Friday, August 1, 2014

Novel Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 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.

The Cover:

At first this cover was just all right to me, looked a little off or amateur or something. But after having the physical copy, I think it's grown on me. I find it a lot cuter now. And I think it gives a very good, fitting feel for the book.
(Also, I'm pretty sure I have the shirt version of her dress. And it's really cute.)


  • “‘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.’” (Paperback, pg. 211)


I was excited to read this when I heard about it, and it was put near the top of my list of books to get when it released. I really enjoyed West’s other contemporary stand-alone, along with Pivot Point, and was just excited to read anything else by her. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, too.
I don’t think it’s my favorite of West’s, but it was definitely good.
Charlie has grown up with three brothers, her cop father, and her brothers' best friend Braden. She plays sports with them, watches sports with them, and doesn’t really know how to be a “girl”. When she gets another speeding ticket, her father makes her go find a job.
The book did start a little weak, with Charlie seeming kind of like a jerk, but it didn't take very long before I didn't want to put it down.
I liked Charlie. I particularly liked how she discovered the girl world of dresses and makeup and flirting with boys. She’d never really hung out with girly girls before, and I liked her friendship with the girls she met.
West’s humor is definitely one of my favorite. It’s sarcastic, with lots of joking and bantering. This really shows between Charlie and her brothers and Braden. They joke around all the time, poking fun at each other, doing dares. Charlie’s relationship with her brothers and father was really good, they were all really close, and I liked the way they all looked out for her without being overbearing or pushy.
The romance was definitely good. Braden was a good guy, and I liked his jealousy, and how Charlie accepted her feelings and tried to move forward with them. They weren’t frustrating with each other, denying it forever, or anything. The length might have helped with that, but I definitely appreciated it.
There were definitely some serious undertones in this book, a past family problem that Charlie had to work through. It wasn’t too dark, and it took up just enough time. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really like the way that West balances all the elements of her books. None of the things going on—the romance, the serious stuff, friendship, family relationships—overshadows or interferes with anything else. The boy doesn’t distract her from everything else. The serious stuff isn’t given too much or too little time. The family relationships don’t get under-shadowed.
This, much like West’s other books, was a very fast read, and I rather loved it. The humor and the characters were fantastic. I pretty much loved every part of this book, and I can’t wait to read whatever West releases next.

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