On the Fence
by Kasie West
Published on July 1st, 2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Pivot Point, The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend
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 LOVED The Distance Between Us and I couldn’t wait to read On the Fence. Kasie West can do no wrong in my eyes, she is a genius creating memorable couples that stay with you for a long time.
Charlie is a tomboy out of necessity. With three older brothers and a single father, she just learned to survive in an environment that nurtured competition and sports, until those became an integral part of her own personality. Since her dad felt so uncomfortable with anything related to her being a ‘girl’, she just tried to minimize reference to them and figure most of the stuff on her own. I felt sad that she felt as if she couldn’t be more feminine without facing ridicule from her brothers.
In many aspects this is a book about Charlie’s growth as a young adult, about relationships between siblings, parents, and best friends. Of course, On the Fence is also a sweet romance. She did a lot of figuring out things and facing difficult events in her past related to the death of her mom. I also love Charlie’s first experiences with having boys notice her, with her first work, and friends that were girls. It was sad and endearing at the same time that she felt so lost in a big new world that was ripe with possibilities.
Braden is the boy-next-door and Charlie’s and Gage’s best friend. He is so sweet, and felt so real. He was a bit insecure, a bit of a bully in anything related to Charlie, and a great friend. I loved that he loved Charlie as is, for who she was, and never tried to change her, but wanted her to embrace who she really was.
Everything that happened after Charlie and Braden get together felt rushed. I wish we could get to read more about them as a couple, and more ‘on the fence’ moments.
Jerom, Nathan and Gage were so much fun (Charlie’s brothers in case you can’t tell.) They all very different, except for two things, the love sports and they love Charlie. They are extremely protective of her, which is not always a bad thing. Charlie’s father is also a great guy, he did a great job considering he was a single dad. I just hoped that he would have included a female figure in the family (a family friend, an aunt?) to help Charlie along.
The characters were all amazing, the writing supreme and the story awesome. What can I say? It was a great read!
Overall, I loved On the Fence, just not as much as I did The Distance Between Us. I’m not sure that I can pinpoint exactly why, but it may have to do with how I felt that Branden and Charlie didn’t get enough time together. I still loved it and will keep Kasie West in my favorite author shortlist for sure!
Some quotes for you:
“…Then he sniffed my hair and neck. “What’s that smell?”
For a second I couldn’t answer him. My breath seemed caught in my throat. Then I help up my wrist, between our too-close faces, “It’s a spray from work…” My voice came out tight and I let my hands fall back to my side.”
“I slipped off my shoes so I could be stealthier, hooked my arm in his, and crept along the wall. “We are so winning.”
Branden smiled big. “I knew I made the right choice holdin’ out for you to get home.”
“Let’s kick some butt”, he said, in his horrible imitation of me.”
“Today was boring,” he said. “Don’t work all day again.”
My heart did a flip and I chastised it…”Good night, Branden.”