[eARC Review] On The Fence by Kasie West

Monday, June 30, 2014

Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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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.

Kasie West had quickly become one of my go-to authors for contemporary YA. Her books are always fun, flirty and an easy read. So when I saw that she was coming out with a new book, I knew i had to read it, and honestly it was perfection. This book has everything you need in a great YA contemporary, a main character readers can relate to, a swoon worthy romance, and great family dynamic and family relationship.

On The Fence follows Charlie, a teenage girl who has a very close bond with her brothers and hence she is a tom boy, and proud of it. But when she is forced to work at a small boutique in the mall she discovers what she never learned. How to be a girly girl. And from there we encounter boy trouble, jealousy, deception. What I think I liked so much about this book was Charlie herself. She was so real, flawed and someone who I could relate to, even though her life was nothing like mine. I loved her sarcasm and the way she interacted with not only her brothers but all the characters. I loved her from the first page of the book. I wanted to know her world and how she would deal with obstacles and believe me she has many.

Charlies brothers were amazing and I loved them all. They each were very different from the other and they each had a purpose in Charlies life and influences. We see that Charlie has the best relationship with Gage and honestly I loved reading their interactions because they seemed so real and they honestly seems to love each other. Braden was a great addition to this book because he was not only the love interest but he was also super close to the family and to Charlie therefore making everything else complicated. But what I also loved was the mystery behind her mothers death and what it meant for Charlie and her family. it was a great tone change from the usual fun, flirty contemporary.

Another aspect that I loved was Charlies character growth. She is a tom boy through and through at the beginning of the book. She has no issue with that title, but when she starts a job at a small boutique she realized that since her mom died she missed out on some of the "girly" things like makeup and clothes shopping etc. I loved seeing this unsure side of her character because when she was around her brothers and Braden she was extremely comfortable yet when she was around other grils and different boys she felt like she needed to change who she was in order for them to like her. And she does this, and sees the consequences first hand. I loved that we got to see that because honestly every girl goes through this, either being into "boy" things and trying to be more girly, or the opposite. It happens to everyone and I just loved the way the experience was written.

Lastly there was the romance. I am sorry but Braden is extremely swoon worthy. I loved his character right from the beginning and I liked that their romance was slow building and began as a friendship before anything else. I loved that they had their own little world at "their" fence and share stories and feelings. I cannot say enough about this book, I LOVED it and I have nothing negative to say. Kasie West has perfected the art of YA contemporary and I hope she writes more and more and I buy every single one. This is a MUST read!

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  1. Thanks, Siobhan, for sharing your review. This sounds like a great contemporary read.