By Your Side by Kasie West
3.5 or 4ish stars actually.
I was soooooo excited for this book that I didn’t know what to do with myself. A totally shippable couple trapped in the library for the weekend? Omigosh, I was SOLD. I was sold so hard that I pre-ordered this book so fast with other super amazing books like Caraval and my beloved Wires and Nerve. This was easily my most anticipated contemporary this year, and I mean, it kind of delivered?
Once upon a time…
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?
The premise was amazing. Stuck in a library for the weekend? Not only was it a good use of a trope I enjoy (two people that semi-hate each other stuck together in a circumstance) but it was in such an intriguing setting. I loved the use of the library, but I will say that there was definitely not enough reading to be had. 😄 But I thought it was super cool, and I loved finding out all the little secrets the library had to offer. My library would have been so much creepier than this one to be stuck in, but I totally won’t mind being stuck in their YA section. Major props to Kasie West for coming up with this adorable setting.
I also really enjoyed our two main characters, Dax and Autumn. I thought they were both fantastic contemporary leads, and they both had issues that were relatable and realistic. I loved peeling back the mysterious layers to Dax, and I did enjoy Autumn as our main lead. I thought she was a good heroine, and her anxiety disorder was an interesting addition.
I also totalllllllly shipped them as a couple. They were so cute, and their scenes in the library were so swoony. I binge read this book mainly to end the delicious will-they-won’t-they tension this book provided. I thought they made a cute couple, and I was rooting them on hardcore.
Now as usual, you’re seeing all my hardcore fangirling and you’re like, Mandy, what’s the problem? Well, to be honest, the problem came when they left the library. I honestly thought the book was just focused on them in the library and surviving together – and those scenes were amazing. However, it only goes for about half of the book, and then I began to lose interest. The rest of the plot wasn’t that interesting, and I didn’t care for many of the sideline characters at this point. I felt nothing for them, meaning I felt nothing for the plot. It just took such a sharp nosedive from being super intriguing to mehhhhhhh. And that’s where it lost its crowns for me. I just felt it wasn’t needed, and it could have been a lot more fun if they were in the library longer.
That being said, it was an adorable, fun, quick read. I flew through this book in an afternoon, and I can now see why West is hailed as a contemporary goddess. I loved her book, Pivot Point, but never got into her other contemporaries, but I just might after this. Four crowns, and a visit from Belle (not the usual rating, but Belle so would want to be caught up in a library for a weekend…although she was locked up in a castle for a while but ANYWAY).
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this? What is your favorite Kasie West contemporary? Would you be excited to be locked up in a library for a weekend? Let me know in the comments below!