Tier-Ranking All of Kasie West’s Contemporary Books

Tier ranking posts are extremely popular across the bookish community, so I thought it was about time for me to do my own. Tier ranking is where you take a certain category, like series you’ve finished, and rank them into different levels. I first saw tier-ranking books on Hannah at Clockwork Reads channel (see here), although tier-ranking has been popular on various social media sites before this video.

Today, I want to tier rank all of Kasie West’s contemporary books. I was inspired to tier rank Kasie West’s books after reading her latest release, Moment of Truth, which massively disappointed me. Kasie West has always been a hit-or-miss author for me. While there are some books by her that I really love, others are either forgettable or memorable for all the wrong reasons.

In the comments of my Moment of Truth review, several other readers expressed how they love Kasie West, but they aren’t sure if she will remain an auto-buy author after her last few releases which disappointed them. I’m hoping that by sorting Kasie West’s contemporary books, I can see if most of her books fall into a positive category or if more of her books fall into a disappointing category.

I will link any book reviews to book titles as I tier rank them.

Disclaimer: Protect Your Privacy

Just as a note, I watched Peyton Reads video (see here) where she tier-ranked books by Sarah J. Maas and she gave some advice that I thought was worth sharing. While reading some fine print of tier ranking websites when in the process of creating an account, which makes you connect the website to your Twitter, she saw some questionable permissions, like blocking people that follow you or changing your Twitter settings. This is a little bit of a red flag, as Peyton noted, that they could go into your account and mess with settings completely unrelated to the purpose of the website.

While Peyton made a different Twitter to use to make an account, I just decided to make my own tier-ranking system using a document on my computer. If you want to participate in this trend, but think those permissions are a little fishy, I would recommend opting for the strategy that Peyton Reads used or making your own system using a program on your computer.

The Books

Kasie West has primarily written young adult contemporary books, however, she did write a couple of young adult science fiction books. Today, I will only be ranking her contemporary books as I haven’t read her science fiction books and I don’t plan on reading them in the future. In this tier ranking, I will also include Snow in Love, in which she wrote a contemporary short story.

Kasie West’s contemporary novels include: The Distance Between Us; On the Fence; The Fill-in Boyfriend; By Your Side; Listen to Your Heart; Lucky in Love; P.S. I Like You,; Love, Life, and the List, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; Maybe This Time; and Moment of Truth.

How will I rank the books?

  • Heart Eye Emoji: These are my all-time favorite books by Kasie West. I have given these books a four or five star rating and I have re-read them multiple times.
  • P.S. I Like You: These books are books by Kasie West that I really enjoy, but they aren’t my favorites. I probably rated these books as four stars.
  • Average: These books are typical Kasie West books: easy to read, but weren’t unique enough to stand out to me. While I love the tropes that Kasie West typically uses, the tropes in these books didn’t have their own spin.
  • Forgettable: This book wasn’t very memorable that I actually don’t remember much of the plot besides the tropes in the synopsis of the book.
  • By West, but went South: These books lacked Kasie West’s typical charm in her writing. I struggled to get through these books and rated them under three stars.

