Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Expected publication: July 1st 2014 (review copy received from Netgalley)
Info about author: Twitter - Goodreads - Website
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age group: YA
Pages: 320
Pre-order the book: Amazon - Book Depository


Description (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.

My thoughts:

This was quite cute, as I expected. I read Kasie West's The Distance Between Us last summer and quite enjoyed it, and I feel like my feelings after that were quite similar as the feelings I had after finishing with this one.

For pretty much her whole life Charlie Reynolds has been a tomboy and more like one of the guys than a girly girl. After the death of her mother Charlie has been solely raised by his cop father and being surrounded by older, sporty brother has made her also athletic and to be honest, a bit of a smartass. Getting into problems is not new for Charlie, but when using her father's job as an excuse to get away from them does not work, she has to take a job at a local boutique to pay her dues. The new work clothes and the world of make-up and hanging out with girlfriends come as totally new to Charlie, and it becomes more and more difficult for her to keep up with her two different identities - the one she has home with her brothers and her neighbor and the one she has at work. Soon it starts to seem like the only place she can truly be herself at is by the fence dividing the yards of Charlie's family and Braden's family. The conversations they have there in the middle of the night, not seeing each other but only hearing each other's voices make Charlie realize that Braden might be more to her than just a friend. But can he really be more when he has always been like a brother to her?

I really liked Charlie - she is sarcastic, athletic and fun to read about. Her brothers also seem hilarious and I was able to relate with her struggles about her identity to some extent. Braden seems like a really cute and desirable male interest, but I feel like to some extent I was not able to make a "connection" with him which was one of the reasons I gave this book 3 stars instead of 4.

I'm not going to deny that this wasn't predictable - already the synopsis kind of gives you an idea about the relationship dynamics of the story. But the predictability did not really bother me too much and West's writing is enjoyable and easy to read. 

All in all, this book probably won't change your life or anything, but it will offer you a couple of hours of fun and romance perfect for the beach or the pool. For fans of contemporary romances with strong and interesting female characters and cute boys next door, this is one of the must-reads for summer 2014.



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