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By Your Side

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An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question: What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

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 at 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?

346 pages, Paperback

First published January 31, 2017

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About the author

Kasie West

24 books17.5k followers
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, BY YOUR SIDE, LUCKY IN LOVE, LOVE LIFE and the LIST, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, FAME FATE and the FIRST KISS, MAYBE THIS TIME, and MOMENT OF TRUTH. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,753 reviews
589 reviews1,029 followers
Want to read
July 19, 2015
A girl and a guy accidentally locked in a library? THE BOOKISH GODS HAVE FINALLY GRANTED OUR WISH. But 2017??? *sobs*

Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
614 reviews87.8k followers
April 14, 2017
*ARC received from Indigo Books and Music for review, thank you to them!*

I loved this! I identified so strongly with the protagonist and found the whole story to be more than just your typical romance.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
June 21, 2019
the whole 'trapped in a library with a brooding bad boy' plotline speaks to me on a spiritual level. sigh. a girl can dream and this book is inspiring all of my fantasies.

4 stars
Profile Image for Kassidy.
340 reviews11k followers
March 7, 2017
I really really like Kasie West's writing. It's easy and quick to read, but doesn't feel just like fluff/brain candy. There's a depth and theme/lesson to her stories, which I appreciate. Dax and Autumn have a strong chemistry, and I enjoyed how Dax helped Autumn accept herself.
I wish the ending wasn't as rushed. The whole book is building up to the romance, which is good, I liked the tension that resulted. It kept me reading. However, I felt everything just wrapped up in a few pages and I just wanted the resolution to happen a little sooner or that the book was longer. I know the book was more about how the characters got to the ending point and not the end point itself, but I just wanted the ending to have a little more to it.
Profile Image for Riley.
429 reviews21.7k followers
June 5, 2017
This was adorable. I was expecting a fun fluffy romance, which this delivered, but it also largely featured discussions around anxiety and self care. The romance was so cute. The quickest way to get me to ship two characters is to trap them in a library together.
Profile Image for Luffy (Oda's Version).
765 reviews761 followers
July 28, 2020
Once I tried to write something. I wrote two chapters. Sent them to a dear friend, expecting any sort of feedback. But I knew from her silence that what I'd written was abysmal. This book was almost as bad as my efforts at writing.
Profile Image for K.T. ♡.
242 reviews100 followers
June 7, 2017
Damnnnnn... In my humble opinion, Kasie West is truly the queen of YA contemporary! ♡ I mean, can we talk about how lovely and swoon-able her books are?? ☆〜(ゝ。∂)

"By your side" is probably a reader's biggest dream! ☁︎ Umm hello? Being trapped inside a large library with a hot cutie, why haven't you melted yet?? Okay there's not much food and drink, which sucks, but apart from it, the situation is brilliant :P (to fall head over heels, if you know what I mean *winks*)


Alright let's be serious, this book also concentrates on the problem of “anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses” which to me, makes it stand out from other books written by Kasie West, don't ya think? ^^

If you are planning on staying home reading books and being cosy with some hot coffee ♨︎ on Valentines Day (like me!), which is pretty near, this one should be given a chance on your go-to shelf! ★

"The library brought you together.” Then he looked up like he was reading something written across the air in front of him. “‘Books, bringing people together.’ That would make a good slogan for the library.”
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.7k followers
July 6, 2017
Oh my God. I read this a mere few months ago, and I don’t remember ANYTHING about it. (Yeah, remember when I dropped that pre-review in MARCH? I'm killing it.) But, like, I seriously remember n-o-t-h-i-n-g. I know there was a library. That was approximately 25% of the synopsis, which wasn’t even accurate. Goddamn. This lack of recollection - not exactly a good sign, no?

Okay. Okay okay okay. I just reread the synopsis and the one sentence of this review I wrote when I actually, you know, read it, and I feel slightly more prepared.

So. The intended appeal of this book is that it features a romance that buds between two people who are stuck in a library. Smart, no? If you think about the way YA publishers think about us dumb ol’ readers, they go for romance and for reading. Couldn’t hit those two markers much more than flirtatious library entrapment.

