When Autumn Collins accidentally gets locked in a library with no access to a phone or computer over a three-day weekend, she doesn't think things could get any worse. But she soon finds that she's not the only one in the library, in the novel "By Your Side."
Autumn soon finds out Dax Miller is also locked in with her. He's a loner from her high school who is oftentimes part of the rumor mill with people speculating he went to juvie or has gotten into different kinds of trouble.
However, he doesn't seem to mind being locked in and won't tell her how he got there. In fact, he hardly tells her anything about himself at first and keeps his secrets and his backpack close to him.
But Autumn soon learns that there's much more to Dax than meets the eye, and getting locked in a library with food rations and nothing else to do really helps you get to know someone.
"By Your Side" is the 2017 Whitney Award winner in the young adult general category. Author Kasie West, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is quite familiar with Utah and actually based the library off the design of the county library in Provo.
As West develops the story between Autumn and Dax, she also delves into Autumn's anxiety disorder. Autumn fears she won't be accepted by her friends for having issues with mental health. But somehow she is able to tell Dax without a problem. Autumn's anxiety deepens as no one seems to notice she is missing, not even her best friends and family.
"By Your Side" is an interesting, light read with an engaging storyline. West does an excellent job of describing the hardship of an anxiety disorder and the healthy and unhealthy steps to take to help others understand how to help a person with anxiety.
"By Your Side" has no swearing, violence or described sexual content beyond kissing.