On the Fence
Synopsis: For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. 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.
This book was totally cliché and honestly? I loved every minute of it. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Seriously, Kasie West’s writing is so addictive. Some parts were borderline corny but I also weirdly enjoyed that. It might be because I haven’t read a contemporary in such a long time. Anyway, back to the review. The synopsis of the book really pulled me in. I love stories like this, of friends getting out of the friend zone and I always love the idea of protective older brothers. I always wanted to grow up in that kind of family but nope, I have younger brothers. So reading Charlie’s story helped me kind of live that kind of life for a moment. I loved the way that the story progressed and how West added some kind of mystery in the plot. I loved that it didn’t focus on just the love story between Braden and Charlie but also the dynamic relationship between Charlie and her brothers, and Braden and her brothers. It was wonderfully done and it made me feel like it was real. I also enjoyed the book because I felt so connected with Charlie and I saw a lot of myself in her.
Tomboy Charlie was a lot of fun getting to know. She wasn’t exactly my favorite at the beginning but she grew on me. I liked her growth in the story and her progression of self-acceptance was very believable. I think that is what drew me to her. She grew up being surrounded by her brothers and father and sports. She didn’t know how to do girly and thought that there was something wrong with her because she wasn’t like all the other girls. I think that the book just sends out a positive message where you don’t have to change yourself or act differently in order for others to like you. I’m also in love with her family dynamic. They went through a difficult tragedy and they have become closer than ever because of it. Seriously, I would love to be married into that family haha. Braden was perfectly imperfect haha. He was so adorable and I felt like he was realistic. He’s the guy who unintentionally says the wrong things and can’t express things coherently. It was great haha. It made for a gut-wrenching love story.
I did have a problem with one thing. Though it wasn’t enough to garner one less star. It’s a problem that I’ve had with all of the West books that I’ve read. It’s not that it was wrong but I just wanted more at the end. I feel like West creates her scenario and puts forth all the details in the beginning and in the middle of the book and the last fourth of the book is like, “crap, I ran out of space. Time to start wrapping up the story and resolving the conflict.” I just wish that there was more to the ending than what we got but hey, I’m not fully complaining because I did love that ending. I’m really sad that I’ve read all of West’s contemporaries haha what do I read now?!