“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?”
– Synopsis from Goodreads
By Your Side written by Kasie West. Add it on Goodreads!
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I love romance novels, I actually don’t read any other genre than Romance. I enjoy the adult dirty books, but everyone in a while I need a good young adult book with little to no sexual scenes. About a year ago I read a few books from Kasie West and she is always the author I turn too for a cute younger love story. Most of the books that I have read from this author are innocent high school relationships. Which is a complete 180 from the books I normally read, and that’s why it’s good to sit back relax and read a hallmark movie type book compared to a HBO or almost skinamax movie type book.
| Other books by Kasie West |
| P.S. I Like You |
Autumn Collins lives by rules. She kinda has to because of her anxiety. So when her friends leave her behind on accident at the local library, her panic attacks are coming on strong. Up until she finds out that Dax Miller is also locked in the library with her. All Autumn wants to do is get out of there, she had big plans with her friends that weekend, and a boy she has been crushing on for at least a year. Finally after what seemed like forever, it seemed like her crush Jeff was liking her back. But instead of a weekend with friends, she was stuck in a library with someone who is rumored to be into drugs, and was in Juvie. Hours go by, and still no one has come to find her. How could her friends not realize that she isn’t with them? As her and Dax realize they’re going to be locked in there longer than they thought they turn to each other to not be bored. Or at least that’s what Autumn wants to do – play cards and kid games. Yet Dax is the quiet type, he doesn’t do well with others and he’s had a past that are most kids nightmares. Along the way they get to know each other, and some secrets. When Autumn finally realizes why her friends or parents never found her, it causes a major panic attack. But when they finally get out, it causes more trouble to Dax then she could of imagined. Will they remain friends after being locked in the library, or will she pretend to her popular friends that she doesn’t know this “criminal”? Either way, things have definitely changed since they were stuck together for so long.
I was very pleased with this book. The writing is always well put and the story line goes into great detail but never too much of an overload. I’ve noticed with Kasie West’s books there always seems to be a hidden meaning or a hidden feeling in the novels that I have read from hers. In this one it was almost as if the guy was always protecting the main character, even though she barely knew him and likewise. That even though Dax was a loaner and never socialized, he would do anything to hide the fact that he was trying to go out of his way to do something for Autumn. My heart broke for moments when the two just didn’t communicate well, hurting each other or others. I found this sweet high school relationship, just that. Sweet. And just what I needed after reading so many adult books that look hardcore to this type of book. Always warms my heart to read a good love story, even if the kids in it don’t realize it for the longest time.
Check out my review on Goodreads or check out my longer review and summary below!
Long review with all the spoilers so SPOILER ALERT!
Autumn Collins is on her way to her friends cabin for the weekend. But first they hit up the library to finish a paper with some cute guys. One guy in particular. Jeff. She has been crushing on him since last school year and it finally seemed like it was going somewhere. He invited her to go to the library and finish a paper then go to a campsite for a celebration bonfire for finishing that horrible school assignment. Everything was going as planned until right before they left for the bonfire, Autumn had to use the bathroom. So she went running back into the library before they closed, leaving her weekend bag with everything in it, including her cellphone, in Jeff’s trunk. So never expected the library to shut down while she was in the bathroom. Lights turned off, thermostat turned down and locked and all doors locked. No time to panic, everything will be okay. Her friends will realize she is gone and come back for her. Honest mistake, I mean she was going back and forth about which car she will be getting into before she ran off the the bathroom. Few hours tops.
Then a few hours turned into almost the whole night, and still no one has come back for her. She had no food, no blankets and no electricity. The computers were no help since they were password protected. In the middle of the night, after hearing someone walk by the library blaring music, she went in rush to find them. Only they could not hear her over the music. She did however find a notice on the library door saying that the library will be closed all weekend, and Monday due to the Martin Luther King JR. Holiday. She would be stuck her until Tuesday morning if no one comes to find her. Then there was a noise, and a guy behind her holding a knife.
