Confession: I've never read a Kasie West book before. Or, at least, I hadn't read one yet when I chose to download an e-galley of By Your Side. Kasie West is a well-loved author around the blogosphere, so I knew that I had to give her books a try.
This book started off strong when Autumn gets locked in the library with a boy. After the first few chapters, I found the pacing of the book slowing way down, as not much happened while they whiled away their time in the library. Since I read this close to publication date, I had to push through in order to finish in time, and by the 2/3 mark I could barely put the book down!
From the beginning of the story, I was expecting a cute love story, especially because of the cutesy cover. I wasn't expecting the story to have as much heart as it did, and I was truly surprised that the book addressed anxiety. I wasn't sure that I really understood anxiety, but I found this book to be quite eye-opening and showed me what it would be like to struggle with an anxiety disorder. I can't say if the book addressed this well or accurately, since I don't have any point of reference, but I felt that it was handled well. It wasn't the primary focus of the book but it also wasn't completely glossed over as a minor sub-plot.
If you like your contemporaries cute but also heartfelt, then add By Your Side to your TBR. I'll definitely be checking out some of Kasie's other work after reading this one!
Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of this book in any way.