The Rankings

  • Maybe This Time (Heart Eye Emoji): Maybe This Time was an unexpected hit for me. I saw some negative reviews before I read it, so I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I liked this book by West because the love interest had a very distinct personality, which her love interests don’t always have, and had a very different personality in general than other love interests by this author.
  • The Fill-In Boyfriend (P.S. I Like You): The Fill-In Boyfriend is often one of Kasie West’s least popular books because of the main character’s very self-centered personality. This actually used to be in my top three favorites because I think there’s a lot of depth to the main character and the events unfold in a very authentic way which doesn’t always happen in West’s books.
  • The Distance Between Us (Forgettable): The Distance Between Us was the first book that I read by Kasie West and I don’t remember much beside that the girl works in a doll shop. This is definitely one that I need to reread because I remember thinking it was average, but thinking I should have liked it more because West is such a beloved contemporary author.
  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss (By West, but went South): Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss was a massive disappointment. This is the second book in the Love, Life, and the List companion “series” (I use the term series loosely). I expected to love this book because I really liked the main character in Love, Life, and the List. However, this book wasn’t as easy or fun for me to read as other books by this author. The characters and plot weren’t particularly memorable and seems very scattered.
  • P.S. I Like You (Heart Eye Emoji): P.S. I Like You was the book that I read by Kasie West which made me consider her an auto-buy contemporary author. P.S. I Like You is like a high school movie. While predictable, the characters in this book are fairly developed and the plot is paced well. The main character in this book definitely has a unique personality which makes her stand out against other protagonists by this author.
  • Love, Life, and the List (Heart Eye Emoji): I was hooked with Love, Life, and the List from start to finish. I liked the amount of character growth the main character, as well as the side characters, go through throughout this novel. This is always one of the best friends-to-lovers stories that I read because the emotions are very realistic, especially when the romantic feelings aren’t reciprocated at different times during the novel.
  • Snow in Love short story (P.S. I Like You): I loved Kasie West’s addition to the Snow in Love short story collection and I wished that I got a full story featuring the characters in this book. It was unfortunate that West opened this book for me because none of the other stories could live up to how much I loved her part in the collection.
  • Moment of Truth (By West, but went South): I recently reviewed Moment of Truth on my blog… and it wasn’t pretty. As I mentioned earlier, it served as my inspiration for this post. The characters, the plot, and the pacing were all completely off-kilter in this book which made for a frustrating and unenjoyable reading experience. This is the third book in the Love, Life, and the List series and I was hoping things would get better after Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I feel like this book could have been much stronger out of the confines of the companion series.
  • By Your Side (Average): By Your Side wasn’t what I expected, or what many other readers expected, so that’s why it is only average for me. The whole pitch for this book was being stuck in a library, which wasn’t a significant chunk in the book and it got a little soap opera-esque at the end for me. However, it was still a cute and quick read that I enjoy from thisauthor.
  • Listen to Your Heart (Average): Listen to Your Heart was a cute story, but whenever Kasie West involves some sort of mystery, I find the story not as strong as it could be. Because West’s stories are typically tropey, which I love, they are often very predictable and there really isn’t a “mystery” at all, but you have to watch the characters go through the same conversations and situations over and over again. I did like in this story, however, the relationship between the two best friends who liked the same guy. I found their response to this to be very mature and a good message for the target audience.
  • On the Fence (Average): On the Fence is a cute story, and is often regarded as a favorite by Kasie West fans, but for me it is only average. It is one of her earlier books, but I read it after I had read some of my favorites, like P.S. I Like You and The Fill-In Boyfriend. As a result, I don’t think I liked it as much as I would have liked it if I read it prior to reading some of my favorites. Still, it was a fun and cute story, exactly what I look for from this author.
  • Lucky in Love (Forgettable): There are a couple specific plot points that I remember from this book, but not much else. I think a factor of putting this in the forgettable category is that Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith was released around the same time, which made the two books blend together for me. To see my Battle of the Books for Lucky in Love and Windfall, click here.

Final Thoughts

Looking at my list, I can see my thoughts towards Kasie West books are a little mixed than in the past. While I love her fun books with cute tropes, there have been quite a few books by this author that missed the mark for me. That being said, when I look at my list, I’ve had a positive experience reading the majority of them with only a couple extreme outliers.

What are some of your favorite/least favorite books by Kasie West?


Moment of Truth by Kasie West Review

book review

Moment of truth: This was not one of my favorite Kasie West books.

Moment of Truth by Kasie West follows Hadley Moore, an overachieving swimmer who vows to discover the true identity of a masked classmate who ruined her last race. Moment of Truth is the third book in the Love, Life, and the List companion series. While it isn’t necessary to read the previous two books, there will be some spoilers about past relationships in this book.

Moment of Truth

I was extremely excited when I first saw Love, Life, and the List would be a companion series. Love, Life, and the List ranks as one of my favorite Kasie West books. However, my doubts started with Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss as it was one of my most disappointing reads of last year and one of my least favorite Kasie West books. As a result, I went into Moment of Truth a little more hesitantly than usual for a book by this author.

