Friday, 13 June 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Release date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 184
Source: Edelweiss

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.

I adored Kasie West's Pivot Point series, so I was really excited for this one. And it didn't let me down - On the Fence is a sweet and compelling story, a one-sit read for me because the length and pacing are perfect, and the plot and characters are great. I read this one before reading The Distance Between Us, though I know I probably should have done it the other way round since characters from the previous book are featured in this. Don't worry though, it's definitely a standalone.

Charlie (short for Charlotte) has grown up with four guys - three older brothers and the boy next door, Braden. Her mom died when she was six, so Charlie's had a very male influence throughout her life, which explains her affinity for sports. She's a complete tomboy, and she loves watching and playing every sport you could think of. She excels at them, too. When Charlie gets a job at a clothing store to pay for a speeding ticket (and also ends up modeling makeup), she's introduced to 'normal girls', and she starts wondering what it would be like to be like them. And she's also having nightly chats with Braden at the fence between their yards, slowly realizing she's falling for a boy who's always seen her as a sister. Or so she thinks.

I really identified with Charlie in many aspects. Though I don't have any brothers (really wish I had an older one!), I love sports, mainly basketball like Charlie, and I'm kind of a tomboy too. I totally got it when Charlie was all clueless about girl stuff and makeup. Charlie's competitive and fun, and very daring - I loved all of that about her. And her extensive knowledge of baseball. But she also thinks she has to change for a guy, and I found that really hard to believe. She's stubborn - I honestly didn't think she would sit and watch the guys play football and play dumb about the sport just so she'd keep a guy interested in her. I guess I took Charlie's opinions on it a little personally, because I know that I would never change like that just for a guy, like wearing makeup all of a sudden or wearing girly clothes or pretending not to know anything about a sport I love. So I'm glad certain people knock some sense into her about that.

I adored all of Charlie's brothers too, especially Gage. He's the closest to her age, and therefore also the closest to her. They share pretty much everything. And it's funny to see how overprotective they all are of her. I guess if I were Charlie I'd be pretty annoyed, but reading about it is fun!

Braden is just amazing, of course. I really enjoyed seeing his initial interactions with Charlie, because they're honestly just like a brother and sister - they're very comfortable with each other, and there's no hint of romance. But as they have their deeper and more intimate conversations at the fence practically every night, they see a different side of one another, and things start to change. Braden's as protective of Charlie as her brothers are, though in a different way of course. And it's cute to see how well they know each other. They know literally every little thing about one another, it's crazy!

It's not all just cute fluff and comedy and romance, of course. There are underlying plot threads, and one of them is really serious. I liked that it was incorporated in this book, because it gave it a twist towards the end, and it definitely explains quite a few things. I felt like the book rushed a little towards the end - there was definitely room to put a bit more in there. But either way, I loved this book. It's the kind you can read over and over, and I think it'll be time for a re-read this summer. It's a perfect summer book, with the cute romance and the drama and the sports.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

2 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm really glad you liked this one too. I definitely want to re-read it the summer as well. It the perfect opportunity!

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  2. I do adore this cover. So sweet. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much :D Amazing review sweetie. <3 :)

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