Author: Kasie West
Info: Harper Teen, copyright 2017, 346 pages
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?
Kasie West, you had me at "accidentally locked in the library," but then you went and lost me on the execution. I wanted so much to love this book. Isn't it a book lover's dream to get locked somewhere with the source of your nerdiness at your fingertips? A whole night (or weekend in this case) to sit and read without interruption? But I think working in a library ruined this one for me - or more specifically my director ruined it for me :) Over the last couple of years I've learned a lot about maintaining a building - cleaning floors, monitoring an HVAC, security systems. This is great knowledge to have for my position, but I have found that it is seeping into my "everyday" life. Like going to the Guggenheim in NYC and getting distracted by the state of their terrazzo instead of admiring the artwork on the walls. Work hazard I suppose.
But that's what drove me NUTS about this book. This library is unsafe. Like, has serious security issues. All of the public doors should have had crash bars so patrons could get out in the case of an emergency. No one should really be able to get locked in. Sneak in and stay, yes, but held against your will. No. And where were the telephones?! How are librarians answering phone calls at the Reference Desk?
It all just seemed extremely implausible, which was a shame, because By Your Side has a bit of a While You Were Sleeping vibe. Autumn has been crushing on Jeff forever, and just when she thinks something could happen between them, she goes and gets herself locked in the library with a mysterious-loner dude. They connect through relatively little conversation, and while they don't hang in the same circles at school, they find that they are drawn to one another even after the weekend ends. Autumn must choose between the boy she as adored for years and the one that has just stolen her heart. (Oh...Jeff was in a car accident at the beginning of the book and spends the first part of the story in a coma - so While You Were Sleeping).
Thi sis my second Kasie West attempt. P.S. I Like You left me underwhelmed, but I was hoping that it was just a one-time thing. I don't think it is. When you've seen contemporary, romantic teen fiction done really well, anything less just feels "eh". I can definitely see the appeal of her work though, which means that I'm still going to be recommending her titles for the teens who love a good, sappy romance.