First of all, I was a little confused at the start. Was this book Moment of Truth or Heroes, Hearts, and Heath Hall? Both titles appeared on Goodreads and an online retailer close to release date. After reading Moment of Truth, I believe the chosen title is the most appropriate. This book strays far away from the first two novels. They are only loosely connected and the parts that are, for me, were forced and tried too hard. I think this book would have been much more successful separate from the companion series so those ties were not as forced.

As for the book itself, the beginning is slow. The masked classmate is extremely secretive and our main character is apparently very intelligent and successful. However, for the first quarter of the book, her only plan is to approach classmates to see if they will tell her the classmate’s identity. Even after several classmates refuse, Hadley still uses the same strategy. It was incredibly frustrating to read the same conversations and plot points over and over without any progress.

Then, readers are presented with a side plot. Hadley’s brother, who died before she was born, often takes priority over events in her life. Hadley struggles with jealously towards her brother and resentment towards her parents for consistently choosing him over her. For me, this was the most interesting aspect of the plot and had the potential to provide a little more depth than typically present in Kasie West’s books. However, I found this aspect presented a little too all over the place in the book and resolved WAY too quickly at the end. Overall, this book struggled with inconsistent pacing and repetition and this aspect of the book was no exception.

As for other aspects of the book: the friendship, the romance, and the “mystery”, they were either too generic to remember or not well fleshed out to meet my expectations. When I think about my favorite Kasie West books, P.S. I Like You, Love, Life, and the List, and The Fill-In Boyfriend, they all contained more memorable characters, interesting plots, and consistent story lines. While I typically breeze through books by this author, I struggled to finish Moment of Truth. I give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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Blogmas Day #11: ‘Tis the Season Book Tag


On the eleventh day of Blogmas, a book reviewer gave to me… the ’tis the season book tag!

  • Do you have a favorite winter read?

One of my favorite winter reads is Secret Santa by Sabrina James. While a little cliche, I have read it numerous times since high school and still find it as enjoyable as the first time that I read it. Secret Santa follows several student at a high school as they participate in their school’s Secret Santa gift exchange.

  • Find a book with blue on the cover.

A book that I read this year with blue on the cover was Real Friends. Real Friends is a graphic novel that details Shannon Hale’s real life changing friendships during middle school. This book is a great read for anyone, but it would be particularly powerful for current middle schools student who are going through changing friendships.

  • Find a book that you’d use as a star on a Christmas tree

I would put Maybe This Time by Kasie West on top of a Christmas tree. I gave this book five stars and it was one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year, so it would shine brightly on top of a tree.

  • Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter holiday

I would love to visit Whoville during Christmas since they are known for their Christmas celebrations. Plus, it would fun to meet the Grinch!

  • Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your holiday

A character that I would take with me to Whoville is Sophie from Maybe This Time. She loves to design clothes, so I think she would be very inspired by the setting and people who reside in Whoville during Christmas.

  • Name one book on your wish list this year

This year, I would prefer an Amazon gift card as opposed to a physical book. I don’t have much space left on my shelves, and I read more on my Kindle anyway, so it would make more sense for me to ask for an Amazon gift card so I can purchase more e-books for my Kindle.

  • Favorite holiday drink, treat, and movie

I’m not usually a fan of warm drinks, however, I’m a huge fan of limited time drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. I also do enjoy hot chocolate with whip cream and extra toppings. As for treats, I always enjoy baking cookies with my grandma and sister every year on Christmas Eve. For movies, there are so many that I love to watch year after year. Home Alone 2 and Elf could be considered two of my favorites.

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Snow In Love Book Review

book review

Snow in Love

Snow in Love is a Christmas/holiday short story collection featuring short stories by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West. I was initially excited to read this collection since it featured, Kasie West, one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. Overall, this is a cute short story collection for the winter. However, like other YA short story collection, there are some stories that fare better than others. Here are my opinions on each short story in the collection:

Snow and Mistletoe by Kasie West

Snow and Mistletoe follows Amalie, who is returning home after leaving her semester abroad early. Once her flight is canceled, it appears she has no way home for Christmas. However, Amalie runs into Sawyer, a classmate from high school, who offers her a ride home with his sister and friends.

