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Review of By My Side

30 Aug 2013


Lily Saunders sees her family falling apart. Her father is deserting her, and her mother is drinking more and more. Even sarcasm can't help Lily. When she thinks her best friend, Andy Green, will help her, she discovers how his blinding jealousy will mess everything up.

And then Gabe Green comes back home. She thinks it'll be like always between them—sarcasms and curses thrown at each other—but she's mistaken. He's different, and understands right away the problems she's trying to keep for herself.

But even if he's there for her, making her fall hard, they both know it'll end soon. Because at their age, you can't expect forever. Right?


Unlike many of the NA books I read, this story does not have the two main characters fall in love instantly. I always enjoy a story where the two main characters are not lovey-dovey from the get go. It’s always refreshing to see the couple struggle to figure out their feelings and what it means for them. It makes the relationship seem a little more realistic than other novels.

This is exactly what happens between Gabe and Lily. The two have hated each other ever since they met. Lily is the best friend of Gabe’s younger brother, Andy, and the two brothers have never been close.

The story is refreshing, watching Lily deal with the romantic feelings her best friend harbours towards her while she falls for his older brother. Throughout the book, readers can see why Gabe is who Lily falls for and why Andy causes his own fate.

The book is not just about Gabe and Lily’s relationship. The story is also about Andy and Gabe finding a way to repair their tattered relationship. The two bond over Lily and a tragedy, and after those events, they begin to build an actual relationship. It is enjoyable to watch the two go from brothers who fight each other physically to seeing them talking, communicating and laughing with one another.

The story also has a more serious tone as Lily deals with the cause and effect of her parents divorce. Ultimately their divorce drives the plot and Lily emotions throughout the story. There is a slight twist that gives you an even deeper look at who Lily is and what both Gabe and Andy mean to her.

Ultimately this is an enjoyable NA novel. The characters are easy to connect with as well as fall in love with them. You feel like you are with them on their journey, especially when the turmoil hits. The book ends with closure and makes you feel like Lily and Gabe get their happy ever after.

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK


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