The issue? Only the synopsis really banks on that situation.

Yes, friends. Here we have a classic case of the Misleading Synopsis™.

We’re SUPPOSED to get a who’s who of tropes that act as blatant appeals to the teenage girl demographic: bad boy, forbidden romance, hate-to-love, books, flirty fluffy times, presumably a flat female character so said teenage-girl stereotype can project herself into the story like she has some sort of middle-grade series superpower. (There are a LOT of middle grade books that have to do with entering stories. Damn, publishers know what nerdy lil eleven-year-olds want.) (Yes, I was one of those nerdy eleven-year-olds. WHAT OF IT?)

But the only trope we truly get is the last one. Because I CAN’T ESCAPE FLAT FEMALE CHARACTERS. Like, are they thinking, “Hey, instead of creating an interesting female protagonist, how about we force in a walking, talking cardboard cutout and let these girls pretend it’s them?” Because that makes sense. To all publishers who reinforce this behavior:

Anyway. We follow Autumn, who is really boring. She has a boring group of friends who she talks about a lot, and a boring crush on a boring guy. That boring guy is not to be confused with the boring guy who she’s trapped in the library with, the boringly-named Dax, who has the boring bonus of being a bad boy in some undefined way.

Autumn has a boring study session with her boring clique, and is boringly left behind in a library, which is then - boringly - closed. Boringly, Dax is also there.

THEY DESERVE TO BE TRAPPED IN A LIBRARY LESS THAN ANY OTHER CHARACTERS I’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED. They do, like, zero reading. They’re not even excited at all. They spend the whole time talking about the lack of food and how cold it’s getting. (Okay, yes, it’s wintertime and the heat’s off but that’s the author’s choice and frankly, I’m not into it.)

So at some point, it’s just expected that boring old Autumn’s into boring old Dax now, after a series of mind-numbingly - you guessed it - boring encounters. Then they boringly get out of the library - LIKE A QUARTER OF THE WAY INTO THE BOOK.

And Autumn’s old crush is back in the picture and into her all of the sudden, which makes no sense, but whatever, who cares, that’s not the worst offense, because GUYS - we get a love triangle.

YES. In 2017, my sweet, pure, innocent eyes had to experience a LOVE TRIANGLE. Unbelievable. When will it end? Am I just screaming into the void? Is all of Goodreads just a shout into oblivion? NOBODY LIKES LOVE TRIANGLES.

What else, what else...Autumn has an anxiety disorder. Which is, you know, cool. Good rep. Except that it hardly plays into the book at all except when it super does, and she spends most of the story hiding it from everyone. Très weird. I’m 19, so only a little bit older than the characters in this book, and I can’t imagine people my age feeling compelled to hide a mental illness. Especially anxiety. I dunno if I’ve even been in a social setting that didn’t include multiple people with anxiety. But what do I know.

Also, as Cait points out, it feels IMPOSSIBLE that they got locked in at all. I worked in a library. You had to log into the computers, yeah, but there were landlines behind the desk and hella offices with more landlines and a public safety officer went around at closing to make sure everyone was gone. If getting trapped was easy, I WOULD HAVE SLEPT IN THE LIBRARY. The dream.

Everything about this just felt detached and weird. I never felt compelled to care about anything, or anyone, or even felt like I had a sense of who the characters were. I guess it makes sense that Kasie West writes a bajillion books, because everything about this felt...throwaway. (And also, WHY HAVEN'T I FALLEN IN LOVE WITH KASIE WEST YET. I could so use a contemporary author who throws out a book a month.)

Bottom line: I used the word “boring” 17 times in this review. I probably could’ve just written that a hundred times and called it a day. A gentle “nope” from me.
509 reviews2,413 followers
Want to read
August 13, 2016
Kasie West + a girl + a boy + a library. I'm pretty sure someone's trying to push me to build a time machine to get to 2017 already!
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,326 followers
February 10, 2017
You know who’s my favorite? Kasie West.

You should probably already know this about me, but I’m just reminding you.

