Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Pages: 304
Genre:  YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
Charlie, a self-proclaimed tom boy, lives with her police-man father and three brothers. She never turns down a pick up game and spends most of her time playing or training for sports.  That is until one day Charlie gets one too many speeding tickets and her dad decides she needs to get a summer job in order to pay them off.  While at the mall, she finds a job at a clothing store which really requires her to be outside of her comfort zone clad in fancy clothes and makeup.  As the summer progresses, Charlie finds herself talking to her neighbor, Braden, through the fence in their yard. Braden has always been like a fourth brother to her, but what if these talks lead to something more? Plus, Charlie is harboring many secrets this summer and what if they start to unravel as well? Kasie West's On the Fence is a smart young adult read that fans of contemporary romance will enjoy.

Charlie is a fun protagonist in On the Fence. I loved that she was a tom boy, but I am not going to lie, it took me awhile to warm up to her. She can be really abrasive and although I love me some brutal honesty from time to time, sometimes Charlie took it too far. Instead of being honest, she was being too mean or even socially inappropriate.  As the story continued, I warmed to her, but my initial impression of her wasn't good.

The best part of On the Fence is the relationship between Braden and Charlie. I loved their "Fence Chats" at night and I think West captured a summertime romance quite well. Both Braden and Charlie rely on their talks for more than just friendship though as both characters are dealing with so much more than just trivial teenage concerns. Also, there's something magical about talking to someone at night outside under the stars and I truly enjoyed their slowly evolving relationship and building chemistry.

On the Fence is so much more than a fluffy summertime read. It deals with the consequences of lying, familial relationships and grieving.  I will admit that I was surprised by its depth and even though I didn't connect with Charlie as much as I had hoped, I definitely plan on checking out West's novels in the future.




12 comments:

  1. Fantastic review! I read Kasie West's The Distance Between Us and although I enjoyed it, it wasn't my favourite, however, I am looking forward to reading this! :)

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

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    1. I really want to read The Distance Between Us…I hope you enjoy On the Fence! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. This one sounds like such a cute summer read. Light and fluffy is just what I need sometimes! :)

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    1. It was totally light and fluffy-- a lot of fun! I think you'd like this one, Leanna. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one even if it took you awhile to warm to Charlie. I quite liked it myself. I loved her family and Braden was adorable. I would definitely recommend Pivot Point. That is my favorite of her books. Great review!

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    1. Charlie's family was awesome…loved all her brothers. I want to check out Pivot Point. I have heard good things. Thanks for visiting, Natalie!

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  4. Sorry Charlie took some time for you to warm to Christina, but I'm glad you ended up liking her in the end. I had so much fun reading this book, and I sincerely hope that maybe a story for one or two (or all) of her brothers might be in the works. Kasie's books just make me happy:)

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    1. It was a lot of fun and I hope Kasie West creates a spin-off with the brothers…I'd totally be into that! Thanks for dropping by, Jenny!

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  5. I keep struggling with my thoughts on this book. Charlie was definitely a bit cruel and socially inappropriate in the beginning (I'm still amazed she even said a few things, it's hard to believe anyone could be so thoughtlessly rude). But, the budding romance was definitely sweet! I still liked West's THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US more, though.

    Nice review!

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    1. I loved the budding romance as well and once I warmed up to Charlie, I was able to enjoy the book a bit more. I hear that Pivot Point and Distance Between Us is a bit better than this book, so I will have to check out her other books next. Thanks for visiting, Lea!

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  6. This sounds pretty good though I have some reservations about Charlie as a protagonist. I like that she is a tomboy and Braden sounds like a nice guy. I will have to look into ordering this for my library.

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    1. Charlie took awhile for me to warm up to her, but I enjoyed the romance between Charlie and Braden…so I had some mixed feelings about this book. Thanks for dropping by, Christina!

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