By Your Side
by West, Kasie

When Autumn finds herself accidentally locked in the library all weekend with Dax, a loner with a bad reputaton, she is surprised at the connection that develops between them.

One quick trip to the library bathroom at closing time later, and Autumn finds herself locked in a building closed down for the weekend, right before she is supposed to take off with friends for an overnighter ("I was locked in the library, trying not to panic. Literally locked. As in no escape"). Her backpack-and cell phone-is already in the car. It's cold. It's scary. And she's not alone. A mysterious loner from school, Dax Miller, is also locked in, although he planned it that way to escape his abusive foster family. Readers might be skeptical of Autumn's inability to contact the outside world, but that would take away the more compelling Breakfast Club backdrop of this evolving romance. When a shocking explanation reveals why Autumn's friends, and even her parents, do not come back to find her, this engaging story takes off. West skillfully zeroes in on peer pressure, a complex labyrinth of friendships, and Autumn's anxiety issues and conflicted feelings about boyfriends in a realistic and insightful way. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

After a weekend trapped in a library together, two teens from different social stratospheres are drawn to one another. All Autumn, a white senior, wanted to do was go to the bathroom. She had been studying with her friends in the library before it closed, excited to go build a campfire in the canyon. Instead, she finds herself locked in the library, her friends gone and her phone with them. But she's not alone: Dax, a white loner with a bad reputation, has purposely stayed behind, unaware of her presence. It's a three-day weekend, and the two while the hours away with games and standoffs, each wary of trusting the other. As Autumn warms to Dax, he remains distant, and her friends never show up. When the reason for their absence is revealed and Autumn's anxiety disorder spirals, it's Dax who saves the day. Afterward, however, Dax pretends they're strangers, and Autumn's friends have expectations for who she should be with, and it sure isn't Dax. The feeling of calm that Dax brought out in Autumn pulls her to him anyway, and soon she must decide what she really wants. Though quite slow to start, Autumn and Dax's relationship burns brightly. Autumn's struggles with anxiety are equally dynamic. If only the rest of her life—her friends and other love interest—were equally engaging. A simmering romance that gives weight to mental health and hard choices. (Fiction. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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