Author: Kasie West
Publication: HarperTeen (January 31, 2017)
Description: An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?
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.
My Thoughts: BY YOUR SIDE was an excellent contemporary romance. Autumn has a strong group of friends and a crush on one of them - Jeff. He fits perfectly with her desire to plan and control her life. She is keeping the fact that she has an anxiety disorder from all her friends because she doesn't want them to treat her differently.
One evening, after a study session in the public library, she finds herself locked in when the library closes. Her friends think that she has caught a ride to the party and bonfire with someone else. She's sure they'll come back for her as soon as they realize. But hours pass, and they don't come back.
Just as panic is setting in, she discovers that she isn't alone in the library. Dax Miller is locked in there with her. Even though Dax goes to the same school, she doesn't really know more about him than the various rumors that say he's spent time in juvie.
Dax isn't quick to share his story with her. He is trying to live his life without attachments. A disappearing father and a mother who chose meth instead of him have taught him that attachments cause a lot of pain. He's counting down the days until he's out of the foster care system and can get away from this place.
When she learns that her friend Jeff has been in a car accident and that people thought she was with him and is now dead, she has an anxiety attack that forces Dax to pull the fire alarm, which he was previously reluctant to do, to get her help.
Now free from the library and with Jeff in a coma, Dax pulls away. Autumn is torn between an old friend who likes her and her new friend who doesn't want any attachments. She also has to find a way to manage her anxiety.
I really liked this story. I could sympathize with Autumn who just wanted to be one of the gang and who didn't quite know what to do about this new boy who wrecked all her careful plans but offered her something she didn't know she needed.
I let out a frustrated breath. "No. You're right. I'll tell them."I received this eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
"Now you're just saying that because you think I'm mad."
"It doesn't matter, Autumn." He put his hands on my cheeks. His hands were freezing. "Figure out what you think." His eyes went back and forth between mine. My temperature seemed to rise a couple degrees. "Figure out what you want," he said again, softer.