Kasie West consistently delivers sweet, fun, swoon-worthy stories. She manages to tell a story that touches on serious, relatable topics without making it the sole thing that the story is about.

In By Your Side, Autumn finds herself locked in the library… no way to get out and unable to contact anyone. Then she realizes she’s not alone… Dax Miller is in the library too, only it looks like he isn’t exactly trapped. She knows very little about Dax, only that he’s spent time in juvie, and he’s a loner. Not exactly someone she feels entirely safe with, but she just has to stick it out until her friends and her almost-boyfriend realize she’s not where she’s supposed to be … only they don’t.

Autumn and Dax have to make the most of their situation, and eventually they start to open up and share with each other, and they find that maybe their preconceived notions about each other aren’t entirely accurate.

Now let’s be honest, who among us book nerds wouldn’t love to be trapped in a library for a long weekend? Now throw in a cute boy and I don’t think a single person could say no. But if I’m honest, that’s only part of the story here and maybe only the first third of this book happens in the actual library and it truly might not be what you are hoping for in that regard. However, that’s where West introduces us to Autumn and Dax and shares some of their secrets and why they are who they are… the characters being cut off from everyone else in the story allows us to really get to know them on a very personal level and we learn things about them both that are very important.

I’m just going to come out with it right away… I loved Autumn… she’s funny, and smart and super awkward, and she just happens to deal with anxiety. I loved that West created a character who is dealing with anxiety, but she portrays it in a way that totally normalizes it, as it should be! It’s so important in YA today that people read about characters that they can relate to and that young people can see others who are dealing with things they might be and see that it doesn’t have to be life-ending, it’s just something that is a part of her life but she’s so much more than her diagnosis. Seeing her come to terms and finally share with her friends what is really happening in her life is just wonderful.

I have to admit too, that I really liked Dax. I suppose you could call Dax a “bad boy”, but I don’t know that that is entirely accurate. He’s certainly the most troubled of all West’s characters. He’s more someone who is trying to make the most of his circumstances and just trying to survive in the situation he finds himself in. As his past is revealed, I understood his loner status, and I got why he kept himself apart from everyone. I do love that he finally opened up to Autumn, and I really loved the evolution of their relationship… is this the swooniest relationship West has written so far? No, I have to admit I’m more partial to some of the others, but I still totally shipped these two so much! Their relationship was slow and sweet and I really enjoyed getting to see them learn to trust each other.

I think one of the things that West really excels at with every book (aside from swoony boys) is building and portraying friendships in a really positive way. She truly does it in every book she writes! Autumn here has some amazing friends (despite them leaving her stranded) and while it seems like there are a lot of friends to keep track of, the one to really focus on her connection with her best friend Lisa. It’s always so refreshing to see wonderful friendships portrayed in YA.

Overall, another quick favorite from Kasie West! If you’re looking for a quick, sweet read, you definitely need to grab this one, and if you’ve held off on reading ANY Kasie West, I urge you to start at the beginning of her booklist because you really can’t go wrong with a single book!

Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Before Reading Reactions:

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Profile Image for Christy.
3,919 reviews33k followers
September 20, 2018
3.5 stars!

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

By Your Side is the second book I've read by Kasie West, and although I didn't love it quite as much as the first, it was still an enjoyable read. 

Our story starts with Autumn, a teenage girl who is supposed to be going to a cabin with her friends for the weekend, but somehow manages to get herself locked inside a library for the weekend. For a lot of us, this would be a dream come true, but Autumn has anxiety and this is something of a nightmare for her. Thankfully, she finds out quickly she's not there alone.  Dax, a guy from her high school is there as well. His story is much different than Autumn's, but he helps her more than he knows. 

Though these two have a strange dynamic at first, they do become friends eventually. They learn a lot about each other being locked together in that library. When they get out, though... things change. Dax is back to his life, and Autumn is back to her family and friends. I wasn't sure how things were going to work out between them and I do wish that they figured it out a little faster, but I was happy with how the story ends. 

