On the Fence by Kasie West – Tomboy Finds Love With Best Friend and Boy Next Door
A B O U T THE B O O K
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: 2014
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E L S E W H E R E
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA, Romance
Charlotte “Charlie” Reynolds may be independent, but she's never given her father cause to question her. But when she’s issued a speeding ticket, her father doesn't take it lightly. This means her father insists she get a job to pay off her ticket. Unfortunately for Charlie, this means working in a pink infused boutique.
For the girl who can outrun and outplay any boy she comes up against, this is something of a challenge. As the youngest of four siblings (all of whom are older brothers) and the daughter of a single parent father, Charlie is a tomboy with a penchant for being “one of the guys,” which includes the boy next door who’s been more of a fourth brother.
Everything changes when Charlie begins spending her nights talking with Braden at the fence line separating their properties...
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Of the two novels by West I’ve read (so far – the rest are on my immediate TBR), this is my least favorite. With that opening statement out of the way, let me say, On the Fence is still a delightful story from its opening pages to ending HEA. For months, blogging and reader friends have been urging me to crack open the pages of these novels. The reader in me “knew” these would be books I’d thoroughly enjoy, but for reasons that shouldn’t have stopped me, I didn’t make the time to read them.*shame on me*
Sometimes we expect more that people are capable of giving at the moment” - Kasie West
It took no time at all for me to realize these characters, Kasie's writing style, and the overall concept was precisely the type of story that makes my reader heart happy. *insert heart eye emoji* On the Fence is a sweet little story about girl who’s the very definition of a “tomboy.” Growing up in a household of boys and raised by a father is bound to do that to one.
What I find so interesting about this are the ways Charlie begins to expand her horizons, realizing that just because she fit into (and felt most comfortable) in one world didn’t mean the opposite was worth nothing. She began to want some variation in her life. She found the life of being a “girl” wasn’t really so bad. This is something I liked and enjoyed about On the Fence. Her shifting personality is a natural progression.
The other pro of the story are the characters. All of them (yes, all!) play an important role in the story, and I don’t think I remember anyone who felt “unnecessary.” Another pro is that no character is unreasonable or there for mere “drama.” I felt like all of the characters were likable, and some of whom even need their own story. Of course, as is the hallmark of Kasie’s signature style, the romance is swoony sweet. (Both Braden and Charlie have scars in need of healing.) Everything ends how you “know” it will from the first page, and it’s all perfectly, simplistically perfect.
Those who love simple (used as the greatest compliment) romances with characters that support rather than hinder the story will enjoy this. It’s an easy read for those of us looking for something to read on these dreary final winter days. The joy of the story isn’t about overthinking or trying to find something sinister around the next corner. The joy is in the sweet journey these characters experience. Perhaps it’s not a life-changing one, but it does challenge the characters as they are, and sometimes that’s the best kind of result.
Content: there may be a few minor suggestive remarks/innuendo, but On the Fence is a clean PG13 or PG rated story.
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. – Goodreads
Review text is © Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), RissiWrites.com