This is a classic Kasie West story and I would not have minded in Kasie West expanded this story into a full book. This story is cute, albeit predictable, and will make you smile. This is the largest book in the collection (I believe) and it was definitely my favorite out of the bunch. This story was paced well and had a satisfying ending compared to some other stories in this collection. I give this story four out of five stars.

Working in a Winter Wonderland by Aimee Friedman

Working in a Winter Wonderland follows Maxine, a Jewish girl who decides to take the rolf of an elf in a department store to get closer to her crush and earn enough money for a beautiful dress for New Year’s Eve.

This was definitely my least favorite story out of the collection. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary descriptions that I found myself skimming over. Also, the pacing was off which made the ending feel rushed. I also didn’t buy the romance in this one since the love interest switches before the story ends. I think this story tried to do too much in a short amount of time. I give this story two stars out of five stars.

The Magi’s Gifts by Melissa de la Cruz

In the Magi’s Gifts, a high school couple prepares to attend a swanky holiday party. Additionally, they struggle to find the perfect gifts for each other with a limited budget. This story closely follows the original story it is based on, so you can probably guess the rest from there.

After reading a lot of reviews for this story, it seems like most people consider in their least favorite in the collection. For me, I actually enjoyed it although it doesn’t particularly stand out to me. Compared to another holiday story I read by this author, I enjoyed this one far more. I think this story is cute, even though I questioned how much the main character actually liked the love interest for who he was. I give this three out of five stars.

Grounded by Nic Stone

Grounded follows Leigh, who is stuck in an airport in Atlanta after a snowstorm delays her flight. Her mother suggests she meets up with Harper, another girl stuck in the airport. From there, Leigh creates a scavenger hunt for the other girl to complete before they finally meet up.

Like with The Magi’s Gifts, this was another average read in the collection for me. I liked the idea of the scavenger hunt and I thought it paced the story well. However, compared to some of the other stories in the collection, it lacked the holiday feel. Like with The Magi’s Gifts, it was also a quick and easy read. I give this story three out of five stars.


When I look at Snow in Love compared to other holiday collections, I overall enjoyed more of the stories in this collection than others (for example My True Love Gave to Me). I appreciated that this only featured four stories compared to other lengthy collection because it was easy to get through, especially when I encountered a story that wasn’t my favorite. Overall, I give Snow in Love three out of five stars.


Which was your favorite story in this collection?

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West Review

book review

Listen to your heart… read this book!

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West follows Kate Bailey, a lake-loving introvert whose life takes a dramatic turn when she’s forced to become a host on her school’s advice podcast. When an anonymous guy calls in for relationship advice, Kate is convinced it is her best friend Alana’s crush Diego looking for scoop on how to win her heart. Kate is excited to help out her friend… until she starts to develop feelings for Diego herself.

When it comes to Kasie West’s books, her books fall into two categories for me. There are books that I absolutely love and others that I consider fairly average. While I did enjoy Listen to Your Heart, it definitely fell more into the average category for me. That being said, this is still a cute YA book that was perfect to read during the summertime despite its beginning of the school year setting.

Like many of Kasie West’s other characters, the characters in this book aren’t something new or original for YA contemporary. To me, all of her characters are like ones you would see straight out of a high school teen movie. The characters in Listen to Your Heart are no different. Bailey is the shy, sarcastic main character. Her best friend is girly and outgoing. Diego is a sweet and likable love interest. While nothing too out of the box, I think readers of Kasie West will expect typical characters that make her books easy and light reads.

One aspect of the book that I think West did a nice job of putting a twist on is the YA love triangle. In this book, both Bailey and her best friend Alana develop feelings for the same guy. In most YA books, this would completely destroy their friendships, lead to cat fights in the school hallway, and mean posts online. However, Bailey and Alana showed a lot a maturity towards the situation and made sure not to throw away their strong friendship for a crush. I really appreciated this aspect of the book and think it would give a good message to younger readers who find themselves in the same situation.

