{Release Day} Review: On The Fence by Kasie West

July 1, 2014 Book 16 ★★★★★

{Release Day} Review: On The Fence by Kasie WestOn The Fence by Kasie West
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen on July 1st 2014
Source: Edelweiss
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five-stars

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.

Marianne’s Thoughts:

Charlie is a tomboy, and she’s always been “one of the guys”. When she gets a new job in a boutique and starts experimenting what “normal” girls do – wear makeup, go to parties, etc-, she discovers being a “normal” girl isn’t so bad. To top it all off, she’s starting to have feelings for her long-time neighbor with whom she talks to at nights on the fence that divides their houses. She doesn’t want to ruin their friendship, but how can she not when it’s so obvious she’s falling hard for the boy next door?

KASIE WEST DID IT AGAIN! She stole my heart with an amazing contemporary romance and gave me ALL THE FEELS!

Charlie herself was really believable and relatable as a character. Saying she was a tomboy wasn’t just added to make her “different”. She was truly and completely a tomboy. It was so great to see a leading lady being so different than all the cookie cutter heroines out there. I liked seeing her trying to “fit in” because it’s something we all go through at one moment in our lives. I loved seeing her trying on different clothes and seeing what made her feel the most “comfortable”. I liked that even if she was trying to change, it wasn’t because someone was making her, but because she had the potential for that herself.

Charlie has 3 older brothers and while I loved the idea that they were all there to protect her and be amazing big brothers to her, I felt like they all blurred together into one person. Nathan, Jerom, & Gage all seemed like the same person to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved when they all appeared together with Charlie because their interactions were so fun, however I couldn’t help shaking the fact that I couldn’t distinguish them. Nevertheless I really wished I had brothers. Specifically, Charlie’s brothers.

Braden as a love interest was so GOOD. He was charming and smart and sensitive. He listened to Charlie, and he was always there for her, and he always knew how to make her smile. I was giddy throughout most of the book because I could literally feel them falling for each other and it was so cuteeeeeee!

Also, I loved that this book wasn’t just about the romance. It was about self-discovery and about loving and accepting yourself. It was about dealing with grief, and taking responsibility for your actions, and about family. It was such an amazing book, and beautifully written. I want to own every single book Kasie has ever written.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Jennifer’s Thoughts:

Recently I’ve developed a deep like for female characters in Young Adult books that break the norm in the sense that they are different and unique. Recently I’ve seen books that hold the same concepts and characters, but Charlie Reynolds stands tall all on her own without comparison to others.

This is the story of how Charlie Reynolds discovered herself, a different side of her, and how she fell for her childhood friend and neighbor, Braden. Charlie is a tomboy. She loves and practices all kinds of sports, she fights and makes dares with her three brothers and fellow almost-adopted brother, Braden. She doesn’t care for fashion, gossip, or anything relatively girly. But once she starts to work on a boutique to pay off another speeding ticket, Charlie finds herself at a loss on what to do about herself. What started as a work uniform and an easier way to get the cash she needed fast slowly begins to have an appeal unknown to Charlie. As she starts to change from her tomboy ways and fall for Braden, Charlie can’t help but wonder more about her dead mom, what brought her dead, and her nightmares.

I loved Charlie as a character. I could relate a lot to her in some of the aspects of her life. I’m not a very girly girl, yet I like to wear make-up from time to time (not too much like a clown…), I love sports and “boy stuff.” I used to play a lot with boys when I was younger, and like to hang out with them at school from time to time. Charlie is like this, but a bit more. Having been raised by her widowed dad and three older brothers, Charlie had next to nothing female influence other than what she saw outside of her house. As the story goes on, Charlie starts to wander more into this girl world and, frustratingly enough, starts to behave different than how she is and more like the girls she’s working with. At first I didn’t like this much, because no one should have to change to fit in, but this is vital in the story because as the end nears, Charlie realizes this in her own time, and embraces both tomboy and girly side as one of who she is. There’s great character development with her, and I couldn’t help but laugh at her thoughts of dread whenever she was faced with her boss telling her to wear this or that. It reminds me a lot of the days where I’m out with mom and I have to face some of that too.