I liked this book and give it 3.5 stars. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Ms West. I love her writing style! If you're a fan of contemporary YA, check this one out! 
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
943 reviews14k followers
May 26, 2017
2.5 Stars

I'm not a huge fan of YA contemporary anymore-- i've found lately that I feel like i'm reading the same book over and over-- but i'm reading a really dark book at the moment and needed something light as a reprieve from it. I'd gotten this in a book box a couple of months back and decided now was the perfect time to try it out!

The premise really intrigued me and I knew it would go by quickly, so I dove into this. I was right, I finished it in two days. What I wasn't expecting is it had a main character with anxiety! I had no idea about that going into this and it was a great bonus. I liked that element of the story, even though some parts were ehhh and I didn't really like the subplot about how she was afraid to tell her friends about it.

However, it just slapped me in the face with how mediocre this book was. From the "bad guy meets good girl" trope to the cheesy dialogue, I had to take this entire story with a grain of salt. There was nothing new or never done before, some of the technical aspects of this story didn't make sense, and the relationship between the two characters wasn't cute or awe-inspiring enough to let me overlook those things.

I think it's important to note that this book is honestly just a 3-star, average book for me, not horrible but not great, just something light to read to lighten my mood. It did do that, but I knocked a half a star just because of the added skepticism I had about the realisticness of the events that unfolded, as well as some uncharacteristic and eye roll-worthy moments of dialogue and inner monologue.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,740 reviews712 followers
December 22, 2016
Kasie West is an auto-buy for me, so I downloaded this book after screaming when I saw it. I went in only knowing that the MCs were locked in a library.

I love love loved Autumn and Dax. They're so different and so similar and I loved reading them together. I also really loved Autumn's family. It's so rare to see present and positive parents. I love that they were open and listened to her. And the banter between Autumn and her brother Owen was some of the best.

This was a lot angstier than other Kasie books and I wasn't expecting that. There's an entire different plot point that took me by surprise. At first I wasn't really into it, but by the ending, I could see how it forced Autumn to grow and speak up.

As always, the ending was perfection and left me wanting more more more. I can't wait to read this one again.

**Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in free of charge**
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews843 followers
December 28, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

By Your Side by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

What I Liked:

Kasie West does it again! This is the seventh novel of hers that I've read, and I enjoyed it. I can always rely on West to deliver a cute, swoony, uplifting, and meaningful story. I love how she tackles certain "tough issues", and yet captivates readers with likable characters and a beautiful story. Suffice it to say, I'm addicted!

It's Friday evenning, and Autumn and her friends had just finished up working on a big paper. They decide to leave the library and go to a bonfire. With a huge group and four different cars, it can get confusing. Autumn doubles back to the library to use the bathroom, leaving her bag and belongings in her crush's car. But when she is finished and goes to leave the library, she realizes that the library is locked down and closed. What's more, her friends are gone. And it's snowing. And it's the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day... which means she's going to be stuck in the library for three days. No phone, no service, no computer, nothing. She quickly finds out that Dax Miller, a loner who has trouble written all over him, is locked in as well. He's closed off and a boy of few words, but Autumn cracks his exterior as the weekend goes on. They survive the weekend together - but can they survive the aftermath?

Autumn is as wonderful as any of West's other female protagonists. She has quick wit and she's funny. But she's also a little awkward and clumsy, and she suffers from anxiety. She gets panic attacks, and she doesn't want any of her friends to know. While she's in the library, she has panic attacks, and she tells Dax. Autumn really cares about what others think of her, which is why she hasn't told any of her friends about her condition. Autumn is sweet and genuine, and she's also relentless. She is determined to make nice with Dax while they're stuck in the library,

Dax is... at first, a mystery. He has a reputation for being trouble; he spent time in juvie, and he lives with foster parents. People say he's a criminal (he's not), a druggie (he's not), a loner (that, he is). He keeps to himself and opens up to no one... but Autumn gets to him. He reveals why he's in the library, and a lot more. Dax is probably the most "troubled" of any of West's male protagonists, with the most difficult past/present. He seems closed off and emotionless, but he's a very considerate and chivalrous guy, and he's straightforward.