Another aspect of this book that I really appreciated was how large a role the podcast not only played in the story, but it’s larger theme. Bailey has always stated that the lake is her life and she will run her family’s lake rental business when she grows older. While it is amazing to have a female character who has such an unwavering outlook on her goals, it was nice to see the message that it’s also okay to branch out and find other ventures in your life that you life. I think it’s great that this book shows a balance of being confident in who you are and what you want to do in life, but that is also important open yourself up to new experiences.

Overall, Listen to Your Heart is a cute and easy-to-read YA contemporary. Although not my favorite Kasie West book, this book still provided an enjoyable reading experience. I give this book three out of five stars.

Love, Life, and the List Review

book review

It would take forever to list what I love about this book.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West follows aspiring artist Abby Turner after her paintings are declined from a local art show for lacking heart. To improve her painting, Abby develops a list to experience more in life with her best friend and long-time crush, Cooper.

After reading all of Kasie West’s contemporaries, I find that I either absolutely love her books or only find them okay. Either way, they are still extremely fun to read for their fluffy content. I’m happy to say that Love, Life, and the List falls into my “love” category of Kasie West’s books and my be my new favorite out of her books.

One problem I tend to have with Kasie West’s books is the pacing. Sometimes, the book will have a slow start, and once it finally picks up, everything will be wrapped up quickly at the end. While some aspects of this book were rushed at the end, overall, I found the pacing much more even in Love, Life, and the List. This book flowed a lot easier than some of her other books, which kept me turning the pages until it was done.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed with the characters. While I never have any major issues with characters in Kasie West’s book, they can sometimes be forgettable. However, Abby and Cooper really stuck out to me among other couples in Kasie West’s books. I think since I’ve seen similar situations to Abby and Cooper’s relationship play out in real life, I had a greater connection with their story. Plus, they were both extremely relatable and likable characters.

However, I think my favorite aspects of this book was Abby’s character growth. In the beginning of the book, Abby will literally do anything to make Cooper happy and to keep his attention, but he never puts in the same effort. I liked how Abby learned to stand her ground and find friends and other things she loves outside of Cooper’s orbit. I think this is a great message for Kasie West’s target audience.

Overall, Love, Life, and the List has been one of my favorite reads so far of the year. It makes me even more excited for Kasie West’s book released later this year and the rest of the books in this companion series. I give Love, Life, and the List five out of five stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is books I’m looking forward to in 2018. Here are my top ten choices:

  • Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart

Kasie West quickly became one of my favorite contemporary authors in 2017. I know she has a lot of books up her sleeve, so I can’t wait to read this release next year!

  • Wires and Nerve Vol. 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer

Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

More Lunar Chronicles! More Iko! How could I not be excited?

  • Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl sounds like a book that’s right up my alley. A girl goes to a lawless city in the west after a second Civil War in the United States. This book has an interesting premise, so I’ll be interested to see how it plays out in the book.

  • More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

More Than We Can Tell

Letters to the Lost was one of my favorite contemporary books of the year, so I definitely have high expectations for Brigid Kemmerer’s next book, More Than We Can Tell. I’m particularly excited for this book because it follows Rev, one of the minor but most interesting characters in Letters to the Lost.

  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)

With a con man and city of sins, the description of this book brings me the same feelings of Six of Crows. Since I loved Six of Crows, I have high hopes that I will love this book too!

  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.5)

I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses and was sad to say goodbye to the characters. With a few open-ended parts of the story, I’m excited to see what direction Sarah J. Maas will move this series towards.

  • Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Bookish Boyfriends

This sounds like the perfect cute contemporary book! I think all readers have imagined what it would be able to date their favorite literary characters, so I can’t wait to see this author’s take on the idea.

  • Royal by Rachel Hawkins


I enjoyed the Rebel Belle series by Rachel Hawkins, so I’m excited to see what she does with this story!

  • American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda

I’m really interested in reading this book because it features not only a diverse main character, but a character in college. It seems like it could be cute, but deep at the same time, which is my favorite kind of contemporary!

  • Turn it Up! by Jen Calonita

Turn It Up!

I’ve read some of Jen Calonita’s young adult series and loved her easy and fun writing style. This sounds like Pitch Perfect for a younger audience.

What books are you looking forward to in 2018?

