Title: On the Fence

Author: Kasie West ♥ @kasiewest

Expected Publication:
July 1, 2014

Publisher: HarperTEEN

Pages: 320

Genre(s): Young Adult  Contemporary  Romance

Source: borrowed ARC (later Edelweiss)

Summary 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.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 06/xx/2014): 

  • Christina thought this title was ah-may-zing! It goes on her TOP SHELF!

**Special Note:** My KP, Stacee, from the wonderfully fabulous Adventures of a Book Junkie, let me borrow her ARC of this title. All quotes and opinions will be of this version and not from the published edition (which you should totally go and buy as soon as it’s available). {I later received an eARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss. It was just as good the second time.}

♥ First Thoughts and Actual Rating: 5 girly-sigh stars! I think Kasie West gets me. I mean, I know she gets writing good, lovable characters and swoony moments because she does those so well, but I also feel like she gets me as reader. Or, she’s just my kind of author because she writes the kind of contemporary novels that I will inevitably fall in love with over and over again. I can’t wait for more of her books.  I feel like I need a t-shirt that says Will Work for West’s Words.

On The Fence charmed my pants off. It was an engaging read about family and coming of age and how sometimes your best friend can be your first love. I absolutely adored this book.

The Lowdown: Charlotte “Charlie” Reynolds epitomizes the term tomboy. Raised by her dad and living with three older brothers means she’s not afraid to get down and dirty. In fact, playing sports and taking dares and goofing off with “the guys” is where Charlie shines the most, that’s her element. However, when a speeding ticket forces Charlie to seek employment in a clothing boutique, we quickly learn that being girly and everything that comes with that- dresses, makeup… flirting- takes her completely out of her comfort zone. But she takes it all in stride, or at least as much as she can with the help of a little white lie here and there and keeping her work and home life separate. After all, she doesn’t want to give her brothers any ammunition for teasing her.

But soon she finds that the stress of her double life is eating away at her. Even worse, the nightmares that have plagued her about her mother’s death are getting more intense and leaving her more exhausted. It’s during a trip outside after one of these bad dreams that she finds herself on the other side of her neighbor’s fence, sharing her secrets with the moon and Braden. Eventually these Fence Chats become a part of their nightly routine and they continue to grow closer together. However, it’s not until Charlie starts seeing a new guy, Evan, that she realizes there might have been something stronger than friendship brewing between her and Braden all along.

My Thoughts: I loved this. Loooooved it. Trust me when I say this, you’re going to want this book. I have that book-love afterglow. Ms. West effortlessly captures that friends-to-more relationship with all its complicated nuances and allowed it to slowly build from a little simmer to the perfect heat for this best kind of Summer read… and every season thereafter.

I think what makes West such a gifted YA contemporary writer is because her books are so well-rounded. She gives us winsome, relatable characters on this journey of self-discovery all while dealing with these sometimes complex, but easily solvable situations that only further draw your interest to the plot even more. She surrounds her main characters with family and friends with surprising depth for secondary characters and pulls the story together even more by a fully fleshed-out setting until you find yourself fully immersed by all the small details of the book.

I will note that aside from our two MCs, Charlie’s brothers absolutely brought this book home for me. I love fun siblings in novels, and her three older brothers were amazeballs. They were charismatic and funny, bringing seriousness and/or lightness to certain scenes when it was deemed necessary. I couldn’t have loved them more, especially with all their dating “advice” and “rules.”

Swoons: Oh yes, but not in the conventional sense with charming words and wooing kisses. I like that Braden makes Charlie see that she’s capable of being loved without having to sacrifice who she is and what she wants out of life. He thinks she should find someone that will still love her even when she drinks raw eggs and tomato juice on a dare and will think that it’s incredibly sexy that she can play circles around most guys in sports.  There were quite a few moments that made me get all *heart-eyed emoticon* and let out the girliest of sighs.

Swoony teaser:

“Am I reading you wrong?” he asked. 

     I shook my head no. I couldn’t find my voice, couldn’t dare to believe that this meant what it meant.

     He let out a slow breath of air that smelled so familiar. “I was going to tell you that.”

     “You were going to tell me that you you wanted to kiss me?”

     He nodded. “Is this going to change everything?”

     “I sure hope so.”

     He smiled and his gaze went from my eyes, to my mouth then up to my hair. He tucked a piece behind my ear. “You’re so beautiful.”
~quote taken from an ARC of On the Fence, pg. 275

Rec It? Are you kidding me? Of course I’m recommending this, as well as all her other books. Even if I didn’t love Charlie and Braden, I’d rec this book for Charlie’s brothers alone. But I do love Charlie and Braden, so that makes this a recommendation to everyone everywhere. Go get this book!

♥  A very special thanks to Stacee for letting me borrow her copy. Make sure you go check out her blog because she’s my most favorite person ever to see what awesome authorly adventure she’s been on recently.

♥ Also, a very special thanks to HarperTEEN and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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