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?
By Your Side is a contemporary romance novel about teenager Autumn Collins who finds herself locked in a library with bad boy acclaimed druggie, Dax Miller. Autumn, frustrated and hoping her friends will eventually come find her is surprised to find that WOW Dax Miller isn’t a druggie. WOW. Dax is actually really nice. WOW. Dax didn’t go to juvie because he punched someone in the face. While on the other hand, Dax finds himself surprised that Autumn isn’t the perfect, naive, rich brat he assumed she was.
I quickly burned through By Your Side in a couple hours. I was intrigued by the concept and quite recently I finished reading her last novel, PS I Like You and I very much enjoyed it. I would say I did enjoy By Your Side but on the other hand, I felt that the synopsis is somewhat misleading. The novel does take place in the library for the first third of the book, but it isn’t about books. It isn’t about Autumn liking to read. The entire book is mostly about Autumn trying to tell Jeff (this guy she isn’t dating yet but everyone thinks they will) that she doesn’t want to be with him.
The characters were actually disappointing in my opinion. I didn’t love them, I didn’t understand them and most importantly, I didn’t really care about what their end result would be. Characters in my personal opinion are the central part of the story, if you don’t care about a character, why would you care about what they say or do? It is without a doubt, that though By Your Side was an entertaining and light read, it wasn’t a thoughtful deep novel and for sure did not meet my expectations.
The plot was for sure not fast paced, it was definitely interesting, but like I said, not superb. In fact, Autumn had some serious angst that needed to be solved. There wasn’t much to By Your Side. It was extremely one dimensional and it felt like the only thing within our story was Autumn, Dax and Jeff. All the other characters? Forget them, we hardly knew their last names!
Overall, By Your Side was a disappointing read that failed to meet my expectations of West’s last novel. I recommend the novel to anyone looking for a light slightly fluffy novel, but this is most certainly not the next great American novel.
Have you picked up By Your Side yet? Did you enjoy it? Are you anticipating this novel? Let me know down below in the comments! Thank you for reading!