The guy seemed to be worried that she had a phone on her and was going to call the cops that he was there. After a little mishap where Autumn tries to attack the guy, she realizes its Dax Miller. A kid from her school, a loner type. Even though he says he’s not homeless, he brought a bag and a sleeping bag to stay at the library all weekend. Autumn is positive he has a phone, and is not letting her use it. So she tries to be nice, sharing her found food in the work cafeteria. Maybe she can get on his good side.
She did get on this good side, but after sharing his $5 to get food out to the vending machine she left him watching tv in the breakroom to go searching for a phone. She found it. Except it was dead and has no minutes. Dax found her looking through his bag, and was pissed. He told her that he had a bag because he can come and goes whenever he wants. That his foster parents grow weed in their basement. They go separate ways. After a couple of hours, she found some cards and went to find him to somewhat apologize. Even tho Dax was in juvie for 4 months, she helps him learn poker and they start playing secrets. Every time someone winds a hand, they winner gets to ask the loser a question. Dax won first, and he asked her where she thinks her friends really are, and why they haven’t come to get her. SHe informs him that they probably thinks she has gone home. That she has done that before, because she has really bad anxiety and panic attacks which she takes medicine for. When Autumn finally won she asked why he was in Juvie. He had beaten up foster dad #3 because he was abusive towards his wife. Wife ended up taking her husbands side, and off went Dax locked up.
After a panic attack, Autumn was desperate for air, she found a doorway to the roof and found a bell tower, but after ringing it many times, still no one came. She had an idea of pulling the fire alarm, but just as she was going to do it Dax told her to stop. That he is on his last strike, if he messes up one more time he goes to a group home. That the reason he was here was because his foster parents, packed a bag for him and left it on the porch. They wanted him gone. Autumn thought about it long and hard, and decided to not pull the alarm, that she can last 2 more days locked in the library with Dax. They even were become friends kinda and joking around.
After a day of playing kids games that they found around the library, they went to sleep. They ended up sharing the sleeping bag, after Dax wake Autumn up with shivering so much. They cuddled a little bit on accident at first. We find out that Dax’s tattoo means his independence day. The day he became free it says 7 14 14.
The next morning they head off to watch tv, breaking news interrupts what they are watching. There was a car accident, involving Jeff. Police found Autumn’s bad in the trunk, they think that she is missing or dead. Search parties are out looking for her in the mountains. She starts having a panic attack, and Dax is trying to help her. When she isn’t calming down, he pulls the fire alarm but she is already passing out before she realizes it. She wakes up on the way to the hospital. Dax no where to be found.
Autumn is doing great, just weak from lack of food and the anxiety. She goes back to school the next day and Dax is avoiding her. Everyone else is excited to see her, even have a party that weekend in celebration that she is alive. Autumn goes and visits Jeff in ICU at the hospital. He’s in a coma, but his mom thinks Autumn going in to see him will wake him up. Jeff has talked so much about Autumn to his mother.
Autumn goes to return Dax’s sweater, after she finds out that Dax stayed the whole time. Gave a report to the police. Except that didn’t help anything, he was still sent to a group home. He doesn’t think him and Autumn are friends. He basically wants nothing to do with her. Or at least so she thinks. They end up being at the same party and talking briefly, until they were interrupted by a text saying Jeff opened his eyes. Autumn went with her friends and Jeff’s to go and visit him in the hospital. When Autumn was able to go into his room, and his best friend wasn’t it pissed him off. Autumn needed someone to talk too, so she went to see Dax. They hugged and she thought he was about to kiss her, so she said no kissing, just a distraction from the real world. Not even friends, just a distraction.
The next morning Autumn went searching for Jeff’s best friend Dallin. He was upset because he feels like Autumn is not good enough for Jeff. That Jeff has been chasing after her for months and she just keeps running away. None of her or his friends know she has anxiety. She runs off to find Dax, to help be her distraction. They hug and she just keeps telling herself that he is just a distraction, nothing more.
