By Your Side by Kasie West

Trapped in a library…all weekend…with a hot boy? Count me in. By Your Side by Kasie West is every book nerd’s dream come true.

30256248In 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?

It’s difficult to review Kasie West’s books because they are all so sweet and fun, and they take place over a short period of time so there is only so much you can say without giving anything away. Plus, I think going into Kasie’s books blind is the best way to read.

Bottom line, I enjoyed it very much. It hit all my YA contemporary romance buttons in true Kasie West style. I smiled, I laughed, I swooned. Her characters appear simple, but they have such complexity built underneath that makes them pop up from the page like real people.

I don’t want to give anything away, but a couple heavy topics are discussed in this book, and I loved the somewhat awkward conversations and interactions surrounding them. It is difficult and awkward to talk about serious things in real life and West played true to exactly how most teenagers would react. I wish I could have heard more of Dax’s story by getting his perspective. I felt his painful past was more intriguing than Autumn’s.

If I’m completely honest, this is my least favorite of all West’s books, and I wish she would have played with the library piece more, but it was still good enough to read in one sitting.

STARS: 4 out of 5


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West was such a cute read. I listened to the audiobook version and I found myself running down the road with a cheesy smile on my face and the occasional outburst of laughter. This book was funny, entertaining and heart-warming.

15283043Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

The thing I loved most about this book was the sarcasm. There were gobs and gobs of witty comebacks, funny “observations” and dry humor. I loved it; this novel had me laughing out loud. Caymen has got to be the most sarcastic heroine that I’ve ever encountered, which is saying something when you compare it to the many take-no-crap Urban Fantasy heroines.

I fell in love with Xander Spence when he gave as good as he got once his relationship with Caymen started. The sipping from the cup before handing it over was too cute. I loved their career days and I thought West captured the uncertainty of a teenager’s future beautifully.

The conflict in this story revolves around Xander’s money and Caymen’s lack of it. At first, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but over time it bugged me that Caymen was jumping to conclusions about Xander. Toward the end, Xander was jumping to conclusions about Caymen so I guess it evened out by the end. Another aspect that irked me was Caymen’s mom and her inability to communicate with her daughter about the doll store, her illness and her parents. However, these issues were the conflict in the story so they were necessary. I guess I just wanted to hear more about Xander and Caymen, and less about the secondary characters and issues.

This book was really entertaining and well-written. It was the first book of Kasie West’s that I have read, and I’ll definitely be reading more from her.

STARS: 4 out of 5