Thursday, 1 June 2017

By Your Side - Kasie West; Review

Book Details:
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen (31st Jan 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062455869
ISBN-13: 978-0062455864


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? 

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Kasie West is my go to author when I want a cute, light, fluffy YA contemporary read - and I have loved her previous books, like The Distance Between Us, On The Fence, PS. I Like You. But this one sadly, just didn’t do it for me. I still love you Kasie West *she screams from the rooftops* but I know you can, and have written better.

There wasn’t anything majorly wrong as such with this book, just that I didn’t enjoy it, didn’t really connect with it, like I have with her previous books and ok yeah I had a few issues with things in the book, don’t I always. The writing though, was great, very easy to read, simple and the usual you’ve come to expect from this author. 

Sadly, the characters, the storyline, the execution really fell flat for me. I mean.. girl + (bad)boy trapped in a library.. IN A LIBARY. Like, all booklovers dream right? To be trapped in a library with books .. and hot guy, but more so BOOKS. ENDLESS BOOKS. ENDLESS BROWSING WITHOUT SOMEONE BREATHING DOWN YOUR NECK AND WATCHING YOUR WEIRDLY AS YOU STROKE THE COVERS.. uhm NOT that I’ve done that. Nope nope. *smiles*

But like I said, others have loved this book, I just didn’t connect with it in the same way. I started reading this by the way, after finishing the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why - and whenever the names Jeff and Zach, I instantly thought of the characters from the show. (#JEFFDAVIES DESERVED BETTER) just.. yeah. Anyway.

For me the biggest thing was the kind of.. lack of chemistry and FEEEELZ to this book - there should have been 7 different levels of glorious feelings, guy and girl trapped in a library, he bad boy, she relatively good girl - magic ensues. But as much as I want to like Dax for the character he stands for - and as cute as his moments were, I felt like he didn’t have much of a personality? Like even though it was all there in the description of him, of what he has and does go through - there’s still nothing there to get the angst going for me. Autumn - I just didn’t really like her character either, not that she did anything wrong, but again, there was no connection with 

Other things I did not like: 
- Her friends - who seem like real a-holes to be honest, in the way they treat her and view her. Like how is it you didn’t even realise she was missing?! The way Jeff’s best friend treats Autumn, wow the hate is unreal - he’s such a little pile of turd. 
- The representation of her anxiety just didn’t sit right with me - it seemed opportunistic and  just not authentic.
- The triangle with Jeff was a plot device but felt so blah. 

I mean there were some good points to the book, like Autumn’s parents who were so caring and conscious of her mental health, checking up on her, making sure she’s okay or if she needs a break. YES PLS KINDA PARENTING. The writing from Kasie West as always is fun to read and there were some really cute moments between Dax and Autumn - but just not the kinda chemistry I’ve come to expect from West and from YA contemporaries in general. 

All in all, there was GREAT potential, this really could have turned out to be one of my faves from Kasie West, but the lack of depth, chemistry, buildup and complexities to the characters just didn’t push the boat out in this one. On the bright side, there’s a new book due out from Kasie West - Lucky In Love, 25th July - can’t wait to get my hands on that one! In the meantime, take your fill from my reviews of the authors other books which I’d totally recommend - The Distance Between Us, On The Fence, and PS. I Like You

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