Review | By Your Side – Kasie West

book-review

By Your Side by Kasie West

346 pages
Published: January 31, 2017 by Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Summary:

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?

Review:

Kasie West books are always an auto-buy for me. I fell in love with her contemporaries and her writing style exactly one year ago when I binge read all her published contemporaries. I love the way they made me feel. They were so much fun to read. They are fluffy and light. The same can be said about By Your Side. There’s a lot of reviews that I read about people not enjoying because they we’re expecting a bookworm in a library and that it would be magical. In real-life, we’d all love to be stuck in a library for a weekend and read our lives away, but I mean … how would that translate into a book? But everyone has their opinion. I love West’s books because there’s always something deeper than just the love story. In this book, we have the main character, Autumn, who has an anxiety disorder that she keeps hidden from her friends. Unfortunately, some of her friends think that she’s a flake. Dax, on the other hand, deals with neglect, loneliness, and inability to trust others because of constant moving between foster homes.

They are completely opposite people but I love how they mesh well together. They were so adorable and I love how their relationship develops. I love accepting they are of each other. Autumn opens up a lot more to him than to some of her friends and Dax pretty much gets his first friend in Autumn. I love the progression of the plot. I loved the drama haha. It surprised me actually because I wasn’t expecting it. It gave a good explanation as to why no one was wondering where Autumn was and why no one thought to go back to the library to look for her. Seriously, read this book if you want something easy and fun. The romance is just plain adorable!

Amazon Book Haul!

book talk

Hey guys! It has been such a long time since I’ve bought books … like a real book haul. I have been trying to save money but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I have over 115 books on my shelves that I have yet to read but I wasn’t really feeling any of them (whoops). So I went on amazon and just started “window shopping” and a couple of hours later, I ended up buying 7 books! Ha! I got carried away but you can’t really blame me, right? Funny thing though. I picked up one of my books on my shelves while waiting for my haul and ended up really loving it. Too bad it was the first book of a 5-book series and I didn’t have the rest of the books. Now I just want to  buy those books and finish the series. The irony haha. Anyway, here’s my haul. I think I bought wisely because I saved a lot of money (Thank you Amazon!).

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(That's me attempting to be artsy-fartsy but histerically failing)
  1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  2. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
  3. The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
  4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  6. The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
  7. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

I am so excited to get to reading! Even funnier is the fact that I’m currently NOT reading one of these books. Actual bookworm problems. Which of these books have you read? Which book do you recommend I read first?! Let me know below!

xoxo

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

reviewOn the Fence

Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
Format: 296 pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Kasie West | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis: For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


Review:

5star

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This book was totally cliché and honestly? I loved every minute of it. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Seriously, Kasie West’s writing is so addictive. Some parts were borderline corny but I also weirdly enjoyed that. It might be because I haven’t read a contemporary in such a long time. Anyway, back to the review. The synopsis of the book really pulled me in. I love stories like this, of friends getting out of the friend zone and I always love the idea of protective older brothers. I always wanted to grow up in that kind of family but nope, I have younger brothers. So reading Charlie’s story helped me kind of live that kind of life for a moment. I loved the way that the story progressed and how West added some kind of mystery in the plot. I loved that it didn’t focus on just the love story between Braden and Charlie but also the dynamic relationship between Charlie and her brothers, and Braden and her brothers. It was wonderfully done and it made me feel like it was real. I also enjoyed the book because I felt so connected with Charlie and I saw a lot of myself in her.

Tomboy Charlie was a lot of fun getting to know. She wasn’t exactly my favorite at the beginning but she grew on me. I liked her growth in the story and her progression of self-acceptance was very believable. I think that is what drew me to her. She grew up being surrounded by her brothers and father and sports. She didn’t know how to do girly and thought that there was something wrong with her because she wasn’t like all the other girls. I think that the book just sends out a positive message where you don’t have to change yourself  or act differently in order for others to like you. I’m also in love with her family dynamic. They went through a difficult tragedy and they have become closer than ever because of it. Seriously, I would love to be married into that family haha. Braden was perfectly imperfect haha. He was so adorable and I felt like he was realistic. He’s the guy who unintentionally says the wrong things and can’t express things coherently. It was great haha. It made for a gut-wrenching love story.

I did have a problem with one thing. Though it wasn’t enough to garner one less star. It’s a problem that I’ve had with all of the West books that I’ve read. It’s not that it was wrong but I just wanted more at the end. I feel like West creates her scenario and puts forth all the details in the beginning and in the middle of the book and the last fourth of the book is like, “crap, I ran out of space. Time to start wrapping up the story and resolving the conflict.” I just wish that there was more to the ending than what we got but hey, I’m not fully complaining because I did love that ending. I’m really sad that I’ve read all of West’s contemporaries haha what do I read now?!

xoxo

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

reviewThe Distance Between Us

Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Published by: HarperTeen
Format: 312 pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Kasie West | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis: Seventeen-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.


