By Your Side

30256248First Lines: I was locked in the library trying not to panic.  Literally locked.  As in, no escape.  Every door, every window, every air vent.  Okay, I hadn’t tried the air vents, but I was seriously considering it.  I wasn’t desperate enough…yet.

Hey-o!  It’s another ARC!  I think I told you I’d be reading a lot of them soon, and I am.  I couldn’t pass up reading another Kasie West book (just how exactly does she churn these out so quickly?!), especially went this cover heralds the return of the half-headless couple.  So without further ado, let’s check out what I thought of this book that doesn’t release until at least January 31st.  (Some dates go as late as February 14, so I don’t know when it actually comes out.)

When Autumn gets locked in the library for the weekend, she’s pretty sure life cannot possibly for-the-love-of-God get worse.  But somehow, being alone in the library was way more appealing than being stuck in the library with Dax Miller, the secretive probably-criminal who goes to Autumn’s school.  Really, all she knows about him is that he’s prone to fights, got locked up in juvie last year, and is typically a loner.  Still, she tells herself it’s only a matter of time before her friends and her crush, Jeff, realize she’s missing.  But no one comes charging in on their white horse.  When it becomes clear that Autumn is there for the weekend (hooray for vending machine food!), she is determined to talk to this boy, even if it’s just something to do.  Soon, she realizes that there’s more to Dax than meets the eye.  Slowly, they open up to each other.  But can their newfound connection survive when they return to real life?

I’ve been a Kasie West fan since I read The Distance Between Us. It was smart, cute, and definitely made me fall for each of the characters. This book was no different in that respect.

I’m not going to say this was my favorite Kasie West book (that honor still belongs to On the Fence), but this is definitely in the top three.  And well above P.S. I Like You.  It was adorable. I seriously could not put it down.

Autumn starts out being kind of your typical teenage girl. She has a crush on a boy that she’s too shy to tell she likes, an obsession with her phone, and a creative side that comes out over the weekend in the library. She likes having her entire life planned out, and Dax was definitely not part of the plan. She even has moments where she’s a bit annoying to me, partly because I just didn’t grow up around girls. So her constant need to say, “I have to pee,” to Dax is just as confusing to me as it was to him. But I’m nitpicking. 🙂 Anyway, as you start getting more into the story and learning more about her background, it becomes so easy to relate to her. Well before the halfway point in the book, I was firmly on her side.

Dax is similar in that respect. Coming from a rough background, Dax’s terse and secretive personality grows on you as he started to open up to Autumn. It’s actually really freaking adorable.

Admittedly, the plot is a little bit unbelievable. Things like how no one notices lights on in the library after closing, or the fact that Autumn can’t find a phone to call for help. But if you can suspend your belief a little, just a little, this book is well worth it.

But perhaps my favorite part of this book (besides the characters and the romance, both of which I adored) is the way this book deals with heavier topics. I don’t want to spoil anything because it’s definitely worth discovering on your own, but let’s just say that both Dax and Autumn are dealing with things beyond their control in the best ways they can and I really appreciated this book bringing attention to both of those issues. Because they are real and real teens do struggle with these problems every day.

So there you have it. I’m really glad that I decided to kick off 2017 with this book.

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