Final Countdown Friday: Kasie West Contemporary Books


I started reading Kasie West’s book this year and quickly devoured all of her contemporary books. I loved her spins on typical tropes throughout young adult contemporary books and enjoyed that her books reminded me of my favorite high school movies. I even purchased one of her books this year shortly after it was released which I only do for authors that I really love since I primarily buy most of my books at thrift stores or through Kindle daily deals (where I purchased most of her books). However, there are some Kasie West’s books that I love more than other. Here is a countdown from my least favorite to favorite books among Kasie West’s contemporary books (reviews will be linked to book titles):

6.) The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us was the first book by Kasie West and at the time, I really enjoyed it. However, after reading her other contemporary books, it is definitely my least favorite. I think I really liked this book when I read it the first time because I read it so quickly and I thought I was supposed to like it because so many people liked her books. However, I don’t really remember the characters from this book and I don’t think their relationship is as realistic or well-developed as other relationships in Kasie West’s books. Plus, I wasn’t a fan of the doll shop either.

5.) On the Fence

On the Fence

Even though I ranked On the Fence so low, I actually really enjoyed it and it was hard to decide third, fourth, and fifth place for me because I have similar feelings towards all of them. In this book, I liked the voice on the main character and appreciated her tomboy personality since Kasie West typically writes very girly characters. I also liked the plot involving the main character’s mom and how this helped her grow throughout the novel. However, I thought Kasie West could have done a little more with the love interest in the book. She hinted at a darker back story, but I wish I could have seen that play out a little more in the novel.

4.) Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love is the only physical copy of a Kasie West book that I own. As I mentioned in the introduction, I loved Kasie West’s books so much that I bought this one when it was released, which I don’t typically do. Like with On the Fence, there were parts of this book that I really loved, but some aspects that I found needed improvement. In this book, I really liked the love interest. He was an all-around nice guy and very supportive of the main character throughout the novel. On the other hand, I found the characterization of the main character a little inconsistent and had a few problems with the plot. While I enjoyed this book, it isn’t my favorite.

3.) By Your Side

By Your Side

Even though By Your Side is ranked highly on my list, I could easily switch it out with Lucky in Love or On the Fence because what I liked and what I disliked in those books is similar to this one. In this book, I really liked the two main characters and think Kasie West did a great job of fleshing out their characters. However, the plot wasn’t what I expected and the pacing was slightly off. However, like On the Fence and Lucky in Love it was still a cute book that I overall enjoyed.

2.) The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend

Looking at reviews for Kasie West’s books, I know this isn’t typically regarded as a favorite among her books. However, this is definitely one of my favorites by Kasie West’s. At the beginning, Gia is not a likable character. However, that’s what I really liked about her. A lot of Kasie West’s characters tend to be quirky girls with a few friends. However, Gia is popular and outgoing which I don’t see much of in young adult fiction. In this book, I think Gia grew a lot throughout the novel and the relationship in this book is one of my favorites in Kasie West’s books.

1.) P.S. I Like You

P.S. I Like You

P.S. I Like You is by far my favorite Kasie West book. Although it contains A LOT of tropes, Kasie West still manages to make it her own. Plus, it reminds me of everything I love about high school movies. I think Lily is a really fun and outgoing character and her love interest is also another one of my favorites in Kasie West’s books. I know that I will reread this book multiple times in the future because I flew through reading this book since I enjoyed it so much.


What is your favorite Kasie West book?

Lucky in Love Book Review

lucky in love

Luckily, there are other Kasie West books for me to love.

In Lucky in Love by Kasie West, high school senior Maddie decides to buy a lottery ticket on her eighteenth birthday. Much to her surprise, she wins. It seems like all of Maddie’s problems vanished overnight, that is, until people start treating her differently. The only person unaware of Maddie’s newfound wealth is Seth, her cute friend from the zoo. Soon, Maddie finds herself juggling people asking her for money, popularity at school, and reporters looking for the worst in her.

