DATE PUBLISHED: 1st July 2014
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.
Kasie West has the cute, contemporary romance down! This is the third book I have read by Kasie West and I have loved them all.
The main element I loved about On The Fence was the family dynamics. Charlie has grown up in a male run household with a father and three older brothers. The love these characters have for each other is evident on every single page. Charlie is a tom-boy, which may have been influenced by the abundance of males in her life. This family was a show-stopper for me in the book.
Due to a recent speeding ticket Charlie is forced to take on a job. Through this job Charlie is able to explore her femininity and develop female friendships and expand her horizons. This element of the book was sweet and led to an expansion on Charlie’s character.
Charlie is an athlete and this is a major part of her character. Charlie plays sport with her three brothers (Gage, Nathan, and Jerom) and her neighbour / honorary brother (Braden). The interactions and genuine friendships in these scenes were a joy to read.
Now, where the title of the book comes in. Charlie and Braden engage in late night talks at their adjoining fence when Charlie begins experiencing nightmares and Charlie has had enough of being in the house with his alcoholic father. These interactions were a way for the two characters to engage individually with each other without Charlie’s brothers. The relationship between the characters grew because of these interactions.
The final thing I am going to discuss is the romance. Funnily enough this was not the show-stopper for me but it was clearly evident in the book. When Charlie explores her femininity she gets carried away and attempts to change herself for a boy. This is a commentary on how it is important to be who you are and if someone cannot accept you for that then that person is just not meant to be.
In conclusion, for a light and fluffy romantic book On The Fence had many layers and I enjoyed every one of them. The family dynamics was the piece de resistance and this book was truly a joy to read.
Keep Calm and Read On,