By Your Side & The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

February 10, 2017 Reviews 20 ★★★★

By Your Side & The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on 1/31/17
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4 Stars

In 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?

add-to-goodreads 

My Take copy3This book is cute and fun with a bit of a serious topic thrown in. It’s pretty much everything I expect from a Kasie West romance.

What Fed My Addiction:

  • Stuck in a library! Come on, this is like a dream come true, right? Who hasn’t dreamed of being locked in a library? Well, okay, maybe this isn’t that normal of a fantasy … but it sounds like a dream to me! I thought it was fun to see how Dax and Autumn made it through an extended weekend in less than ideal conditions. I mean, sure, they had books, but not much else. Almost no food … very little heat … no comfy beds. But at least they had good company! Though it took them a while to figure that out …
  • Forced bonding. Autumn wasn’t immediately a fan of Dax (actually, I wasn’t either), but when you spend that much time together in forced close quarters, it’s hard not to bond … well, or I suppose you might just be driven crazy. But in this case, Dax and Autumn definitely bonded. They had plenty of alone time to talk, and though they definitely avoided tough topics at first, they eventually opened up to each other. I thought that the push-pull between them worked well.
  • Hidden anxiety. Autumn has been hiding a problem from her friends. She doesn’t want them to think of her differently so she hasn’t told them that she suffers from anxiety. Unfortunately, her friends have kind of assumed that her tendency to disappear (or not show up) is a result of her being antisocial. And it’s starting to affect her relationships. Autumn has to realize that she can trust her friends with the truth—and that it won’t make them think less of her. (Disclaimer: I don’t have anxiety, so I don’t know how accurately it was represented—though I do believe that there’s a pretty wide range of what it means to suffer from anxiety. BUT I did appreciate the message that a mental illness doesn’t have to stigmatize you or separate you from others.)
  • Parents who care. This YA book had multiple sets of caring and involved parents! Yay! (Okay, they did have to counteract at least one bad parenting situation, but still …)
  • Shift in focus. The second half of the book kind of switched in focus, but I don’t want to say why or how because it would be a spoiler. I thought the direction West went with it was interesting, though.

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Time to warm up? It took me a little while to warm up to Dax at first, but once I did I was a definite fan. The romance lacked a teensy bit of the magic that West’s books usually have, but I was still invested!

This book is pretty typical Kasie West fare—a light and sweet romance that made me happy. It had its flaws, but I’d still give it 4/5 stars!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***


By Your Side & The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie WestThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on 5/5/15
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 343
Source: My Secret Sister!
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
4.5 Stars

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.

add-to-goodreads 

I’m only doing a bite-sized review of this one because I don’t actually have all that much to say about it. Which should mean that I didn’t love it all that much, right? But that’s actually not true at all! This is the perfect kind of feel-good, adorable romance. The kind that has me sighing with happiness and occasionally squirming with pity. The plotline wasn’t terrifically unpredictable—boy stands in as Gia’s boyfriend and the two end up falling for each other. But the journey getting there was definitely fun and interesting. First off, Gia’s sort of dysfunctional relationships with her friends plays a big part in the book, and the fill-in boyfriend’s sister becomes an unlikely strong ally—and good friend. This book kept me flipping pages and made me feel all squishy and happy and … yeah, I pretty much loved it (though I did think Gia’s fascination with her fill-in was a bit strange at first). I give this one 4.5/5 Stars.

About the Author

I love to write–too much. It’s a sickness really. My novels out and available now are: PIVOT POINT, SPLIT SECOND, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND. (You can also read a more fun, informal bio here.)

 

Author Links:
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20 Responses to “By Your Side & The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West”

  1. Cilla

    Stuck in the library does sound like a dream! As long as you have drinks and food with you in there, haha. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Kasie West’s books, and this actually sounds like the perfect book to start with. 😀 Great review, Nicole!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Just as an FYI, some people haven’t liked By Your Side as much as her other books. I enjoyed it a lot, but P.S. I Like You and The Fill-In Boyfriends are even better, in most people’s opinions (including mine—though, I definitely liked it, don’t get me wrong!).

  2. Kim

    I have had By Your Side on my TBR for a while and am really excited to read it. The Fill-In Boyfriend sounds pretty good too!
    Great reviews 🙂

    Kim @ Booksarelove

  3. Monica @ Tomes Project

    I’m definitely going to have to check these two out! I was kind of skeptical of Kasie West until recently because some of her more recent releases sound *so interesting* I mean, locked in a library? Please, that appeals to me on a spiritual level. I’m definitely more intrigued now with you mentioning the anxiety and the parents (!!!) so I think I’ll have to pick that one up first!

  4. Jen

    Aw, I loved The Fill-In Boyfriend too! It was beyond adorable and I loved FIB’s sister also!
    I’m looking forward to reading By Your Side and I’ll keep in mind that it takes a while to warm up to him. Thanks!

  5. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Totally agree with your thoughts on By Your Side, Nicole. Loved the setting (even though the library bit was short-lived), loved Dax (his situation made my heart hurt for him), liked Autumn and the way her anxiety was portrayed, liked her parents. I was not a fan of her friends (at all) but otherwise this was a solid read for me. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

  6. Jessica @ Strung Out On Books

    KASIE WEST IS EVERYWHERE. I’ve seen SO many reviews for By Your Side this week, it’s wild but very exciting because the reviews are all so good! I can’t wait to read more of Kasie’s books. Lovely reviews! 🙂

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