By Your Side (Rant) Review || A Flat, Contrived Contemporary Mess


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 rem

inding 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 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?


“Possibilities are exciting and endless. Realities are final”

The thing about Kasie West is that I started out really liking her, reading Love, Life and the List, which is so far my favorite of all her works, and that’s gradually declining as I like her, well, less and less. As far as her books go, this one is pretty bad.

The concept drew me in immediately!! I’m sure this is the case for most bookworms who have picked up this book–after all, who wouldn’t love being trapped in a library all weekend?? Well, Autumn wouldn’t, that’s for sure.

Honestly, the plot is so beyond contrived that it’s almost maddening. I mean, seriously?? First of all, how does nobody notice her there? Do all the librarians leave the second the library closes without checking to make sure nobody is there? I’ve been in a library after it officially closed, and it sure wasn’t deserted *right away.* Then, is she seriously unable to find a single phone? How exactly are all the librarians going to call each other from their desks, like from downstairs to upstairs? And how are people going to call the library with questions? Furthermore, the one single computer can only be accessed with an employee username and password? Seriously? The library doesn’t have any computers that people can use?

Then, there’s the question of the fact that the computer is so carefully protected that nobody can use it. The thermostat is so carefully protected that they can’t change the temperature above freezing (literally. I mean, if they can see their breath inside, it’s freezing). And meanwhile the employee break room with a TV and fridge is easily accessible.

Now, I realize that I’m very lucky to have such an amazing, large library. Not all libraries are that nice. That could explain the lack of phones and computers. But considering this library is described as having several floors, huge staircases where they can have slinky races, and an amazing bell tower…no phones?

Anyways, moving on past that point, I’ll have you all know that the actual library part is not, in fact, most of the book. It’s probably less than half. And it could literally take place anywhere that isn’t a library (in fact it would probably make sense somewhere besides a library). There’s no reading. Point made.

So as soon as we’re out of the library, we go back to Autumn’s normal life, which includes her long time crush who she intended to confess her feelings too before she got locked in a library, Jeff. And, cute library bad boy, Dax. So that’s right ladies and gentlemen–a love triangle!!!!!! And in case you’re not sure, I’ll just tell you know, I really really really hate love triangles.

But what makes this love triangle even worse is the fact that I literally couldn’t care less about the two guys. Seriously. You would think that with two of them, I might be a little emotionally invested in at least one of them, but nope. Nah. I literally couldn’t care less which one she ends up with. There was no chemistry. The whole thing was just…meh. Whatever. I mean seriously, Dax is marketed as this total bad boy off the synopsis, and the beginning of the book. And I really love bad boy tropes haha. But he’s got to be the most boring bad boy ever.

Autumn’s friends are also just about the worst friends in existence. Seriously? They all just left her alone in the library? They all just presumed that she was in someone else’s car? And then they were all hanging out having a bonfire and they literally didn’t even notice that she wasn’t there? These really don’t sound like good friends. Just saying.

AT LEAST her family was wonderful. This is one of the very few redeemable moments of this book. Another being that Autumn has anxiety, and I thought that the anxiety rep was wonderful. I don’t have anxiety, and I’ve seen a couple of reviews saying that they didn’t like the rep, so take my word with a grain of salt, but that’s just what I thought. Anyways, her family was amazingly supportive of her with her anxiety, and I just loved the relationship Autumn had with her brother! It was sure a lot more interesting than either of the relationships with the respective boring guys.

Okay, so I really can’t think of anything else to say. I don’t really recommend unless you just adore all of Kasie West’s books because then you might love this one too. But probably nah. Go for Morgan Matson. Don’t look back.

★★ / 5


20 thoughts on “By Your Side (Rant) Review || A Flat, Contrived Contemporary Mess

  1. I was reading the synopsis and my first thought was “What, she doesn’t have a cell phone so she can call her parents?” It really bugs me when authors ignore technology like that. This book sounds SOOOOOO contrived. Commence eye rolling now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! I absolutely HATE it when literally every aspect ever of real life is ignored just for the book’s sake. And seriously??? No phones??? No computers??? NEITHER of them has a cell phone??? Lol that sounds so disappointing🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha I loved this review. I work in a library and yeah (like with really any place that serves the public) we check to make sure the building is clear before we set the alarm that’s /motion activated/ so if someone /was/ accidentally locked in, it wouldn’t take long to figure it out!! I think this story could have worked if it was set in the 80s or even 90s/early 00s. Definitely no cell phones and a smaller branch would have less tech, but you’re right, the one described in the book… it was pretty contrived how they got trapped there.

    I definitely want to read some Kasie West in the future but I don’t think I’ll start with this one XD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My library is tiny (my town only has two red lights so you can imagine) and it has computers for the public use and also a phone sitting in the main desk. So I agree with your point. Even though the synopsis does seem to suck me in! 🙈 Great Review!

    Liked by 1 person

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