Genres: Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-07-01
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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’m still smiling like an idiot just thinking of this book. Oh Kasie West, you’ve done it again!
Just like in her companion novel The Distance Between Us, Kasie West adds a bit of a serious topic to an otherwise very light read, and does so spectacularly. Having lost her mom when she was just six, Charlie still struggles with that loss (though she remembers little), and also with the absence of a female presence in her life. When she is suddenly thrust into the world of clothes, guys, and makeup (while working at a boutique), she wonders if there’s more to sides to herself than just ‘sporty’.
How does she always manage to include issues that hit close to home for me? I wouldn’t label myself a ‘tomboy’ because I don’t like the label, but I’m definitely less ‘girly’ than average. I played a lot of sports growing up (but less so now), and still feel more comfortable in athletic clothes sans makeup rather than being all dolled up, though I will do so on occasion. I felt for Charlie as she struggled through living with both her ‘sporty’ and ‘girly’ sides. It’s not an easy balance, and only gets more confusing growing older with guys starting to come more into the picture.
On a side note, this book reminded me of Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian, because of all the brothers! Seriously, Charlie’s brothers were the best. I wouldn’t mind some other companion novels with them in it! West definitely captures what life is like with lots of siblings (trust me, I have 3 of them [and I’m a triplet!]), and what I would imagine having three fun older brothers would be like. From the teasing to the dares and the wrestling, life with siblings is messy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Braden and Charlie are adorable. Can I award them best couple of the year award? (Oh, I should make a list!) They knew each other so well their relationship was second nature — so to have their late-night ‘fence chats’ open up another side of their relationship felt so intimate and special. They knew exactly how to comfort each other when one was feeling out of sorts, and while they still had misunderstandings, they always got past them because they understand each other so well. But they still such a fun pair, never completely letting go of the teasing and pranks they were used to with each other. And their chemistry and romantic tension…wow it was good.
My only complaint was that so many of the serious things started happening near the end that I would have loved to read about throughout the book…I would’ve read a lot more pages of this book, to be honest. Dealing with the loss of her mom comes very near the end of the book, and while I understand that it formed the climax, it would’ve been great to see some more development. But all of Charlie’s issues were wrapped up in the end, so maybe my complaint isn’t all that valid.
A great contemporary that touches on the serious, but is still light enough to make me grin like an idiot.