This year, I managed to read all of Kasie West’s contemporary novels. One of the main reasons I devoured Kasie West’s books are that they are fun, lighthearted, and remind me of some of my favorite high school movies. I went into Lucky in Love with high expectations. I actually bought this book when it was released from the store which I only do if it’s from an author I really love. While I do enjoy Kasie West’s books, there have been some hits and misses for me. I would say if I ranked Kasie West’s books, Lucky in Love would fall around the middle for me.

Lucky in Love is actually the first physical copy of a Kasie West book that I own since I downloaded the rest of her contemporary books on my Kindle (Yay for Daily Deals!). Usually, I can finish a Kasie West book in one sitting because I’m extremely invested in the fast-paced story line. However, this was not the case with Lucky in Love. I think it’s party because I was reading her books in a new format (I like seeing where I am percentage-wise while reading) and the somewhat repetitive and predictable plot of this book. While Kasie West’s books are generally predictable, this one felt a little more so than the others. Additionally, certain plots, such as her best friend questioning the “mean girl” (without reason), didn’t really add anything to the story and were boring to read about so many times especially when it didn’t really amount to anything in the end.

As for the main character, Maddie, she was okay but definitely not my favorite heroine by this author. Maddie was extremely naive–she signed contracts without reading them, continuously lent her brother money despite evidence that told her to stop, etc.–to the point where it sometimes annoyed me. While high school students are naive, this seemed out of character for Maddie, who readers are constantly told is one of the smartest girls in school who will be accepted to a prestigious university. That aside, Maddie is still a likable character who grows for the better throughout the novel, despite winning a large sum of money.

Compared to some of the other relationships in Kasie West’s book, I think this one definitely had one of the most well-developed love interests. Seth is an all-around nice guy who shows concern and respect for Maddie. I really wished more guys like Seth appeared in books! The author also did a great job of developing Seth’s characters. Readers get to see his passion for filmmaking, his struggles to make his dream come true, and the discrimination he faces as an Asian person is a predominantly white area. While not particularly remarkable, Maddie and Seth’s relationship was cute and enjoyable to read about.

Overall, Lucky in Love is a cute contemporary book that’s perfect for anyone looking for a light-hearted read. Although it wasn’t my favorite book by Kasie West, I still enjoyed it overall. I give Lucky in Love three out of five stars.

By Your Side Book Review

by your side

When it comes to my favorite Kasie West books, By Your Side definitely sits off to the side.

In By Your Side by Kasie West, Autumn Collins finds herself trapped in a library over a holiday weekend during a snowstorm. Autumn quickly learns that she isn’t alone and is trapped in the library with the school’s notorious bad boy, Dax Miller. Little does Autumn know, nothing will be the same after that weekend in the library.

I became a huge fan of Kasie West earlier this year and was so excited once I read the plot of this book. While this book wasn’t exactly what I expected and didn’t meet all of my expectations, it was a cute and quick read that I still enjoyed. In terms of all the Kasie West books that I’ve read, I would say this book falls somewhere in the middle because it contains aspects about her books that I love, but also aspects that I find need improvement in her books.

I think one of the most successful aspects of this book are the two main characters, Autumn and Dax. I like how Autumn already possesses a solid group of friends all with unique personalities which I find fairly uncommon in young adult literature. Autumn also struggles with an anxiety disorder, which is relatable to many readers, and plays a significant role in the plot. With Dax, I appreciated how Kasie West gave him a little more depth than some of her other male characters. In On The Fence, I liked how Braden had a darker back story, but wish Kasie West explored it more. Fortunately in this book, readers get a more well-rounded view of Dax and his backstory.

One aspects of this book that I thought could be improved was the pacing and plot. From the book’s description, I assumed this book primarily took place in the library. However, Autumn and Dax escape around halfway through the book. For the next 25% of the book, it didn’t seem like much happened and the plot kept moving around in circles. Although Kasie West is known for playing on a lot of cliches in her books, but twisting them into her own ideas, a lot of this portion of the book felt a little too generic and bland to me. Luckily, the book picked up again in the last quarter of the book.

Overall, By Your Side is a cute, but predictable book that is perfect for readers going back to school. While there were some aspects about this book that I really enjoyed, there were others that I felt could use improvement to make this book a more solid and cohesive read. Still, I enjoyed this book and give it four out of five stars.