On the Fence by Kasie West

On the FenceOn the Fence by Kasie West
Published by: HarperTeen on July 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
Rating: ★★★

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.

I liked On the Fence, but I think it was shallower and fluffier than I expected/hoped it would be. Here are the different elements of the story:

  • Charlie’s dead mom, and Charlie struggling to grow up without a mother figure
  • Charlie trying to find her identity
  • Charlie struggling between who she’s always been (sporty tomboy) and who she thinks a normal girl is supposed to be (girly, feminine)
  • The romance
  • The family dynamics

You can see that On the Fence had a lot of different parts to it, but I felt like it only scratched the surface of everything, rather than digging deeper. I do not think this is the book to read if you want something really emotionally gripping, draining, or intense. It’s more of a fun, cute, fluffy, teenage crush kind of read. And that’s perfectly fine—I just think I was hoping for the more intense, all consuming kind of romance, and that isn’t what this was.

I feel like the issue with Charlie’s mom was half explored, the romance was half developed, and the whole identity thing was a bit confusing. Charlie clearly loved being a sporty tomboy, but then she was introduced into the world of femininity, girlfriends, and makeup. At first it soooo wasn’t her, but then she slowly started adapting to it. I think I was confused by it because I was never quite sure if Charlie actually enjoyed the feminine, girly stuff or not. O_O

One of the things that irked me was how the romance came out of nowhere. Charlie and Braden have a friendship from the very beginning, and it’s clear that there may be an underlying crush there. But the one night, Charlie literally jolts up and thinks, “I love Braden”. And that’s how the romance really starts. I think the foundation for a crush was there, but not the foundation for love. When I looked at Charlie and Braden, I didn’t really see love. Maybe a friendship love—sure. But not a romantic love. Then it just jumped out and I wasn’t quite ready for it! It was so sudden!

“My heart gave a jolt and I sat up. Crap.
I knew why I cared. Why this mattered so much. Why his opinion was the only thing that mattered.
I was more than just crushing on him. I loved Braden.”

I think the best part of this book by far was the family dynamics. I loved Charlie’s whole family! Her crazy, prankster brothers, and her single dad. I thought her dad was a great character. I could really feel how hard it was for him to try to raise a daughter on his own, when he knew nothing about what it’s like to be a girl. So reading flashbacks of him explaining periods and bras to Charlie was hilarious! I just loved how her dad struggled with how to raise a daughter, but it was clear that he tried so hard to be a great dad to Charlie.

Sweat beaded his upper lip. “Charlie,” he’d said, “Carol at work said you might need a bra.”

Overall, On the Fence wasn’t a bad book. It was cute, light, and fun. Just go into the book expecting something really light and fluffy. It’s not a serious, intense, emotional read. It’s just light entertainment.

The Verdict

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19 comments

    1. Yeah it’s good, I think you just have to go into it with the right mindset—knowing that it’s more of a fluffy read and not super intense.

    1. I know, this is one book that I feel like I just read wrong. Everyone else who loves Kasie West adored this book, but I didn’t! WHAT HAPPENED?!?!

  1. I really loved The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, so I’m excited to read On the Fence . . . and also not. I read the first few pages, and I was having a hard time connecting. But, in all honesty, I didn’t give it a big chance. I’ll have to try this again. And I’ll keep in mind that some of the aspects of the story aren’t explored as much.

    Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook recently posted: Audio Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
  2. I liked On The Fence, but it isn’t my favorite Kasie West. I didn’t fall in love with it the way I usually fall in love with Kasie’s book, but I enjoyed it! I feel like you touched upon some of the things that I was feeling, but I didn’t mind it as much as you ddid : )

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books recently posted: Just One Night (Mini Review)
  3. I’ve seen so many 5 stars for this one. I’m glad that I finally got to see another side of it. It’s just rare for everyone to like the same book and I like seeing all the ups and downs to give myself a better idea on if I want to buy it or not or wait for it to go on sale.

    Carrie recently posted: Submission To Desire, Leah Brooke
  4. I just finished this book and I found it a bit lame. The “One The Fence” moment wasn’t that entirely strong in the story, it felt like it’s just a fence. HAHA I didn’t get why she even started having these deep feelings towards Braden just now. Kasie West kinda forced out the romance and the whole “I’m not pretty” drama but she totally is. (Hate those) I did like the sibling-love, it was interesting to see how much they loved their sister.

    Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture recently posted: To all the books I’ve loved before TAG! JOIN THE FUN!
    1. I completely agree! I just never got on board with the romance. :/ And I also didn’t feel like the fence was that big of a deal.

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