Contrary to what I originally thought, this book does not take place entirely in the library during that three-day weekend. Half of the book is spent in the library with just Dax and Autumn, and the other half is spent in the "after". What happens when Dax and Autumn are back in school? Are they friends? Do they go back to ignoring each other? Will Autumn finally get with Jeff?

I don't want to give away any details about the middle to end of the book, but I loved the second half of the book probably just as much as (if not more so) I loved the first half. Dax and Autumn become closer (as friends) in the library, but they grow more closer after the library. They need each other for different reasons, and I loved seeing them rely on each other.

Speaking of, I loved the romance. It's all Dax and Autumn, despite what the synopsis sort of implies. Autumn had a crush on Jeff, who is a genuinely nice guy. But she never really likes him, and realizes that he isn't for her. Dax is a steady, calming presence that Autumn needs and wants, and she really likes him. Autumn is a ray of sunshine for Dax, and he really likes her. I always want more kissy scenes in West's books, and this book was no exception, but I adored the progression of the romance!

So, no love triangle! Just a whole lot of swoon between Dax and Autumn. Subtle swoon, at first. And then obvious swoon.

I also loved how West handled anxiety and panic attacks. There are a few scenes in which Autumn experiences a panic attack, and I thought West captured those moments really well. My heart broke for Autumn, but at the same time, I love how strong she is. West also handles Dax's backstory well. I don't want to say too much about Dax, but let's just say that he has a difficult past, and again, West writes in those issues well.

West also does a great job with portraying a lot of solid friendships! Autumn's bond with her friend Lisa is sweet and rock-solid. Autumn has a large friend group and it's often hard to connect directly and personally with all of them, and I think West does a great job of expressing this kind of friendships (the large groups, as well as the best friend).

So! Good characterization, good character development, fun story, cute romance? Sold. I liked this book a lot. It's probably not a new favorite of West's (then again, I really love them all), but it does not disappoint. I am looking forward to reading her next book (Lucky in Love, with Scholastic)!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific coming to mind! I suppose I wish there were more kissy scenes (heh). But that seems to be West's style, and that's completely fine!

Would I Recommend It:

Whether you like YA contemporary or not... I would always put West's book on my recommended list. I've read seven of seven and I have yet to be disappointed. I am not a YA contemporary person, but West is my #1 auto-buy author (and she doesn't just read YA contemporary, mind you!). If you love her books, then this one won't disappoint!


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. This book has such a cute premise (stuck in the library!), and West really delivered. Uplifting and mesmerizing, By Your Side is sure to leave readers with a smile on their face!

Pre-read squees:

EEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!! I cannot wait to read this book! So much love for West's first six books, and I'm sure this one will be AWESOME.


February 20, 2017
Ahhh I really don't want to write this review. I mean, seriously, who wants to write a negative review about one of their favorite writers, one of those authors who never ceases to make you happy and put a smile on your face. Well, sometimes its necessary-especially when this is one out of three of your top anticipated releases for 2017. And, might I mention, two so far have been absolute TURDS. Alas, Kasie West was no exception.

I can't quite put my finger on why this book was so drab, so dull, but I think it has a lot to do with underdevelopment. Undeveloped plot, underdeveloped characters, underwhelming ending...it was all a sad, endless loop of what could have been. I've read KW books before where the plot was kind of...hmmm....not for me? A bit boring? But never once have her characters suffered and been quite so cardboard cut out as this.

He laughed. “I’ll work on my poker face.”
“You should come over today after school.”
“To your house?”
“Yes, my brother is in town. I think you’d like him.”
“I don’t like anyone, remember?”
I took another small step forward. “I don’t think that’s true.”
“I do like distractions,” he said.

There was just something so, I don't know, off about the characters in this one. I loved them, to an extent, but every time I thought we were really getting somewhere with them, it was pulled back in-Kind of like the sun on a cloudy day, as a kid. You would see the sun peeking out, teasing you, only for it to immediately disappear and leave you aching for its presence even more enthusiastically. The characters were like that-especially Dax.

