Review 270. Kasie West – On the fence.

18298225Title: On the fence.
Author: Kasie West.
Pages: 320.
Publication date: July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone, contemporary.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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.
Rating:

I rarely read contemporaries, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something fluffy and this one came highly recommended by Debby from Snuggly Oranges. She raved about it during on of our book club meetings, so I decided to download a copy from Edelweiss and I’m happy that I did. This is my first meeting with Kasie West and definitely not my last!

"We can't let boys define how we feel about ourselves. You have to know who you are before you should let any boy worth anything in."


Charlie is a tomboy. She doesn’t wear make-up and instead of shopping, she likes to play sports with her brothers and neighbor Branden. When she has another speed ticket, her father is done with paying for her mistakes and he forces her to find a job. She ends up in a boutique, where she makes friends with some girls who show her that she can combine girly stuff with her daily life. She is also having conversations through the fence with Branden – a boy she is starting to like more and more.

I absolutely loved the family dynamic! Charlie, her brother’s and her father form this great family with flaws and happiness. I liked how there was more depth in the story with the background of her mother. I always have a weakness for books with a focus on family and I liked how protective her brothers are. It’s also realistic to see how her father had to deal with the loss of his wife. I thought it was adorable how hard he tried to make sure Charlie has everything she needs.

Most books go wrong for me when they emphasis the romance, but I was expecting it and surprised how it’s never overwhelming. The growing attraction between Branden and Charlie is subtle and cute. I really like it when a friendship turns out into something more. It wasn’t hard to connect with Charlie. I’ve always been a little ‘tomboyish’ myself. At the same time, I don’t mind girly stuff and I liked how Charlie develops in that aspect. She starts to embrace the fact that she is a girl and it’s perfectly okay to behave like one instead of being tough all the time.

If you look for a cute contemporary with some depth, this is the book you should pick up.

36 comments

  1. I agree, the family dynamic here was brilliant and I loved how Charlie's brothers treated her equally. Such a cute and fun read, I am considering to re-re-read it now.

    Lovely review, Mel! <33

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  2. Great review, Mel! Glad to hear you liked it! After reading The Distance Between Us I was so anxious to read this one. I went to three bookstores on it's release day and NONE of them had it, so I haven't gotten to read it yet but hopefully soon! :D

    Em @ Books & Cleverness

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    1. I need to read The distance between us soon :D

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  3. Great review! I love Kasie West and I adored this book!

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  4. I was pleasantly surprised by this one as well! Like you, I'm not one to read fluffy contemporary books, but it was KASIE WEST and of course I couldn't resist, right? And even though there were all kinds of cliches here -- the tomboy MC whom nearly every guy falls for, cheesy and awkward situations, etc. -- they worked incredibly well and just made for a perfect summer read. <3

    YES to the family dynamics! It's so rare to see actual happy families in books these days, authors seem to like giving their characters the crappiest lives ever, haha. I loved how adorable and awkward Charlie's dad was. It really just made them seem so much closer, in my eyes. I loved that even though Charlie's dad had lost his wife, he hadn't fallen into drinking or gambling or those kinds of things -- like in a lot of other YA books, too.

    I just keep agreeing with this review, lol. Now all I need to do is check out Kasie's The Distance Between Us; I've heard that one is really good as well. :D Fab review, Mel!

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    1. True! Sometimes cliches just come together and form an entertaining book :D

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! There's always a few times that I'm in the mood for some light contemporaries, but I'll always been in the mood for a Kasie West book!
    I loved the family aspect as well and it was so sweet that everyone was just trying to protect Charlie.
    I'm pretty sure you'll love The Distance Between Us since you enjoyed this one :)
    Great review, Mel!

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    1. I need to get a copy of that one soon then :)!

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  6. This sounds absolutely wonderful! I'm usually hesitant with NA / NA-reminiscent reads because I like my romance to be sweet and sort of in the background of the story, which is hard to do with NA. However, I'm definitely willing to give this one a try if you say the romance is in the background! :D

    Thanks for sharing Mel, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. I think that you will enjoy it, seeing we have the same thoughts when it comes to NA-ish books!

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  7. I'm glad you really enjoyed this one! I really love West's books and if you liked the slow burning romance you should read her other contemporary book The Distance Between Us!
    Thanks for the great review!

