Review: On The Fence by Kasie West

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Book Title: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publish Date: July 1st, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
By then time you read this, I will have read all of Kasie West’s books and have hopefully enjoyed them all. When I wrote this review I had only read Pivot Point but had just recently bought & received in the mail, Split Second & The Distance Between Us. I was hoping for a cute fluffy read and I definitely got that with On The Fence.

Charlie struggles a lot with this book and I was able to relate to that a lot more than I think I expected to. Charlie is a tomboy with 4 brothers being raised by her dad after her mother died 10 years ago. She doesn’t think that she is what guys want because she’s not feminine and she doesn’t wear makeup and talk endlessly about clothes and boys.

It was so clearly a struggle for her because she feels like she has to change who she is in order to get boys to notice her. She feels like boys don’t want girls who are “big and burly” and Charlie doesn’t know how to be delicate and feminine like she feels she should be in order for guys to notice her.I got that because I was much the same way in high school. Boys didn’t notice me because I was much more sporty than feminine. Boys went for the girls who were “hot” and who wore gobs of makeup and revealing clothing to make themselves look hot.

Working in a clothing store filled with feminine clothing initially makes Charlie borderline uncomfortable but then she begins to embrace her femininity and she begins to realize that she can be both. She can be sporty and feminine. Not having a mother in the past 10 years has made her feel like she must choose one or the other. Feminine or sporty. 

Charlie meets a cute guy named Evan, but she feels like she has to dumb herself down for him because apparently making a guy feel useless is emasculating. So instead of rattling off everything she knows about sports, she stays quiet, allowing Evan to believe that he is teaching her something. Next door neighbor Braden actually had some good insight on this whole dumbing herself down for a guy thing

“If you can’t be yourself around him, you shouldn’t be dating him.”

I absolutely LOVED this quote. I had highlighted several things in the book, but this one in particular stuck with me. Mostly because I think most teenage girls go through this. They feel like they have to dumb themselves down for a guy. They feel like they have to be something different in order for a guy to like them.

Watching Charlie realize that Braden was right and that a girl should never try to be something else in order for a guy to like her, was really awesome. If a guy doesn’t like her for who she is, he’s not worth dating.

It’s hard for longtime friends to admit to being attracted to each other. It’s terrifying because each of them worries that their friendship might be ruined.And what if the relationship doesn’t make it? Will they ever be able to be friends again? So I totally understand why it took so long for Charlie and Braden to admit their feelings.When they do though, its full of sweetness and swoons.

I really only had one complaint.When secrets are revealed about how Charlie’s mom died, I felt like Charlie reacted and then got over it really quickly. I mean I wanted more about that and I felt like it wasn’t delved into it as completely as it should have been.Had that been explored a little more, I think I would have given this book a full 5 stars. But I definitely had the feels while reading this book. Kasie is really good at giving her readers those all important feels. So this book will be getting 4.5 stars. Kasie has absolutely secured herself a spot on my author auto-buy list.

3 comments on “Review: On The Fence by Kasie West

  1. Giselle says:

    This sounds like the perfect summer read and I can't wait to delve into it – summer finally arrived here I thought it would never come! >.<

    Like

  2. It was a wonderful read, definitely a good summer read. Granted ANYTHING Kasie writes is probably going to be amazing. I think you'll enjoy it a lot.

    Like

  3. Sometimes it is hard for an author to write how a character should deal with the emotions of losing a parent. Some hit it right on the mark, and others need to work on their aim. I am excited to read this though! Awesome review!

    Like

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