“You’ve definitely been added to the archive the last couple of weeks.”
“What archive?” he asked.
“The happy memories one. The one I’ll draw from in my dark times,” I said quietly.
A smile stole away his hard expression before he wiped it off and pretended I hadn’t seen it. But I had. And it got added to the bank.

Dax was just prime Chelsea BBF material. He was rude, sarcastic, a bit on the side of tortured...I truly thought he was a 100% win. Turns out? The author truly didn't explore him the way she could have. After the library debacle, I truly figured we'd get so much more out of our leading man, but instead, the plot took an odd turn with our main character, Autumn.

I stopped. “When I feel trapped, anxious, I think about the times I’m the happiest.”
He dared take his eyes off the dark lot in front of him to level his gaze on me. The intensity in them took my breath away. Then he was focused again out the window. I almost apologized, thinking I had hit a nerve with that suggestion. But I held my tongue.

We know, at the beginning of the book, she has a huge crush on some dude (and he might like her, too, GASP!). And after the library, we see him kind of resurface. I don't want to spoil anything, but I didn't like where the story went. It was a tad contrived. Maybe not contrived, more pushy. More plot device-y. I think it could have been okay, but it made Autumn even more reserved about liking who she actually liked and it seems like that made me roll my eyes quite a bit more than anything else did. Oh! Yes, I rolled my eyes, QUITE A LOT.

What made me roll my eyes almost as much (maybe the most?) were the constant flashbacks. Like....okay. We get it. She has a life and she loves her life. But...just...argh. Why why whyyyyy the always looking back?? Couldn't there have been a little more set up and a lot less 'fade from the present to make these moments longer'? I just loathe flashbacks, and in all that time spent in the library? I think she has at least one flashback per chapter. Did I mention I hate flashbacks? *Cringes inwardly*

There was definitely a lot of cute that can be taken from this story, especially near the end. But, come on, there was so much more that could have happened to make this story unforgettable. In fact, I had forgotten 90% of this book until I began writing this review. Even worse-I forget I've even read it until I scroll down my feed. So, take what you will from this review, just know that it is, in my opinion, by far the weakest Kasie West book to date. Meh.

For more of my reviews, please visit:

Can't wait to start this beauty EEEEEPS!!

Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
635 reviews576 followers
February 28, 2021
If you know me, you know Kasie West is my contemporary queen.
I simply adore her books, and I always feature them in my WoW posts, because I am always eagerly anticipating her new releases.

Since I loved every single book she wrote, I don’t think I have to underline that my expectations for By Your Side were high as Empire State Building (and yes, I am copying that group/band Fun here).

I could blame my level of expectations for the fact that this was my least favorite book written by Kasie West I read so far (I still have to read her paranormal series).
I could, but I won’t, because, truth be told, By Your Side is just a solid contemporary story that explores mental illness.
When I say solid, I mean good solid.
You see, this book is good, but it isn’t special in any way, nor will it stay with me long (I mean, it will because I know it was written by West, but if it was written by some author I read for the first time, it’d probably end up in my “to-be-donated pile).

The story talks about Autumn who finds herself locked in a library for the whole weekend.
What would be a terrible experience turns out to be a bit easier event because she was not alone. Dax, a mysterious guy who goes to school with her, is there with her.
As they spend time together, they get to know each other better and become closer.

First of all, we bookworms would be happy as hell if we got to spend weekend locked in library (okay, maybe we wouldn’t be THAT happy, but still we wouldn’t mind because we love books).
Here, there is a totally different story, because Autumn is not a reader, so in my opinion, those two could have ended up being locked in the wood storage or steal depository, the story would be the same.

Second, what kind of library doesn’t have a landline??

Third, I don’t mind love triangles, but please, if you decide to put one of guys into coma and make him a part of love triangle, please give me a chance to meet him and potentially fall in love with him before you doom his destiny.
Therefore, I would prefer if this book had two more chapters in which we’d get to know Autumn, Jeff and their friends before the whole library thing.

