January 26, 2017

Libraries & Love • By Your Side

By Your Side book cover
Autumn Collins is in the unfortunate situation of being accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend. To make matters worse, she discovers that she’s locked in with Dax Miller, a boy who is rumored to be a whole lot of trouble and not exactly someone she wants to be stuck with. But as the hope of her friends returning for her fades and the two of them start to talk, Autumn discovers that there’s more to Dax than meets the eye. But when they’re free from the library at last, will their connection survive or will things go back to the way they used to be?

Plot? As with all the other Kasie West novels I’ve read, this book reads exactly like a teen romantic comedy or a Disney Channel Original Movie in book form. I was certainly rooting for the romance, in spite of the fact that I felt like things could escalate greatly in terms of drama and the fact that there were a couple of situations that made me uncomfortable. It was definitely just the sort of fluffy contemporary read I wanted at the time I read it, so I enjoyed it on the whole. (Also, can we talk about how not fun being stuck in the library was made out to be? Because it seriously made me rethink saying that I wouldn’t mind being stuck in one…)

Characters? Autumn, our main character, is a fairly typical teen gal who is just trying to navigate through the ups and downs of high school as best she can. She’s concerned about how her friends regard her, and also pines after a boy who might possibly be into her. So, as I said, she’s almost exactly what you’d expect. What I wasn’t expecting was West’s portrayal of Autumn’s anxiety. I was really surprised by how closely it mirrored my own experiences with anxiety, so I thought that was pretty cool and something that made Autumn a little bit more to me. 

Writing? The writing is fairly typical of a Kasie West novel, light, easy to read and very quick to get through. She peppers her story with a lot of really adorable and light-hearted moments, but also manages to sneak in that moment of real emotion that I always want in my romantic comedies.

Overall? I thought By Your Side was cute, though it did make me uncomfortable with certain moments that are included in the narrative. (There’s one particular scene that made me really anxious, though I suppose that was the point.) It was another cute rom-com YA read from Kasie West, and I think people who want something light and fluffy will likely enjoy reading this.

What’s your favorite library that you’ve ever visited? I will never not find the main branch of the New York Public Library charming. There’s just something about the structure itself, both without and within, that really stands out in my mind! Plus, I love their rotating exhibits, the gorgeous details and the incredible reading room. (Fun fact: Did you know I spent an entire night at the New York Public Library years ago? I learned the fun fact that majority of the library’s materials are actually in underground storage, and I got to go and see it for myself.)

By Your Side by Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen | Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Source: e-ARC downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)
(I'm a Book Depository affiliate! It would be lovely if you used my referral link if you wanted to buy this book, as I get a very small commission from it and will be putting that cash towards giveaways and other blog-related things.)


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