The character interaction in the book was amazing. I loved Charlie’s brothers so much! They were alike but different on their own accord. They were strong, supportive, goofballs, fighters, and all-around awesome. I wish I had brothers like that <3

All the characters worked well through the whole book and were dynamic with Charlie, not just there posing for stuff to happen.

And as (usually) always, I loved the main Male interaction the most, i.e. Braden.

He was so funny, caring, handsomefrustratingly annoying yet cute, all I’d love in a boy asdfghjkl;’ <3 He went from being the best friend to the love interest in a steady way as if we were living it. You know how Darcy says that he was already in the middle before he knew how or when he began to love Elizabeth? Yeah, that happens here. Braden and Charlie were perfect for each other, both into the same things and pushing the other to their limit. They made dares and fought, but clung to each other in their times of need.

This was the first book by Katie West I’ve read, and I can’t wait to read more. Pivot Point is waiting for me in my own-to-read pile in my night table. It’s begging me to start it, but I can’t until i finish three other ARCs (ALMOST THERE!).

Overall, this was a fluffy, fun, insightful YA book that tells its readers about the importance of discovering yourself, of not changing for others but for yourself, and that sometimes to push yourself to try new things can result in a new discovery. I am currently applying this to my life. It was a fast and easy-going read I greatly enjoyed, and I hope others get to enjoy it as well. Katie West has stolen my heart like Braden did. Definitely worth giving a try.

Rating: 5 stars

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We're two Puertorican girls who want to share our love of reading with the world. We sometimes substitute words for GIFS and either rant or fangirl a lot in our reviews. Talk to us about anything! 🙂
  • I loved sporty activities somewhat as a teen as well, Volleyball for one. You can never beat all the feels. Glad to see you enjoyed!

  • I am actually waiting for this book because I liked “The Distance Between Us”. I am so glad you guys loved it!

  • I love that you say the tomboy thing wasn’t added in just so she stands out from other YA heroines–I feel that’s why we get flat/uninteresting characters sometimes (because the author doesn’t put enough thought into the character and just relies upon things you assume), so I’m happy to hear that isn’t the case here! The book sounds super cute, and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the review!

    • Yes! It was so refreshing to see Charlie being genuinely different. It is a really cute book and has a nice summer feel. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 🙂

  • I haven’t read a book where the protagonist is described as being a “tomboy” for a while. I used to consider myself one when I was younger because I have brothers and grew up with their friends who were of course all boys. I like that Charlie is so relatable and believable and that she doesn’t change for anyone else but herself. Braden sounds adorable <3

  • An overall rating of 5 stars?? I’m ALL.OVER.THIS.BOOK. Seriously and I love that it has romance but self-discovery as well, you know?? I’ve heard of this author but haven’t read anything by her, so clearly I will be adding yet another book to my ever growing TBR! 🙂

    • I don’t think our TBRs will ever diminish xD But yes, this is a great book. Hope you get the chance to read it! 🙂

  • Ooh sounds like an awesome book!! I’m definitely adding it to my list!! Great reviews! 🙂

  • YAY….I am sooo glad you liked it! I cannot wait to read this one 🙂

    • We hope you like it as well <3 It was my first Kasie West and I can't wait to read her other books, specially after what Marianne says of how great she is xD

  • It’s awesome that you guys have very similar tastes in books! This book sounds so cute, fluffy and perfect and Charlie sounds like a really relatable girl. The romance sounds cute too! Can’t wait to read it myself. Lovely reviews!

    • It’s really rare when Jennifer and I disagree (but it does happen!). Yes yes the fluff is like the best part. Hope you get to read it soon! 🙂