Author: Kasie West.
Publication date: July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone, contemporary.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…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!
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.
"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.