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?
Published: January 31st by HarperTeen
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I literally just finished this book and I find myself a little, I don’t know, underwhelmed with this one…
When I first read the synopsis for By Your Side I was so excited because ummm, two people locked in a library?! YAAAS! But, there was literally no book appreciation involved whatsoever. Instead, they played card games and watched tv and they didn’t know what to do when they were bored…ummm, hello? You are literally trapped in a library, pick up a book! I’ll cut Dax some slack because he was reading sometimes, but Autumn?😩 Personally, I believe there was so much potential with the whole “trapped in a library” plot but sadly, it was wasted. Also, I don’t quite believe that they were “trapped”, exactly. I mean, wouldn’t there be a landline phone somewhere in the library? Or even an emergency exit or two? There must have been some way for them to escape. 🤷♀️
Ok, on to some good points. I really loved Autumn’s family. They were so supportive of her anxiety disorder and they took the time to ask how she was feeling, which was incredible. Her mum even said she could have ‘mental health days’ where she could stay home from school and basically just relax and take a breather, I loved this.
As for the romance between Dax and Autumn? Eh. Ok, there were some moments that were cute, like when they asked each other personal questions or every time Dax would offer Autumn his jacket. But I just didn’t feel a deep connection between them. I wish we could’ve found out more about Dax’s backstory because I felt like I knew nothing about him, so I couldn’t care enough. And there was a (kind of) love triangle and ughhhhh, I just really dislike love triangles.
And Autumn’s friends? Wooooow. Some friends they are. How did they not realise – not one of them – that they left their friend behind in the library? Or the fact that Autumn had an anxiety disorder? It just doesn’t seem right to me that no one in her group of friends knew any of this. And there is this one “friend” (he who shall not be named) who was kinda being unreasonable and bullying Autumn and he never even apologised in the end. So yeah, I’m not so happy with her “friends”.
All in all, i’m kind of disappointed and very underwhelmed with By Your Side. This is my third Kasie West book and unlike P.S I Like You and The Distance Between Us, i didn’t fly through this book or feel as emotionally invested. Of course, I’m going to read more Kasie West books in the future because most of them are such cute, easy reads! So, hopefully I’ll enjoy her next book Love, Life and the List a lot more, fingers crossed!