Genre: YA contemporary, romance
Autumn Collins is a good girl. Pretty popular too. I guess it comes with being the yearbook photographer. She has an amazing group of friends and a very HOT crush who may or may not like her back. What if they don’t know about her anxiety? It’s not like they need to know or anything.
Dax Miller is the loner. The outcast. Him staying at foster homes may have something to do with his reputation. Or most probably his time in juvie. Yeah that must be it.
What happens when good girl Autumn gets locked in a library with the school bad boy? Things are about the get complicated for both of them.
I’ve read a Kasie West book before and I did not like it. At all. But I’m in such a contemporary mood this summer and I thought: why not? People recommend her left and right so I decided to give her another try, and I’m glad I did. I’m still not the number 1 Kasie West fan, but I liked By Your Side.
It was super fast-paced – I read it in less than a day – a total page turner. You just wanted to know what happens next. Maybe the slow burn romance had something to do with it. And boy was it slow burn. DON’T go into this book expecting the characters to get together from the beginning because you will be very disappointed.
They spend much together as friends and let me tell you they were the definition of cute. They were also the definition of “I’m clueless of his/her feelings towards me I’m sure they only see me as friends” WHICH WAS SO INFURIATING but as I said slow burn.
Dax was your typical mysterious loner with a bad boy reputation. Which of course wasn’t the case at all cause in reality he was sweet and supportive and loving and caring. *sigh* I don’t think I will ever get over this trope. Seriously I think I need help.
Lastly, I really liked the anxiety representation. It was done well. The character was on medication for her anxiety and she actually displayed her symptoms accurately. When you have anxiety it’s not like you are anxious every minute of every day, but it comes suddenly and completely unexpected. You may be walking down the street and suddenly be overwhelmed by anxiety about a totally irrelevant thing that came to your mind. Or when the character was put on the spotlight and she didn’t miraculously overcome her anxiety and became this confident woman who surprises the public with the flow of her speech. None of this bullsh*t. It was done realistically. Also the panic attacks were done pretty well. The having trouble breathing part, the sweating part, the world closing in on you part. So needless to say this book should come with an anxiety and panic attack trigger warning.
Now the things I did not like.
The ending. Not the ending in itself but the way it was done. She was building up the story and in the last few pages I felt like she wanted to include everything as quickly and compressed as possibly. It wrapped up so abruptly and it took away some of the connection you had start building with the characters. I needed at least a 100 pages more so that she could let the story breathe and have a more natural flow.
I also don’t like the writing. Yes it is fast paced but it doesn’t let me connect to the characters. I feel like there’s a wall between us and I can’t sympathise with them. That was my main problem with her other book too.
Anyway, it was a cute, summery YA contemporary romance with good anxiety representation. If you’re into that I totally recommend!
Have you read it? What are your thoughts? Let me know on the comments below!