The best part of this novel is West’s writing style. She is always amazing when telling the story, and this one was no exception.

I also liked was how anxiety was presented in this novel. From my own experience, it was believable.
Then again, I saw some reviewers saying it wasn’t presented properly, so I guess it depends on one’s experience and own observing.
I guess everyone handles anxiety in his own way, so interpretations can be different.

What turned me off from the story was how most of the characters were selfish and self-centered.

From Autumn’s friends who didn’t even notice her missing, to Autumn herself.
I get that she was anxious, but she was also selfish.
Jeff’s best friend (whose name I forgot) was also jealous for no reason other but because he was self centred.

All in all, By Your Side is a good book to pick up when you need a light read that will entertain you, but don’t expect too much from it.

Read this and more reviews on my blog: https://bookdustmagic.com
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
April 18, 2017
This was an overall good read for me! I like the characters, though I could've used more development on everyone and anyone beyond the main character.
This book also features a main character with anxiety disorder and a love interest who is in foster care. I don't have anxiety disorder or anything close to it, but I read a few reviews that said it didn't totally ring true. It isn't #ownvoices, which was one of the reasons I looked into other reviews, but it may just be an experience thing. One thing I did love regarding the anxiety aspect of this book is how supportive Autumn's family was and how they always saw her feelings as valid and helped her take the steps necessary to recover. They never shrugged off her anxiety as a passing fling but gave real attention to it. YAY HEALTHY MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT.
I really did love seeing Dax as a kid in the foster care environment because I rarely IF EVER see that in YA books. However, it was barely explored and I would've liked to see a lot more of it.
The romance was cure and v slow burn for most of the book, and it definitely kept me reading. The plot was alright, mostly revolved around relationship drama and some underdeveloped family drama that could've packed a bigger punch.
Overall - liked the romance a LOT but would've liked to see the plot & characters more developed!
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,838 followers
February 7, 2017

Kasie West had been one of my favourite contemporary authors since forever! But lately something has changed.

I don’t know if it’s her writing style that has changed or if it’s simply that I have ‘outgrown’ her books, but lately they’re missing the mark for me. ;-;


My problems with this book:

- confused why they’re bored and resorted to watching TV WHILE THEY’RE LITERALLY LOCKED IN A LIBRARY


- The MC, this Autumn girl was so immature

- Dax is a wannabe bad boy, not fooling me

- What are the point of the secondary characters ???

- Love triangle plz stop

- The characters were juvenile as hell

- Kinda lame


Positive Aspects of the Book:

- The library was the main setting (despite the fact that no one read anything) for a good portion of the book

- I liked Dax and Owen (petition to give Owen more word time)

- Uhhhhhhhhh

- It was cute ???


So, I’m deeply disappointed that this book did not give me all the cute feels (although it was cute at times) but I haven’t lost faith in Kasie West; will definitely be back for her coming novels.

2 stars!!!




Eeekkk! I'm so excited!!
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
November 29, 2017
I found the first part to be wholly unrealistic. Being stuck in the library and not being able to contact anyone? Isn't there a phone, a landline one? I mean I couldn't stop thinking about the ways they could have escaped, but I guess they both needed it. To be free for a while. I liked their banter, and sometimes their chemistry was cute. I liked that the main character Autumn focused on her anxiety, but I wished she realized she had the power all on her own. I was also bored so I sped read the rest of the book.

Maybe if I was in a better mood for a contemporary I wold have liked it a bit more, but I wasn't feeling the story to be as entertaining as her previous books. I really didn't think the two characters were all that interesting to begin with. I also had issues with Autumn's friends who conveniently forgot her and went to party without her.

Sadly, I felt like “By Your Side” wasn't as strong as her previous books, but here's hoping a re-read will change that.



“Someone told me when you go to college, your life gets better. And you can escape what you were before and find who you're supposed to be.”

“Possibilities don't hurt as much as realities. Possibilities are exciting and endless. Realities are final.”

“Why can't I just control my mind better?”

“You mean you can't control how they'll react. You're worried they won't like you.”

