On The Fence
by Kasie West
Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
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.
Oh where to start, where to start! I've been so excited about reading this book and when I finally got my hands on it I didn't believe my luck. It's actually killed me knowing it's been sitting on my kindle but I've had other books to read! But I've read it now and OH MY GOD I LOVED IT! The character's are exciting and new, the plot is well written and perfectly executed. It's everything you could want from a YA contemporary read this summer. You're going to love it!!
Now, if you've read my reviews recently you'll have probably picked up on the fact I struggle with a dual narrative and I am happy to say that On The Fence is told from a singular point of view. You have no idea how happy that made me, seriously! Instead this was told from the point of view of one Charlie Reynolds. Charlie is a tomboy in every possible way, which might have something to do with the fact her mum died when she was six and she has spent the majority of her life around her dad, three older brothers and rather sexy next door neighbour. However, after being caught speeding - again - Charlie has to get a job and said job leads her into the unfamiliar world of girlie.
With a story like this you tend to have one of two things happen with the plot line. Firstly the whole book centres around the love story, which is fine but sometimes you need something extra to keep you interested and to stop the book becoming mindless drivel. Or secondly, the author tries to imprint some kind of complex dilemma to liven up the plot. Which again can be okay, but also has a habit of becoming cliché or taking over ever aspect of the book. When that happens you're left with more of a mystery/thriller than a contemporary. So I am more than happy to report that neither of these were the case with On The Fence. Kasie cleverly intertwined a deeper plot line that gave the book the depth it needed but as it subtly unfolded throughout the book it didn't completely overshadow everything else. After all, this is a story about finding yourself, about first loves, friendship and family. It's about knowing you're the only person who can define who you are and if the whole 'mum' plot line had been anymore than it was some of those things would have gotten lost.
If there was ever a book to make you wish you had older brothers then this is it! Jeeze, from the very beginning I was ready to trade in my younger brother for an older model. Gage, Nathan and Jerom are complete goofballs that treat Charlie like one of the boys. Throwing her around, kicking her butt or at least trying to. However, Charlie can match her over protective siblings at pretty much anything. It's these scenes that made the book for me, constantly placing a smile on my face!
Oh and then there's Braden! Even though this was a single narrative you were given all the information you needed on his story too. He's swoon worthy personified and the perfect boy next door. Braden has his own issues to deal with throughout the book but they only make him more fascinating to unravel.
Overall I loved this book! I had high expectations and it did not disappoint. Charlie was a honest, real and easy to connect with character. Her story was compelling and inspiring. The love story was beyond adorable and above all else, it was completely unputdownable. Another great book for summer and I hope you all get to read it soon because it really is worth a read.
I received this book as an ARC from Edelweiss to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.