I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-07-01
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Girls & Women, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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.
Friends, if you are looking for an author to marathon read or to add to your readathon pile, I can totally vouch for Kasie West. Her writing is like a magical unicorn, there are swoons, interesting themes, strong characters and positive female friendships in all of her books to date. Guys, I think I might need a card because I am totally joining Kasie West’s fan club. On The Fence, her book that comes out in July was SO ADORABLE I CANNOT EVEN. Like, I might get shouty caps in this review and that is okay because sometimes you need a shout to convey all of your overwhelming feelings and thoughts. Guys, I think that out of all of her books, I liked On The Fence the best. I kind of wish it could be July right this second so that you would read this book and then you could pop on here and swoon with me. But, because it’s not, I will write this review in hopes that it will convinced you that you need to request this one on Edelweiss or that you need to pre-order it from your bookstore of choice, because trust, this is going to be the perfect summer read for you.
Are you a fan of books about athletic girls who are one of the guys? YES? Okay then listen up, because On The Fence is the book for you. This book is about Charlie Reynolds who is kind of the definition of a tomboy. She’s really into sports and not up on make up and fashion. When she gets a speeding ticket, her dad, also a police officer, makes Charlie get a job to pay back the cost of the ticket and the increase in insurance. Charlie ends up finding a job at this boutique which is really girly. This is totally at odds with her home life, where she is the only girl and has three older brothers and just her dad, because her mom died in a car accident when she was six. Oh yeah, and Braden, the boy next door who is basically like another brother. Charlie has anxiety issues though and usually runs so that she can sleep at night without nightmares. However, when she works at the boutique she is unable to run and so, finds herself having fence chats with Braden, who is dealing with a drunken father. Charlie begins to catch feelings for Braden, as she finds herself changing a little bit.
You know how sometimes books with tomboy girls have those girls being all – I HATE OTHER FEMALES I AM SO SPECIAL? Well, On The Fence thankfully avoids that. Sure, Charlie only has male friends, but that’s because she feels out of her league and nervous with other girls. She’s scared she doesn’t have the same interests. When girly-girl Amber asks Charlie to be her blank canvas for makeup demonstrations, Charlie agrees and the two form a friendship that is actually kind of great to see. It’s great to see Charlie connect with someone so different from her and not be really judgmental of Amber because she likes dresses. I have to admit, I also really loved Charlie’s dedication to her various sports and her love of athleticism. I also loved that she was not 100% confident in herself, like she thought of herself as a big burly girl because she’s tall and muscular. Yet, we see that there’s nothing wrong with that.
When it comes to the romance, let me just say there is not immediate kissing. It actually takes a really, really long time to get to any sort of action between Charlie and Braden. Like, it’s obvious that Charlie’s into him but she doesn’t let it show all that much. We see that they are both scared of what a relationship would do to their friendship. What I like is that it slowly develops. The fence chats show just how well they know each other as they play this game where they name off facts about each other and the first person who is unable to match the fact loses. I know I made that sound confusing, but trust it is adorable. Also? Braden is not the only guy we see Charlie with. I love that we see her with the wrong guy to get to the right guy. Also? There’s totally some jealousy there. But ugh, this romance. It’s one that will have you rooting for both Charlie and Braden and will have you satisfied with the swoon quota and a smile at the end of On The Fence.
I should tell you that I read Kasie West’s book in a single sitting on my bed on my Kindle Fire and with that backlight, that’s nothing short of a miracle for me. I legitimately was in love with this book. I kept saying oh one more chapter, it’s so short, until I basically got to the end. The pacing is on point and fast. The romance develops in good time. There are guest appearances from characters from The Distance Between Us. A lot of this book reminded me of My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, only Charlie’s family was more like Jase’s in that they are loud and big and rambunctious and Braden is the one next door with the small quiet family who becomes absorbed into the loud large family. If you’re into books with a sweet romance that you can totally knock out in one sitting, PREORDER THIS ONE. Do it.