Young Adult Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

 By Your Side by Kasie West

Source: Edelweiss, HarperTeen

 4 stars

 A digital copy of this title was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

I was locked in the library trying not to panic.

This was my first Kasie West book. In fact, I had not heard of her until after I received this book for review. So, I can’t say I was expecting much of anything. But, I was definitely surprised. I wasn’t sure how to take Autumn as a character, wasn’t sure I’d like her. People and characters who go along to get along tend to annoy me. While there were moments where I wanted to smack her, I believe her heart was in the right place.  Dax was interesting too. I liked the fact that despite his troubled background, he was a decent guy. He wasn’t the troublemaker in need of saving (a trope that happens all too often).

I could see what was happening between Dax and Autumn way before she picked up on it, and I was waiting for the light to go off in her head. I am not talking about the romance part, I am talking about the calming effect he had on her. It is the complete opposite of how she felt when she was with her friends and Jeff. That is not her friends fault completely, they don’t know anything about her anxiety disorder. Speaking of her anxiety disorder; anxiety is a something that everyone that everyone deals with. There were moments in the story where I knew that I would be feeling the same way as Autumn if I was in a similar situation. But an anxiety disorder takes the normal emotion to a whole other level. I do not have an anxiety disorder so I can’t say how accurately it was portrayed. But I will say that I think it was dealt with respectfully.

In the end, I enjoyed this book. I don’t think that getting locked in a library is completely believable. But West did a good job of making It so. I am looking forward to checking out West’s backlist. This book ended happily, it ended as it always should. Despite the fact that this is not how reality works. This was a refreshingly optimistic story.

I could feel his cheek pressed against mine, turn up in a smile. “One step at a time, Autumn, one step at a time.”

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