May 16, 2016

REVIEW: On the Fence

On the Fence, by Kasie West
Publish Date:
July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: paperback, borrowed
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(Synopsis) For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. 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.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen a Kasie West book cover come across my social media feeds, and thought to myself, "Why haven't you read something by her yet?" Then, I saw she was going to be a part of Apollycon 2017, and I decided that I needed to do something about this. My bestie Jen over at At Random has several of Kasie's books on her shelf, and on a recent visit to her house, I came home with two of them. On the Fence is the first Kasie West book I've ever read. 

And again, why the hell did I wait so long? It was such a fun book - I literally finished it in a few hours. It was a quick and light read and the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening. 

On the Fence is about Charlie, a 16-year-old tomboy to beat all tomboys. The only female in a house with her father, three brothers and her neighbor who might as well be her brother, she loves all sports and knows nothing of dresses or makeup or anything else even remotely feminine. But, a love of sports doesn't stop the flow of hormones or prevent the notices of boys. And, all of a sudden, Charlie is started to look at some boys differently. She's starting to feel differently about herself. And she's starting to wonder what her life would've been like if her mother had lived to help her through these things.

I have one brother, and we're not super close. I've always been envious of books that feature sibling relationships like the one Charlie has with her brothers Jerom, Nathan and Gage. They clearly have some fierce love for one another. Charlie is the youngest, so she has a lot of boys protecting her, even when she doesn't really need or want protecting. But, no matter what idiotic things they say or do, it's so obvious that they adore their sister. 

On the Fence gets its name from the late night chats that Charlie and her neighbor Braden have with each other outside by the fence between their yards. Charlie confesses her feelings of inadequacy and Braden confesses his feelings about his awful father. It's like their safe place, and it's the place where their feelings for each other start to confuse and complicate matters. 

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Charlie's realization of so many things in her life. It was poignant and sweet and funny and sad at times. It makes me glad that I'm not 16 anymore too. And it made me highly anticipate the next Kasie West book on my list. 


LRAtRandom said...

Yay! Glad you liked it! I have another KWest book when you're ready for it.

I agree with your comment about sibling relationships. I haven't seen my brother in...10 years I think so like you I always wonder what it's like to have that close relationship.

Hannah said...