Review of “By Your Side” by Kasie West

This young adult book is like a retelling of “The Breakfast Club” but with a sequel added.

Autumn Collins is the popular girl from a well-off family in Utah who gets stuck in the library over the weekend with Dax Miller, a “bad boy” – who, it turns out, is not bad at all, but in fact, almost perfect. He is not well known and is misunderstood by the kids in school, who have judged him on erroneous rumors.

At first the two are hostile toward one another, but predictably become allies and perhaps even more than that. When in school, Autumn had convinced herself she wanted the attention of Jeff, a fun boy in her crowd. But Dax makes Autumn feel relaxed, something she hasn’t experienced with anyone else.

Distinguishing the plot a bit is the fact that Autumn has anxiety attacks, for which she takes medication (but doesn’t have any with her in the library) and is a condition that even her closest friends don’t know about. She is hyper-sensitive to what her friends think of what she does and who she is, and guides her life by that. With Dax, she learns there can be another way of living. But needless to say, it takes her almost to the end of the book to have this epiphany.

Evaluation: The writing isn’t all that sophisticated, but the plot line is an enduringly appealing one, especially for teens nowadays, who might not even aware (how can that be?!) of “The Breakfast Club”, the 1985 coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes, with the parts analogous to Autumn and Dax played by Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson. Or if you are one of the many fans frustrated by no sequel and are always imagining what would come next, this book might appeal to you.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2017

From the movie "The Breakfast Club"

From the movie “The Breakfast Club”

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4 Responses to Review of “By Your Side” by Kasie West

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I know I saw The Breakfast Club but don’t remember much about the characters. I’d still give this book a go, though.

  2. stacybuckeye says:

    What?! A Breakfast Club book? You have said the magic words and I will be requesting this from the library. Just your review alone makes me want to watch it again (for like the 200th time in my life ::))

  3. Rachel says:

    I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen the Breakfast Club. The first time was with my parents, who are both educators and they totally sided with the principal!

  4. Beth F says:

    All you have to say is Breakfast Club and I’m on board! Did you see One of Us Lying? It also was compared to BC.

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