Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

My Review:

I read On the Fence all on a seven-hour car ride.  I pretty much read the entire book in one sitting, only stopping when we stopped the car to eat dinner.  I loved this story.  It was engaging with good characters.  It was mainly a cute and fluffy read, but with a few darker topics explored as well.  I love Kasie West books, and I look forward to reading more of them in the future.


I loved Charlie's character, and her growth and development throughout the book.  At the beginning, she is a complete tomboy who has no female friends.  She hangs out with her three brothers and their friend, Braden, and she plays sports with the guys.  She starts to change a bit once her dad makes her get a job to pay off a speeding ticket.  Her job is at a boutique where she has to dress nicer, and a makeup artist starts to put makeup on her for weekend demonstrations.  She becomes friends with Amber, the makeup artist, as well as with Linda, the interesting lady who owns the boutique.

The romance in this book was a slow burn that went from friendship to romance.  I loved when Charlie and Braden had their chats by the fence.  These really let them get to know each other on a deeper level.  It was clear how different they acted when they were by the fence, than during the day when they were with Charlie's brothers, and teasing each other.  The romance that developed between the two of them was very sweet.  They both had feelings for each other, but they took a while to admit it because they thought the other didn't feel the same way.  There is a little bit of a love triangle for a short period of time, but it's not really a love triangle in my opinion.  Charlie does date another guy for a little bit, but it's clear to the reader who shes actually going to end up with.

I loved how family was also a very important part of the story.  Charlie lives with her three older brothers - Nathan, Jerom, and Gage - and her dad.  Her mom died when she was younger.  Her family may be keeping secrets from her about her mom's death.  The secrets that they are hiding are the part of the story that is a bit darker.  Other than that, this is just a cute and sweet family story.  Seeing how the dad sometimes struggles with parenting a teenage girl is interesting.  He has to be there for her for stuff that typically a mom would do with a daughter, or talk about with a daughter.  It is difficult for him, but I think he does a very good job raising her.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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