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By My Side

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,172 ratings  ·  103 reviews
One step can change everything…

Cass Brooks loves her job, her boyfriend Sean, her life. Until, leaving home one morning, distracted and hungover, she steps into the path of a truck.

When she wakes up, she can’t walk. And suddenly all her hopes and dreams, the plans she’d made with Sean, the future she thought she’d have, seem out of her reach.

But then fate intervenes aga
Paperback, 376 pages
Published July 18th 2013 by Quercus (first published January 1st 2008)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,172 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Cass finds her life changed forever when she steps into the path of a truck. She ends up a paraplegic. Her dreams and her boyfriend disappear in a flash. Her parents are her support as is Ticket, the loveliest golden Labrador. I thought this book showed a lot about the attitudes of others towards those with disabilities and the problems they have to face. Cass shows grit and determination in the way she adjusts to her life but without those difficulties being glossed over. Personally, I would ha ...more
Susan Buchanan
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really made me reflect.
I'd already read two other Alice Peterson books before this and enjoyed both, but this one kind of blew me away. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I bought it, but it wasn't this. Note to chicklit readers - this is not a chicklit read - this is so much more. It's a love story, but a story of overcoming all the odds and making the best of what you've got; coping with grief and teaching others how to do so too; learning how to give something back and how to la
Book-shelf Shelf
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When i read the back of this book i could never have imagined the depth and research that Alice must of done to write such an epic novel!
The story is about Cass who ends up with a spinal injury, which has been done, or at least touched on in other books. However i don't this anyone has shown the real insight to Cass's disability, along with Dom & Guy who are fantastic characters. The story is written almost as if its a diary, but never leaves the reader bored. It is one of those books you do
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. Book!! I absolutely loved it.
Such an emotional read which make me realize so much about life. How we take EVERYTHING possible for granted. We should always thank God for everything he is given us today. Our sight, our limbs, our life, our family. Everything.

This books shows us Cass' journey of how she coups with everything life has thrown at her, her loss, her gains, making friends, loosing some, falling in love and how things work out in the end.
Nicola Clough
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is worth far more than five stars it's so amazing and well written so much research must have gone into it but it's romantic but heartbreaking and full of love and grief. Cass is happy with life training to be a dr and she has a boyfriend but life takes a turn for the worse when she has an accident can she then move forward and come to terms with her new life and can she find love again. She wants her life back but can she get it well worth reading I now want to read more books by this ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As someone who has applied for a canine partner I was interested in this book having seen it in the display case at the center. I finished it late last night after I got my acceptance from the charity and can't wait to get my own ticket. While the timings are very skewed it looks like the process Cass went through was pretty realistic. I would have liked to have seen a few more challenges in the canine partner relationship but seeing as it was a fictional story it provided a nice distraction for ...more
Farhana  Zukri
If you love Me Before You, you should read this book ;)
Charlotte Ashcroft
Was an amazing story 😊
Jules (Never enough time to read)
It was ok, but a little slow at points. I did like the majority of the characters and I loved Ticket.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on

After reading One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson (you can read my review here), I found that I could not stop thinking about the author's other books. I wanted to read them ALL, in one go, at the same time. I was absolutely bowled over by Alice's staggering story-telling abilities and just couldn't wait to get started on another book by the fabulous lady! I found, after rummaging through my mountain of a to-read pile, that I actually
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just the ticket!

Whilst the book doesn't necessarily go into great depths it still manages to cover a lot about the trials and tribulations when living with a disability.

Fell in love with the main character Cass and will actually miss her and Ticket of course. Didn't want the book to end even though it had me crying in certain parts. Whilst the overall story is a message of positivity and optimism it was also honest with the struggles people who go through during times of adversity.

Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
When I was sent this book for review, I have to be honest and say that I wasn't sure what to expect. Though I thought the blurb was certainly intriguing, I also had my reservations. My main issue was that there's an animal involved in the story - I am an animal lover and I tend to steer away from anything that could possibly involve animals getting hurt or lost or anything like that, as I find it hard to read about. The book did, however, seem to imply that the dog was a real symbol of positivit ...more
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had heard so many amazing things about Alice Peterson’s books, so I was very excited to start By My Side.

Cass Brooks is enjoying her life, she is a medical student and spends her days happily with her boyfriend Sean. But one day, her carefree life comes to an abrupt halt after Cass steps out into the path of a truck. Suddenly life has changed for Tess – She can’t walk, and now her hopes and reams seem out of reach as Cass is uncertain of what lies ahead. But soon, something she least expects c
Since I read Monday To Friday Man by Alice Peterson last year, she’s become one of those authors whose books I REALLY look forward to. Her writing style is so easy to read, she has a dog and writes about dogs which automatically makes her amazing, and I love her characters. I read her newest novel Ten Years On just a couple of months ago and I loved it. I devoured it in hours whilst waiting to go to work one day. So I was completely and utterly chuffed when I saw Alice had a new book up for pre- ...more
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing

This is definitely a novel everyone needs to read. This was an extremely poignant tale about how precious life is and that you need to take chances as you just never know what is going to happen.

I absolutely loved this incredible story and was so absorbed that I read it in one day. Alice captures you with her words and doesn't let you go until the very end.

