Review: By Your Side

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 at 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?

Autumn finds herself locked inside the library for an entire weekend with no way out and unable to contact anyone.  She soon realizes she’s not alone; Dax Miller is also locked in with her.  She doesn’t know much about him, other than he did some time in juvie and that he’s a loner – not exactly someone she feels comfortable being locked in with.  She has to remind herself that it won’t be long before her friends realize she’s missing and come back for her.

But they don’t.

Autumn realizes that she and Dax have to make the most of their situation by living off vending-machine food and figuring out how to get the lock off the thermostat.  As the weekend drags on they begin to open up to each other and they find that their preconceived notions about each other aren’t entirely accurate.  The only question is will this seemingly new friendship survive when they finally get out of the library?

I was very excited about this book before it was even released.  I mean, a book about being trapped in a library?  That’s every book nerd’s dream!  I mean, of course it would be nicer if it was planned ahead of time and there was more than just vending-machine food available.  Still… a library, no rules… it’s paradise (as long as its respected).

The only, though partial, downside to the books is that only about a third of it actually takes place in the library.  I, as well as many others, went in with the notion that the entire book would take place over the course of that one weekend (or at least three quarters).  Despite this, I found the plot twist that brought Autumn and Dax out of the library interesting and better than what anyone would have expected.  The time these two characters spent in the library was a good introduction to who they were and setting the spark of their relationship through the secrets they shared.

I loved both Autumn and Dax.  Autumn was funny, awkward, and dealt with anxiety (which was something she kept from her friends, but admitted to Dax).  West had a great way of portraying Autumn’s anxiety that was believable and relatable to anyone who either struggles with anxiety or knows someone who does.  Meanwhile, Dax was a loner with a sarcastic front that I personally enjoyed.  As his past is revealed to Autumn, I began to understand why he preferred to set himself apart from his peers and I felt bad for him.  Because no one knew much about him, they made assumptions based off things they heard about him.  I loved the times that he showed a softness toward Autumn and let his walls come down brick by brick.

I’d definitely say this book is worth 4 stars, probably more like 4.5!  I didn’t have too many issues with it other than the ending seeming a little rushed, but that’s just my opinion.  If you’re looking for a cute, easy YA contemporary book to read, I will throw this one at you repeatedly until you read it!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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