I would never leave it before I triple check for students (I guess mine is a little different since I’m in a school library and the couple of locked rooms we have are only accessible by staff who all have keys to get in and out). How was it that not a single door opened from the inside? I also found it a little unbelievable that the librarians there didn’t have any food; I have an entire food cupboard by my desk! Yes she was without her cellphone, but the librarians didn’t have landline on their desks? I know landlines are becoming a foreign concept, but all libraries have phones in them. Also, how come neither one of them read anything! Seriously, an entire room of books and nobody reads, that just depresses me.

Even if I do find this a little bit unbelievable, it worked with the story. It provided a great backdrop for Autumn and Dax to be forced into getting to know one another, even if it started off that neither of them was really sincerely interested in sharing personal information with each other. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow. Like all of Kasie West’s books, the relationships grow naturally and don’t feel rushed. She spends time on her characters and gives us lots of time to see them transform into the characters they are on the last pages.

Kasie West also always makes great parental roles. Autumn’s parents are so supportive of her anxiety disorder and it’s so refreshing to read about parents that actually act like parents and support their children. I loved her mom; she checks up on Autumn, and regularly after the library incident, encourages her to take days off of school to rest and just be.

Autumn’s friends were something else. I liked Lisa at times, but overall her friends were real jerks. Dellin or whatever his name was, was just so mean to Autumn all the time. Plus, not one of her so-called-friends realized she wasn’t with them and just left her in the library. What kind of friends do that! Especially if you text her and she never replies, wouldn’t you check where you last saw her to make sure she’s ok?

The downside: love-triangle. Well a sort-of love-triangle. I’m not sure which is worse? Autumn has a sort-of-boyfriend Jeff, and then meets Dax in the library and starts falling for him. This story would have worked perfectly without the love-triangle.

Plus the ending, I loved it. I’m always a fan when everything gets wrapped up nicely and we’re not left wondering what’s going to happen after the book ends.

This is a solid 4.5 star (that half star got removed due to the love triangle) from Kasie West. She’s an auto-buy author for me and I need to get my hands on a copy of Pivot Point.

Re-Read Update

I love Princess Diaries and this re-read left me with a smile on my face, because it was written seventeen years ago so the references just made me laugh. It actually made me feel old at how outdated the technology was already (like instant messaging). It was also nice to come back to this and having currently read Royal Wedding not long ago, it’s nice to see how much Mia, Michael, Lily, Lana (oh Lana, I still picture her being played by Mandy Moore) and company have grown up.

Next up is Ghost Girl by Tonya Hurley

That cover! I was initially drawn to it when I bought it and knew nothing of the synopsis, but I’m in when it involves a girl dying from choking on a gummy bear. I think book three is around Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to be re-reading these three back-to back.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Until my next review,



  1. I picked up a copy of this book last week. Now, I have not had the best of luck with her books but I still find myself buying them. Lol. I'm looking forward to this one, though!

  2. I've realized West's stories just don't work for me so I'm going to pass on this as I think I would just be questioning the implausibility of getting locked in the library. I know I'd be annoyed by the love triangle. It's nice to know that you enjoyed it though, Stefanie.


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