“I don't mind being your distraction, but I won't always be here.”

“What made me think I was so special?”

“Happy memories can't get you through everything.”
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews378 followers
February 9, 2017
Any Kasie West book is hard to resist but throw in the setting and plot line for her latest, and for any book lover, it is downright impossible to say no to, which is why I didn't even think twice about getting it. West is an autobuy author for me, always has been and will continue to be so. Her latest book just reinforced for me why that statement is true.

I was expecting a fun light read filled with a heart stopping romance, with lovable, adorable characters and once again, West delivered. But this was also so much more than a good time. This felt believable and most of all with the beginning setting of being trapped in a library with a hot guy, also one most of us wouldn't mind happening to us in real life as well.

Filled with tough issues, real life problems and so much more, West delivered in every way with her latest YA contemporary. It was one I plowed through in a matter of hours and one that left me with a warm feeling and a smile on my face.

*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano Martín.
440 reviews5,551 followers
September 20, 2018
4.5 en realidad ❤️
Kasie West lo ha vuelto a hacer, me ha ganado un trocito de mi corazón con esta historia.
Es cierto que las historias de esta autora no son lo más originales del mundo, pero la forma en la que están narradas y los temas que trata hace que sea muy especial. Con esta me he sentido realmente identificada con la protagonista y hacía mucho tiempo que eso no me sucedía.
Autumn es una personaje muy especial, y su conexión con Dax me ha parecido de lo más humana y creíble que he leído en mucho tiempo. Como va surgiendo poco a poco esa chispa entre ellos, dos personas tan diferentes pero a la vez siendo una pieza de un puzle que encaja a la perfección. Sin duda sus escenas me han encantado y me despertaban mucha ternura. Me han hecho sufrir, he suspirado con ellos y me he emocionado.
También me ha encantado como trata la autora el tema de la ansiedad, se nota que ha puesto mucho empeño en tratarlo bien y hacer una buena representación. Gracias, Kasie.
Si os gustan los libros románticos, os lo recomiendo muchísimo. Sin duda quiero leer más libros de esta autora.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,744 reviews1,306 followers
February 10, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Who else would be dumb enough to get trapped in a library?”

This was a YA contemporary romance, featuring a couple trapped in a library.

I liked Autumn in this, and I could totally relate to her anxiety disorder and the panic attacks that she suffered from. Dax was also really cute.

The storyline in this was about Autumn and Dax getting trapped in a library together for a weekend, and slowly getting to know each other. I liked how the story moved on from being trapped in the library though, and we got to find out what happened to the pair of them afterwards. We did get a bit of a love triangle brewing as Autumn had been flirting with another boy prior to meeting Dax though, but there was no cheating.

The ending to this was a happy one, and things were tied up nicely.

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,244 followers
February 9, 2017
3.5 stars

Kasie West is one of those authors who I will read anything she writes. I preordered this book and found time to read it. I enjoyed this story, but she's given us better. I do think lots of teens will relate to the characters in this book, the MC with her anxiety disorder, and the love interest in foster care. But I felt she could have gone a bit deeper, everything felt very surface level when dealing with issues. Like a teen afternoon special on TV.

I have to get one thing off my chest, I have worked in libraries for 13 years, we do extensive checks before closing the building AND it is a violation of safety codes no to have an emergency exit in a building. So the whole getting stuck in the library thing I had to really bust out the suspension of disbelief. (Yes I understand it was all for the story, but it was too much for me).
Profile Image for Heather.
403 reviews16.9k followers
February 13, 2017
Overall I liked this book. I will admit that this is not my favorite Kasie West book. I really enjoyed our main character Autumn and the romance was cute but the plot wasn't my favorite.
Would recommend it, it is a cute book but not my favorite contemporary read.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
February 16, 2017
DNF @ 8%

I have never physically cringed while reading a book, By Your Side has changed that. I can't. I can't do it. The whole book can up to this can be used under the roast so I'm not going to do one.

The main character is meant to be a senior in high school but so far she's reading like an 8 year old and I can't put up with that for another 92% of a book.
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