Published by HarperCollins Australia on July 1, 2014
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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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.
Many people love this book and I’m happy to say – it didn’t disappoint! Kasie West really is a queen of contemporaries and her writing strikes the perfect balance between a fluffy romance and dealing with the more serious issues in life.
Charlie is a tomboy, having been brought up by her father and 3 brothers since her mother died in an accident. No one in her family talks about their mother and she has nightmares about her throughout the novel. On the other hand, Charlie finds solace in speaking with her next door neighbour and best friend of her older brother, Braden. They meet by the fence and share their innermost feelings and worries.
I was a girl who grew up without a mom and therefore had no idea how to be a girl.
Throughout the book, Charlie seems to struggle with her sense of identity, as she tries to hamper her sporty, competitive tomboy nature in favour of a more feminine girl who is into makeup and fashion. She can’t admit her feelings for Braden who she has known most of her life, and starts repressing her true self when she starts dating Evan, who she believes likes girly girls. From being brought up by her father, to not having a mum to guide her through her life, the book holds a surprising amount of depth when it comes to Charlie’s development, as she learns how to be herself.
The romance was so adorable and takes the entire course of the book to develop. It’s a best friend romance, and both Charlie and Braden have their reasons for not pursuing their feelings. Even when Charlie is dating Evan, you know that he isn’t right for her but it was all part of the journey for her. Braden was such a sweet, respectful guy who showed how much he cared about Charlie and her family throughout the book. The fence chats were great, as a sort of alternate reality where they could feel comfortable in being completely raw and honest with each other. It’s a very slow burn and will develop over almost the entire length of the novel.
One boy is driving me crazy and another boy might not be the One.
What this book really excelled in, was the family aspect. I loved the relationship Charlie had with her brothers, especially Gage, the one she is closest with. Their constant teasing, understanding of each other and even bickering felt honest and real. From Charlie’s doubts about her father, to wishing she had a mother, it’s all explored deeply here and I was surprised at the amount of depth in a summer contemporary.
Although On The Fence does have a fluffy romance, there is so much more to it as it reinforces the importance of family, dealing with issues and being true to oneself. It felt realistic, honest and relatable. Kasie West’s talent in creating multi-dimensional stories and characters really shows in everything she writes, as she takes the time to flesh out her characters’ thoughts, feelings and relationships.
Rating: 4 out of 5
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.