ARC Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Book Blurb

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?

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Autumn got left behind at the library by her friends.  So instead of spending the long weekend at a cabin with her best girlfriends and her crush, she is trapped in the library with Dax.  No one knows she is there, her bag is in Jeff’s trunk.  She has no phone, no food, no money and no medication.  Her parents must be worried sick and she can’t believe that her friends aren’t looking for her.
Dax is the school loner and a rumored troublemaker.  He comes off as a complete jerk.  Autumn is not thrilled to be locked in with him, but she tries to make the best of it.  He, of course, makes it hard.  He refuses to answer any of her questions.  He remains aloof and distant.  However she slowly starts winning smiles from him, but he is clear that he doesn’t do attachments.  They can’t even be friends.
Autumn has her own issues with her anxiety and her feelings for Jeff.  The weekend in the library changes everything.  Autumn knows things about Dax she didn’t before.  She talks him in to being her distraction when her anxiety starts getting the best of her.  The pressures she puts on herself to make others happy starts wearing on her.
She is going to have to admit what it is that she really wants and come clean about her anxiety, before everything falls apart.
I loved this story. Autumn wasn’t a perfect heroine that knows what she was doing.  She was torn for most of the book, feeling guilty about everything.  She completely over thought everything.  I really liked her character after the weekend in the library.  She seemed to change a little or at least admit to herself what she was feeling.
Her anxiety was front and center in the story which I liked.  It showed the reader what a struggle it can be.  It was positive acceptance when Autumn revealed her secret.  The author gave a great way to start lifting the stigma of mental health.
Dax, on the other hand, was a mess through outside forces.  Foster care, group homes, drug addicts and other negative things clouded his life.  He obviously preferred to be a loner which gave the perfect scenario for the story.

It was fun to read as Autumn lured Dax out of his self-inflicted solitary confinement.  It was a sweet story with a lot of realistic issues giving it depth and grit.  A great read.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

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