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  8. Eeep, so glad that you liked this! I agree that if someone is in the mood for fluffy contemporary, West's books are on the service. I am also a tad tomboyish. Well, every girl is (imo). Going to read this soon! Great review, Mel!

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  9. Kasie West can do no wrong in my eyes. I just love every story she writes. The family dynamic in this one was my favorite thing about it but I agree that the romance was really well done! I'm glad you enjoyed this Mel!

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  10. This one looks too cute! I've been seeing so many positive reviews for this one, and I just might have to pick it up! I love that it doesn't just focus on the romance, but that there's also a great family dynamic. Great review, Mel! :D

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  11. True, true, I really liked her family. It was so fun to read, especially her dad and her brother. I actually liked the family interactions more than the romance. Glad you liked this book. <3

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    1. Me too, especially because it's so refreshing from other books :)

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  12. Kasie West writes the most amazing contemporaries! I adore her books and loved this one as well. I found Charlie so easy to connect to and just loved her whole character so much. The romance definitely didn't overpower the story, but I did wish there was a little more of those two together.

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    1. Especially towards the ending, I'd have loved to see more of them :)

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  13. Kasie West has definitely become a go to author of mine! She writes some of the best YA contemporary romances. I'll be reading this one very soon, and I'm ready to fall in love again. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it - the family dynamic sounds awesome, and a best friend romance is one of my favorite tropes. Great review, Mel! :)

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  14. OH MO! :D Yes, On The Fence was absolutely wonderful, wasn't it? I'm so glad you enjoyed it Mel!! And that you decided to step out of your comfort zone for this one ;) And yes! It's so great that you could connect to Charlie, she was a cool kid wasn't she? :D And I you are too!! ^^ Charlie's brothers were awesome too! And you know there was a cameo by Caymen where Charlie's brother was checking her out? :P Well, Caymen is from The Distance Between Us! xD I hope you check that one out, because I loved that one so much, and there's so much snark, I hope you enjoy it! :D <3

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    1. That is why it's sometimes good to read new things :D

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  15. I'm so excited to start this! I hope my order from Barnes and Noble comes in soon =D
    Glad to hear that this isn't just a complete fluff romance, but has some depth. I'm sure this will be another great Kasie West book for me!

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  16. I didn't really enjoy Pivot Point and Split Second much, but I do want to try one of her contemporaries and hope that I enjoy them this time! She can write a good romance and I think what failed for me was how the plot didn't hook me in Pivot Point.

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  17. Aw. Amazing review sweetie. <3 So glad you enjoyed this book :D You make it sound cute, hih. That makes me happy. But I'm just.. not a big fan of this genre :\ but hopefully one day. <3

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  18. Awe i'm so happy to hear you loved this one! Your reviews just calmed me down for when I start reading it myself! I love Kasie West so i never had any doubts about her awesome writing but i was still a tad bit anxouis! I mean i have such high expecations! Great review :)

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  19. Contemporaries have grown on me a lot in the past couple of years, but I haven't read Kasie West yet! I've heard so many good things about this one and am really excited to read it. It's even more of a sell when someone who doesn't read as many likes it! I love when families are emphasized. :) Great review Mel!

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    1. I would recommend trying this one Rachel :)

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  20. I just finished reading this book and I thought it was absolutely adorable, I loved it! I loved the family dynamic and how Charlie was a tomboy, and how the novel was deeper than just a fluffy romance. Lovely review Mel!

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  21. I loved this one! I've loved all of hers. If you haven't read Pivot Point yet, I would HIGHLY recommend that one to you!!!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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  22. Loved Charlie and Braden! This was such a cute, fun read.

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  23. I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this one, Mel! I do love Kasie West's books and her contemporaries rock! I had a great time reading this one in particular because I am all for childhood best friend romance tropes! Lovely review! :)

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  24. Yay! I'm glad you liked this one! You know a contemporary is good when a person that normally doesn't like romance loves it. Kasie West has never failed to rock my world!

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  25. Yes yes yessss this was just so cute! I loved the family dynamic too. It felt really real and genuine and so familiar too! It was such a refreshing story and an adorable romance! :)

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