Quick review for a quick read. I actually enjoyed “By Your Side” in it’s own right. It’s a light, fluffy read for the most part, despite having some rather harrowing conflicts in tow. The story starts with Autumn hanging with her friends, getting separated and ending up locked in a library over a holiday weekend. This wouldn’t be such a bad scenario (because let’s face it: being locked in a library would be every bookworm’s dream, mine included) if Autumn didn’t have an anxiety disorder and didn’t have access to a phone.
To top it off, she’s locked in the library with Dax, a boy she knows from school with a complicated history. But as the two of them get to know each other in the library over the weekend, their relationship grows. Quite a bit of the book takes place in the locked library, but it’s not the whole story, and it’s when Autumn and Dax finally get out that their relationship is tested, because Autumn has a relationship with her love interest Jeff, but a tragedy has her torn between her relationship with him and Dax.
I should note that I haven’t read very many of Kasie West’s books, but the story was okay for me even if it felt a bit short and a little too convenient considering the hefty subject matters (I mean, one of the guys is in a coma for a time in this book, plus there are specific weighted conflicts that I really wanted to know more about that just get glossed over in favor of pushing the relationship aspect. I’d have like to have been a fly on the wall to figure out what happened in the interaction/reunion between Dax and his mother. That plotline just got dropped by the wayside.) I really wish the character backgrounds could’ve been fleshed out a little more because the story itself had a lot of promise not just for the settings, but also for the backgrounds and struggles of the characters here that were touched upon.
In the end, I thought it was worth the time to read, but I was still left wanting a little more from it. I’m definitely checking into more of West’s work in the future, though.
Overall score: 3/5 stars.