Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Posted August 5th, 2014 in book review / 20 comments


by Kasie West

Publisher: Harper Teen (July 2014)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Format: eBook (296 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Edelweiss) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: ★★★½ (4.5 stars)

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.

At A Glance
What can I say? On the Fence is just plain adorable.

The Good
I loved Pivot Point by Kasie West so I knew On the Fence was going to be something special. It was a good mixture of heavy and light. There was a lot of drama with Charlie and her mom who died. It broke my heart to see her need her mom so bad and never get to experience mom-advice and mom-bonding. But Charlie was a tough girl in every way.

There was also a lot of laid-back, fun times. It was hilarious to watch Charlie try to become a real girl. I loved her more as the no makeup, baggy clothed, tomboy, but Charlie all dressed up was great too. I think at that point in her life she needed to feel more girly, to actually have girlfriends and go on dates. And that’s all part of growing up and changing so I easily related.

The family dynamics were the best part. If you are going to read On the Fence, it’s for the heartwarming and snarky family Charlie must ‘endure.’ Her brothers are one of a kind. Each one has his role. But they are all protective of Charlie in infuriating and loving ways. Her family does hold her back in a lot of ways but it’s because they don’t want her to get hurt like she did when her mom died. You will walk away from this book jealous of her imperfectly perfect family. They all had great personalities and sense of humors. It’s hard not to laugh every few pages with them together, causing trouble. Here’s some advice Charlie’s brothers felt needed to be heard :

Never date a guy whose jeans don’t cover his ankles.
Never date anyone you haven’t seen play sports. It says so much about a guy.
And never, ever date a guy who acts like he’s playing in the finals of a professional sporting event when he’s really playing a pickup game.

On the Fence reminded me of a coming to age story. Charlie has a great life, but she needed something more. She wasn’t always on the right path to finding herself, but it’s the mistakes you make that make you a better person or someone you were always meant to be. Braden helped a lot in Charlie’s self-discovery. He was just so damn sweet and caring I could barely stand it. Their late night talks by the fence will pull at your heartstrings. Though they hit a few bumps in the road, Charlie and Braden are obviously meant to be together.

The Bad
This is not the most engaging book ever in the world. It’s very slow, as is the romance, but I got use to it after awhile.

The Snuggly
The romance definitely takes it sweet damn time. For the longest time I didn’t even know if Braden was going to be the main love interest. He seems so much like a brother to Charlie that them having feelings for each other almost seemed weird. Then I got over it and fell in love with these two as they fell in love with each other.

No sex, so appropriate for a YA audience.

Final Thoughts
This book won’t be for everyone because it is a very slow and relaxed read, but for others, it will be hard to not go goo goo ga ga over it. Charlie, Braden, the family, they were all amazing characters that made this book what it was, adorable perfection. Highly recommended.

“Hey guys,’ I said. ‘Don’t be idiots. This is Evan. Evan, the angry-looking one is Jerom, the constipated-looking one is Nathan, and the goofball on the right is Gage.’
Gage laughed. ‘Constipated, Nathan? We said to look fierce.”  

I hesitated now, realizing where we were, but he didn’t stop. He took me by the shoulders and turned me around to face the guys, who were now all staring at us. “By a show of hands,” Braden said loudly, “who here would’ve asked Charlie out in the last six months had they not been given the ‘We will kill you if you at Charlie’ speech by the three lugs over there when she turned sixteen?”

My first instinct was to yank away from Braden’s grip and never talk to him again. Ever. But the small thread of curiosity weaving through me seemed to have stitched me to the grass, because I couldn’t move.

A few guys shifted nervously and glanced at Jerom. Just when I started to feel extremely embarrassed that no one had moved. Tyler raised his hand. His bravery seemed to spur the others forward, because at least half a dozen of them put their hands up. Gage, thinking he was hilarious had even raised his hand. Braden, I noticed, had both hands still firmly grasping my shoulders.

“Which is exactly why we gave the speech,” Jerom said darkly.

“You don’t have to change for a guy,” Braden said quietly in my ear.


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20 Responses to “Review: On the Fence by Kasie West”

  1. Braine TS

    I’m so happy that you finally found a book that worked for you! You’ve been having more meh reads than awesome ones lately, I hope you continue this streak!

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    Not for me, but it does sound like a fantastic book overall for those that enjoy this type. Especially if you gave it 4.5 stars. I like the sound of the slow-build on the relationship. Great review! Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  3. Heena Rathore

    Sometimes all I need is a slow-paced romance novel that will lift my spirits high! Also after reading dystopia for long you really need to read something that’ll make you feel like this world is a better place to live in!

    Great review and lovely blog,

  4. Claudia H. Blanton

    hmm, thanks for the review, looks like I am going to have to stay away from this book, considering that it has a slower pace. I love the fast action novels, no matter what genre, I get bored way to easy! Great blog!

  5. Aimee (Deadly Darlings)

    I just loooooved Charlie and her family. They were just so messily adorable. <3 It was definitely slow for a contemporary book and took a few chapters to get into, but overall = love! Awesome review, Jennifer!

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