Review:

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I might be going on a Kasie West binge. I don’t know! Her books are so addicting. I wasn’t as impressed with Distance Between Us as much as I was with The Fill-In Boyfriend. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it because I absolutely did! The plot with this book was nothing I haven’t seen before but there were some plot twists that I didn’t see coming. The story and the relationship between Caymen and Xander progressed well and I thought that it was believable. I think that is what I enjoy most about West’s books! They are so believeable and when I read them, I feel like I’m reading a friend’s diary (so not cool, I would never do that). I genuinely enjoy the easy writing and the flow of the chapters. It makes it fun to read an honestly, it was so relaxing. One thing that did bother me was the deep hatred for rich people. Okay, some are bad and what happened to Caymen’s mom was unfair but you have rich clients that are super sweet and they’re blind to it.

Actually, another thing that bothered me about the plot was how the progression of it was similar to The Fill-In Boyfriend. Two different stories but following similar outlines. They meet, they don’t like each other that way, then grow as friends and then it becomes deeper (with some added drama from outside forces), then within the last couple of pages MAJOR drama hits. After all that, it gets resolved within a couple of pages with characters the forgive real quickly and easily. Then the end. (Sorry for that run-on sentence earlier). But basically, that’s what it felt like. The end was tied up perfectly but didn’t have enough scenes in it to feel like a final ending.

I really liked Caymen as a character. I like her development and I love her sarcasm throughout the book. I love how literally nobody was safe from her sarcasm. She really loved her mom and was willing to sacrifice parts of her future for the sake of her mom and the doll store. Xander was great, too. I could see how Caymen would think that he was one of those spoiled, posh, rich kids but I could also tell that there was some bias with Caymen’s observations of him. I like how their relationship developed and how easy going it was. At some points, I wish that they were more honest and open with each other but then that would have cleared out the drama and there would be no point haha.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and it was a great read. I just wished that the ending had more of a refinement. Instead, it sounded like West was trying to just finish it as soon as possible. There were some cool plot twists that I gotta say really surprised me, especially when it came to the banquet. That was probably the climatic height in the story. I just wish that it happened earlier or that there was a lot more after that scene.

xoxo

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

reviewfill in boyfriendThe Fill-In Boyfriend

Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Format: 352 pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Kasie West | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

Synopsis: When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.


Review:

5star

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That gif perfectly depicts me for the entire book haha. Okay maybe not the beginning since she gets dumped but after that for sure. I am so glad that this was the first book that I read and finished in 2016! It hooked me right from the beginning. I think it had a lot to do with the fast pace of the book. It started right off at prom and didn’t have any useless introduction. The plot was really interesting and while it isn’t such a new concept, I like the different aspects that West created within the story. Her writing was great and like I said, it keeps you hooked. I read it in one sitting and didn’t sleep until the next morning! The plot was light and fluffy and it kind of has a sadder part towards the end of the book, which I fully expected considering the synopsis … plus, it was too good to be true for a book to be this happy haha. If I rated with half stars, I’d knock off 0.5 star because of the ending. I couldn’t believe that it ended there. I thought it needed another chapter or an epilogue or something to completely wrap it up. That, however, doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the ending. I liked the direction that West went with it but I wish it had more.

The characters are the beacons of this book! I absolutely loved them. It’s a short book so don’t expect characters of extreme depth and substance but this doesn’t mean that they were one-dimensional. The main character Gia was a great dynamic character. I loved her growth throughout the book and that West delved into the problems of social media in our time and how many people look for validation from people they don’t even know as a way to make up their identity. The one thing I didn’t understand about Gia was why she would hang out with people who thought something was wrong with her when she was trying to become a better person. But hey — everyone has their flaws. The absolute best character in this book would have to be Hayden! It takes you a while to get that name but it’s so worth it! He is beyond amazing and his personality was so swoonworthy! There has to be a Hayden clone in real life. He was just absolutely sweet and funny and witty!

I devoured the conversations between Gia and Hayden! They were so flirty and adorable. I loved the friendship that they formed as they were faking to be each other’s boyfriend/girlfriend. It felt so real and I’ve got to be honest, I cried in this book because of how cute they were! Another lovable character would be Hayden’s sister, Bec. She was so strong and independent and I love how much she protected and loved her brother, even though he was the older sibling. Hayden’s family was just great and it was the complete opposite of Gia’s family and I loved the multiple kinds of personalities that we get from this book. I fully recommend this book if you’re looking for something light and fun to read! I am looking forward to reading more Kasie West books! Any recommendations?

xoxo