Tuesday, May 9, 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West Review

Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.

I've heard of Kasie West and her cute, contemporary romances, as well as her successful science fiction duology. I've been curious about her ever since I knew of her, and when I heard about By Your Side, I knew I just had to read it! I mean, a shy good girl and a mysterious, brooding bad boy stuck in a library with each other for an entire weekend? It literally sounds like the perfect plot for a romance, and when I saw the recommendation for it, I was so excited. It sounded so perfect, and to be honest I needed something kind of light. Not to say that this book is shallow; quite the opposite, in fact. The characters were well-developed, and I really liked the way the romance progressed. A love story with two lovable characters at its center, just starting to find themselves? Part of the reason I don't much like contemporary fiction is that often, it seems forced, but that wasn't the case here. I loved this book, and Kasie West has won my heart completely!

Autumn Collins has the perfect weekend ahead of her, and she has plans to make the most of it. Plans to make her longtime crush, Jeff, into something more than a crush. But those plans go wildly awry when she finds herself locked inside the local library with the resident bad boy, Dax Miller. Forced to work together against their will, they grudgingly begin to open up to one another, and their relationship blooms into a real friendship, and maybe something more. But will Autumn go with what makes her feel safe, or will she gain the courage to be true to herself, even if it means risking the ultimate price?

As I said, I really loved this book! At first, it seemed like a sweet, light romance, and a good part of the book was focused on the relationship. But it also focused on important issues: love in all of its forms, the stigma and misunderstanding that often comes with mental illness, and what it really means to be true to yourself, and live your life for yourself. I enjoyed Autumn, and the way she grows from an anxious, frightened girl into a beautiful, brave young woman. I also really loved her aodrable, loving family, and Dax, the unlikely object of her affections. Plus, I just loved the premise. Being locked away in a library with a cute boy? Sigh, so cute! I really enjoyed By Your Side! The bottom line: A sweet love story that talks about mental illness and how to be yourself, By Your Side was like one of my childhood fantasies come true! One of my favorite books of 2017! Next on deck: The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud!

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