On The Fence by Kasie West
Published On: July 1, 2014
Published By: Harper Teen
Amazon | Goodreads
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.
Kasie West kills it once again.
I have loved everything I have read by Kasie West and this was no exception. It was a cute, fun contemporary with great characters and a great overall message. It was so close to being a perfect 5 star read for me.
Very family focused.
Often in YA books there seems to be very little focus on the family at all. This book was one of the exceptions as there is a big focus on family. I absolutely loved the family aspect and seeing Charlie interact with her brothers. I loved her relationship with her brothers and the larger family dynamic, which is something I love reading about, especially as an only child.
Her 'introduction to being a girl' was fun.
I really enjoyed reading about Charlie being introduced to makeup and all the other "girly" things. It was fun to see her discovering a whole other side to herself and it reminded me of my introduction to makeup.
Loved the relatable, important underlying message.
There is a strong message in this book to not change who you are in order to impress other people, and I think that is such an important message for young people to be hearing. I know, particularly in my early teenage years, I spent a lot of time trying to be someone else to impress other people and would have related a lot to Charlie in her situation. This message is definitely something I needed to hear at that age.
There was more to this than a cute romance.
As well as the romance and the family aspect, there were some deeper aspects thrown in. Though I found those aspects of the story interesting, they didn't really feel necessary to the story and a bit like they were just there to fill up some space. Don't get me wrong, everything was well written, including the 'mystery' aspect, I just feel the book would have been just as good without those things.
The cute romance was pretty great though.
I absolutely love Braden. I loved his and Charlie's friendship but they were perfect for each other from the beginning. I liked the fact that they both knew they liked each other but didn't want to ruin their friendship, I thought that was adorable. And most of all, I really loved their fence chats!
Overall, I did really love this book but it didn't blow me away enough to get a full 5 stars. The characters and story were great and I loved the romance but there was just something missing. However, I think this is still a perfect cute summery contemporary read that is so easy to just devour. I couldn't put it down and then didn't want it to end.