Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
It wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally picked up one of Kasie West’s books. But after I did, I was completely hooked. As you can imagine I was beyond excited about On the Fence. It’s a contemporary, it takes place in summer AND it has romance. It basically had “Emilie” written all over it. And I absolutely loved it.
Charlie Reynolds has always been one of the boys. Growing up with a father who’s a cop, three older brothers and a neighbour who might as well be her fourth brother, she knows how to act when it comes to sports and goofing off. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie has no clue where to even start. When she has to start working at a clothing store to pay off her speeding tickets, Charlie finds herself getting a crash course in how to be a girl. The stress of it all starts getting to her, and before long she finds herself having nightly chats with Braden through the fence that separates their yards. Charlie has known Braden her whole life, he’s practically a brother to her. But talking to him every night, Charlie realizes that she might be starting to see Braden as more than just her friend. Admitting to her feelings could change everything. Will Charlie take a chance and risk losing everything, including Braden?
Guys I love this book something fierce. I’ve been on a pretty good streak with books lately, but On the Fence is close to the top of the list when it comes to recent favourites. The fact that when I sat down to read it, I didn’t get up again until I was finished probably gives you a good idea of how much I loved On the Fence. Kasie West really hit the mark with this story. This story just felt incredibly real. There were so many moments while I was reading that I could honestly say I remembered feeling just the way Charlie did when I was sixteen. Beyond this story just feeling incredibly real, it was the perfect mix and fun and deep. There were parts of the story that went deeper than I thought they might have without it getting too heavy. There were so many times when I just found myself smiling, if not actually laughing. More than anything though, I loved the romance. I loved how it was understated and wasn’t necessarily the focal point of the story. And I ADORED the fact that it was a friendship before it became a romantic relationship. It made me love Charlie and Braden that much more.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I connected to Charlie. While reading On the Fence, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much of 16 year old me I saw in Charlie. Because of that, I became invested in her story so much faster. I could totally understand what she was going through: that moment when you realize you have to grow up, but growing up could mean everything changing. I loved seeing Charlie’s transformation over the course of this story, going from a complete tomboy to a sixteen-year-old girl who could give any boy a run for his money when it came to sports. So I loved Charlie. And just as much as I loved Charlie, I absolutely ADORED Braden. Braden was literally the boy next door. What I loved most about him was that he was Charlie’s friend long before something more started happening. Because of that, he knew Charlie in a way that no one else really did and he wasn’t afraid to be straight up with her. And just as Charlie was falling for him, I was falling for him. I really just couldn’t be helped. And then there were Charlie’s brothers. Sometimes, they kind of stole the show. I will say this: I would totally read a story all about Gage.
Kasie West’s On the Fence was just as amazing and awesome as I hoped it would be. This was just the perfect summer contemporary story and I loved being able to connect to it as much as I did. Have I said it was perfect, yet? Because it was.