Cass's life seems to be going great. She's got a gorgeous boyfriend, is doing really well on her university course in Medicine- her passion.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cass Brooks' carefree life changes abruptly and forever when she incautiously walks into the road and gets hit by a truck. When she awakens in the hospital she hears the terrible news that because of the accident she will never walk again. Suddenly everything she's taken for granted before becomes a struggle. The simplest of tasks, such as getting dressed or entering a building for a job interview, feel impossible and out of reach for Cass and she understandably has a very hard time adjusting to ...more
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cass, a twenty three year old medical student, has everything to look forward to in life. An exciting career, a wonderful boyfriend, a full life, when a freak accident changes her life completely. She is paralysed from waist down, the boyfriend disappears, leaving just a note, and she can’t think of the future. The everyday things that she once took for granted were huge obstacles for her now. Her family tries their best to keep her spirits high, but it isn’t the easiest task.

Frustrated with her
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this warm and gentle story about Cassandra Brooks and what happened to her after the moment that literally changed her life forever. She was at university training to be a doctor, bright as a button and in love with her doting boyfriend Sean. She held her future in her hand and in her heart, it sparkled and she was full of joy and expectation with the promise of a full and happy life ahead of her. Then in a heart-stopping flash her life as she knew it was cruelly taken away from her. Her ...more
Natalie TBGWP
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the day the postman delivered Alice Peterson's By My Side, and I read the press release that came with it, I knew it was going to be a book I mentally needed to be strong for. I knew half of it would be the thoughts in my head and thoughts I am yet to start to deal with. I was right in my thoughts and I was moved greatly by not only the story, but the compassion that had gone into everything about the book. The words, the research, the honesty. It covers many aspects of disability including ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full review here:

Why you would love this:
This is the first book I've read by Alice Peterson and it has literally blown me away. I'm telling you, it's absolutely amazing! From the start, I was immediately absorbed by the book and I knew I would be reading something spectacular and I was right!

By My Side follows the story of Cass Brooks, a twenty-something medicine student who seemed to have everything going her way - perfect boyfriend who loves her, the fl
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Such a nice book. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't what I was expecting and it was beautifully written.

Cass is left with spinal cord injuries after a road accident and the story is both moving and very uplifting as she comes to terms with her life and living it in a wheelchair.

Whilst in hospital she meets Dom and Guy who are just lovely characters and they call themselves The Three Musketeers.

Being an animal lover I particularly liked Ticket. I never knew about the work these dogs do so I'm in a
Suze Lavender
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever since I read 'Another Alice' I've been a huge fan of her work. I really liked this book. Cass has a spinal cord injury which changes her life forever. She has to adjust to life in a wheelchair and that isn't easy. Her life changes drastically when she gets her dog Ticket and later once more when she meets Charlie.
The best part of this book is the strength of the main character. Cass is such a wonderful person. She struggles, but every time she finds her way out. Becoming disabled doesn't m
This is the first book of Alice Peterson that I've read and I am hooked. I loved Cass, her spirit and struggle gave me hope. Even on the darkest day a little bit of light will always shine. Ticket was awesome, this has again brought to my mind that I want a dog badly. Bren was another character that I grew to love. She totally kicks ass. Dom, Guy, Frankie, Sarah and Rich all of them leave an impression, especially Guy, after you read you'll understand why I say this. Life isn't a bed of roses an ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I work in a library, and whilst I was at work yesterday shelving books I came across an Alice Peterson book that I hadn't read, and despite having a very tall 'to be read' pile, I knew I had to take it home. I've read other books by Alice, and loved them, and reading the back of this one I knew this would be the same.

I loved this book, cried my way through it, but made me feel good as well. If I could give it more stars I would, but on a Goodreads rating 5/5! Well recommended, and can't wait fo
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the book. Cass started off as a slightly frivolous character but really matured after the accident happened. Loved the interactions with Ticket and the other dogs. I was very frustrated with Charlie for dawdling for so long. I liked the majority of the characters in the story but was really sad over what happened with Guy, he wasn't a major character but was still likeable and had a big impact all the same. I haven't read many books by this author but I'll be looking into other bo ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Whittard
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. Beautifully written. I simply could not put this down. Alice writes so wonderfully. Tackling both light and dark materials about life. The characters are written beautifully. I have laughed, cried and felt uplifted by this book. It has made me appreciate everything I have in life and the wonderful people who have stuck by me through thick and thin. A truelly wonderful read.
Jade Evans
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
When you manage to read a book in a day you know it's a good find! My only issue is that you knew Charlie and Cass would get together and I kind of wanted Paul to sweep in and save the day for some reason!! But I definitely fell in love with Charlie so was pleased with the end result.
It also touched me to find out Sarah/Frankie was a real person!! My heart swelled with joy!!
Lovely, lovely book - a definite must-read.
Nicola Jordan
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second of Alice Peterson's books I've read and it did not disappoint. I was touched by the main character dealing with her accident and paralysis and moved to tears several times. It is very well written and I would highly recommend it (although maybe not in public, I cried several times on the train!)
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly good book. I had read a couple of Alice Peterson's other books and really enjoyed them so searched out what else she had written. An emotional read, it had me in tears at times. It's the story of a girl whose life is changed completely after being hit by a car and suffering spinal injury. If you liked Me Before You by JoJo Moyes I think you will like this too.
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At the age of eighteen Alice had been awarded a tennis scholarship to America when she experienced pain in her right hand. It was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and she hasn’t picked up a tennis racket since, a sadness that shall always be with her. The theme of disability features in her fiction, but there is nothing gloomy about Alice or her work. Rather this gives her fiction the added dimension of ...more
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“Promise me you'll think about going back to King's. She should, right Dom? Do what you set out to do, Cass, and each time you come across a difficult patient who swears too much, think of me.” 0 likes
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