review: By Your Side by Kasie West

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Date started: March 24, 2017
Date finished: March 26, 2017
Book 23/52 in 2017.
My rating: 

Oh, Kasie West. Oh, By Your Side. Oh, terrible, fluffy fiction.

This is the second book review I've written this week that is not getting a "three favorite things" section. At least with this one, I think it's pretty clear why I can't think of anything good to say: This was the absolute worst book I've read in 2017. I enjoyed nothing. I don't know why I refused to DNF it, but I trucked through it – probably just so I could write a review about how absolutely awful it was. Kasie West's fiction is getting progressively more annoying and eye roll-worthy, and I will shout it from the rooftops how bad this book was. 

Anywho, here's the Goodreads synopsis...

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

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 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? 

1. Autumn has no personality. 

Autumn's personality in one word: Anxiety. THAT IS NOT A PERSONALITY, KASIE WEST. Mental illness is not a personality trait. And it certainly shouldn't be all that Autumn is – except when she conveniently decides she wants to turn her anxiety off so it doesn't get in her way anymore. Because, that's normal. Right?

I got through half the book before I asked myself what the main character's name was. It never occurred to me and I was never curious. Because it didn't matter what her name was. She was a white girl with no problems, but the author realized she had no problems so she gave her a very real mental illness – but only to be used when it was convenient for the plot's sake. Get away from me, Kasie West. Everyone in the world who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis deserves way better than you.

2. While I'm at it, neither does Dax.

No long rant on this one – he's boring. He has problems, but really, he is predictable and simple and boring. I've read a lot of books where one of the characters was in or had previously been in foster care, and West really glamorized Dax's situation. Obviously, the foster parents he lives with in the beginning are terrible people, kicking him out and blaming him for running away, but this huge deal was made about Dax going to a group home and losing his freedom. Really, his worst nightmare was structured homework and friend time? Jeeze.

3. Autumn's friends SUCK. Why in the world are these the people she spends her time with?

Her friends don't stand out from each other – every single thing any of them say could've been switched to another character, and it wouldn't have been confusing or weird. I remember two of them – Lisa and Dallin – because their names are repeated more often than the others, but honestly, they are all the same.

Dallin also sucks in his own right because who bullies their "friend" and focuses more on what a bad person they are when they should be focusing on their best friend who is in the hospital? This guy's priorities are totally out of whack, and I don't know anyone, even a teenager, who would act like that.

4. Who gets locked in a library for three days and never reads a single book? Ridiculous.

I will never understand this.

5. And the book ends with everything tied up with a neat little bow.



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