By Your Side
Goodreads ratings
3.86 / 5

"By Your Side" Characters Analysis

By Kasie West

young adult | 346 pages | Published in 2017

An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question: What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn't think things could get any worse. But that's before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her.Autumn doesn't know much about Dax except that he's trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he's not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.Only he doesn't come. No one does.Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye.As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn's old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax's side?


Estimated read time: 7 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Autumn CollinsProtagonist
Dax MillerLove Interest
JeffAutumn's Best Friend
KristaAutumn's Best Friend
Autumn's ParentsSupporting Characters

Role Identification

Autumn Collins is the protagonist of the book "By Your Side" by Kasie West. She is a high school student who gets locked in the library for an entire weekend.

Character Descriptions

Autumn Collins

Autumn is a relatable and down-to-earth character. She is described as a quiet and introverted girl who prefers the company of books over people. With her curly hair and glasses, Autumn has a unique and endearing appearance. She has a kind and compassionate nature, always looking out for others.

Dax Miller

Dax is the love interest in the book. He is portrayed as a mysterious and misunderstood character. With his shaggy hair and intense gaze, Dax has a brooding and enigmatic presence. He has a tough exterior but a soft heart, which Autumn discovers as they spend time together in the library.


Jeff is Autumn's best friend who provides comic relief in the story. He is a loyal and fun-loving character, always ready to support Autumn no matter what. Jeff is described as the class clown with a mischievous grin and a great sense of humor.


Krista is another one of Autumn's best friends. She is depicted as a confident and outgoing girl who loves fashion and socializing. Krista is always there to offer advice and help Autumn navigate her feelings and relationships.

Autumn's Parents

Autumn's parents play a supporting role in the book. They are caring and understanding, providing a stable and loving home environment for Autumn. They are depicted as supportive and concerned parents who want the best for their daughter.

Character Traits

Autumn Collins

Autumn is introverted, empathetic, and intelligent. She is a deep thinker and often overanalyzes situations. Autumn is also loyal and values her friendships. Throughout the story, she shows resilience and growth as she confronts her fears and learns to trust herself.

Dax Miller

Dax is mysterious, kind-hearted, and protective. He carries emotional baggage from his past, which makes him guarded and reluctant to open up. Dax is also shown to be brave and selfless as he helps Autumn during their time in the library.


Jeff is funny, outgoing, and a great friend. He brings humor and lightness to the story, providing a contrast to Autumn's more serious personality. Jeff is always there for Autumn, offering support and cheering her up when she needs it.


Krista is confident, fashionable, and sociable. She is a loyal and supportive friend who pushes Autumn out of her comfort zone. Krista encourages Autumn to take risks and pursue her desires, adding a dynamic element to the story.

Autumn's Parents

Autumn's parents are loving, understanding, and protective. They are portrayed as responsible and caring individuals who prioritize their daughter's well-being. Throughout the book, they offer guidance and support to Autumn, ensuring she feels safe and loved.

Character Background

Autumn Collins

Autumn comes from a loving and stable family. She has always been introverted, finding solace in books and her own thoughts. Autumn's reserved nature sometimes makes it difficult for her to express herself fully. She has a close-knit group of friends who accept her for who she is, despite their different personalities.

Dax Miller

Dax's background is shrouded in mystery when the book begins. He has a troubled past and has experienced loss and hardship. As the story progresses, readers learn more about his difficult circumstances and how they have shaped him into the person he is. Dax's past has made him guarded and hesitant to form connections with others.


Jeff is a fun-loving and outgoing character who has been Autumn's best friend for years. He is always there to make her laugh and support her through thick and thin. Jeff is known for his pranks and jokes, but he also has a caring and sensitive side.


Krista is a confident and fashionable girl who loves socializing and being the center of attention. She is a supportive friend who encourages Autumn to step out of her comfort zone and enjoy life to the fullest. Krista is the extroverted counterpart to Autumn's introverted personality.

Autumn's Parents

Autumn's parents are portrayed as caring and understanding individuals. They have always been supportive of their daughter's interests and provide a loving home environment. Autumn's parents prioritize her happiness and well-being, offering guidance and advice when needed.

Character Arcs

Autumn Collins

Throughout the book, Autumn's character arc revolves around personal growth and self-discovery. Being locked in the library forces her to confront her fears and step out of her comfort zone. Autumn learns to trust herself, open up to others, and embrace new experiences. By the end of the story, she becomes more confident and comfortable in her own skin.

Dax Miller

Dax's character arc centers around healing and finding redemption. As Autumn gets to know him better, she realizes that there is much more to him than meets the eye. Dax gradually learns to let go of his past and allows himself to form a deep connection with Autumn. By the end of the book, he experiences personal growth and begins to believe in second chances.


Autumn's relationships with the other characters in the book play a significant role in her character development.

Autumn and Dax

Autumn and Dax's relationship starts off with misunderstandings and barriers. However, as they spend time together in the library, they begin to understand and support each other. Their connection deepens as they share their vulnerabilities and help each other heal. Their relationship showcases the power of trust and understanding.

Autumn and Jeff

Autumn and Jeff have a strong and playful friendship. Jeff is always there for Autumn, providing comic relief and support. Their banter and shared experiences demonstrate the depth of their bond and the importance of friendship.

Autumn and Krista

Autumn and Krista have a contrasting friendship, with Krista pushing Autumn to step outside her comfort zone. Krista encourages Autumn to embrace new experiences and helps her navigate her feelings. Their friendship highlights the importance of having friends who challenge and support each other.

Autumn and Her Parents

Autumn has a warm and loving relationship with her parents. They provide a stable and supportive presence in her life, offering guidance and understanding. Autumn's parents serve as a reminder of the importance of family and a strong support system.

In conclusion, "By Your Side" by Kasie West presents a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique traits and backgrounds. Autumn's journey of self-discovery and her relationships with Dax, Jeff, Krista, and her parents form the heart of the story, showcasing the power of friendship and personal growth.