Jeff is out of ICU and Dallin still doesn’t like Autumn. After making plans to hang out with Dax, she gets a text that Jeff is asking for her. By the time she leaves the hospital she is an hour and a half late to meeting Dax. He is at the park, in the cold sitting by himself. She tells him what happens with Jeff, and he seems disappointed, but yet he says its okay. – This is where my heart starts breaking for Dax. He doesn’t seem to know anyone, can’t remember names or what they look like except he knew Autumn before the library incident. Dax keeps saying that when he turns 18, he’s leaving and never looking back. Yet I have a feeling that he is telling himself that because he told Autumn in the library that he has commitment issues. I think he wants Autumn, that it hurts him to see her go to Jeff, when he wants her. He just thinks his life is too messed up for her.
Autumn goes and visits Jeff, on Dallin’s schedule day. Which makes her very nervous. The visit went okay, but as she was leaving Dax was waiting for her. He was there for her distraction. Dallin ended up seeing them hugging but didn’t say anything. Autumn wanted to help be a distraction to Dax now, so she was teaching him how to drive a car. During that things got serious about how her happiest moments involved him, and then they start making out. She slid onto his lap, but there wasn’t enough room, hitting the car horn. They made out more after outside the car, but she made herself pull away after a while. She needed to take him home.
Autumn is going back and forth about what kissing Dax meant. She talked to her friend Lisa about it and Lisa was understanding, telling her to take her time think about it. Being way more supportive that Autumn thought, and me too. She spent some time with Jeff and had fun, up until she got home. Dax left his book at the park the other day, and he had a letter in there that he’s been wanting to mail to his birth mom for years. But was too afraid too. His dad left when he was 4 but his mom was a meth addict and on 7 14 14 is when she gave up her parental rights. When Autumn went to go pick up the book, the letter was gone. Her mother had mailed it, thinking it was ready to be mailed since there was a stamp and address on there. Autumn freaked out and told her mother she needed to drive to Salt Lake City which was about an hour drive. She needed to get that letter back from his mother.
When Autumn gets to Dax’s mothers apartment, she had already read the letter. She was so happy to know that he had reached out to her, and wanted to write back. Autumn asked her if she could wait a week, that she wanted to speak to Dax first and let him know that the letter was accidentally sent and let him decide what he wants to do about it. She got her number and said she will call with his decision.
Autumn realized that she wants to be with Dax and not Jeff. So when she goes looking for him at school, she can’t find him. She goes to see Jeff to tell him that she wants to be with Dax, but is interrupted by his best friend Dallin. Jeff is coming home this week, and she doesn’t want to ruin his good week of getting out of the hospital.
When she comes home, Dax is waiting for her in her drive way. She tells him to get in, and he asks if she is keeping him a secret. Which she replies with no, she has told her best friend and brother and wants her to meet his parents. He doesn’t quite listen to that because he is upset at her. His mother came and found him, was able to reach him through forwarding addresses. This is not what he wanted. She tried telling him it was an accident, but he once again was not listening. He told her he is done being her distraction, done being her charity case. Yet she was just about to tell him that’s not what he was or is. But he got out the car and Autumn didn’t go after him. She ended up staying home from school the rest of the week. Telling everyone she was sick.
Friday she was home alone, when the doorbell rang. When she opened it, it was Dallin. Or at least it was for a split second until he put a pillowcase over her head, and zip tied her hands. She was being friendnapped. This was not good for her anxiety. When they finally got to the schools basketball game, they released her. She was in full panic attack mode, and flipped out. Finally telling all her friends that she has bad anxiety and panic attacks and then ran off. 15 mins later, Jeff shows up in the greenhouse, she was hoping it was Dax. Autumn tells Jeff that she doesn’t have feelings for him, but for Dax. Jeff then asks her if he can kiss her before he leaves. First she said yes, and at last second she said no. Jeff happened to see something over her shoulder. Which we find out was Dax later when everyone is at restaurant and Dax shows up to get a to-go order. Jeff calls Dax over and makes jokes like he typically does, but when Dax goes to leave Jeff tells Autumn to go after him. She does.
Outside of the restaurant Autumn tells Dax that nothing happened between her and Jeff. That she wants to be with him. Dax also tells her that. The next day they are going to Jeff’s party for getting out of the hospital at Dallin’s. Dax meets her parents, and they love him. When they get to the party, she officially introduces all her friends to Dax and everyone seems to like him. It ends with them going into the laundry room, her calming place. Dancing together with muffled music, happy together.