Monday, May 5, 2014

Early Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence
by Kasie West
Read: April 21, 2014
Published: July 1, 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: ALA, (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)
Category: YA, contemporary

Find: Goodreads | Amazon

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.


I was one of the very few people who didn’t love The Distance Between Us, which made me worry there was something wrong with me. But I was determined  to give Kasie West another try, in the hopes of discovering the magic of her stories. Thankfully, I did! I really enjoyed On The Fence. It was sweet and awkward and a great summer read.

Elements that stood out to me in this story: 

1) Charlie – Charlie is clueless but endearing. She won me over with her love of sports and her brothers. How truly lost she was about girl things, and her longing for her mother, who died when she was six years old. I love that Charlie explores who she is in this book. Although that includes a make-over and trying new clothes and makeup, this isn’t a She’s All That Cinderella story. It’s about embracing who you are and being proud of that in all its forms. I also love that Charlie's love interest Braden didn't start noticing her because she changed her looks, in fact he was more worried that she was losing herself in all her trying to be more like a "girl." 

2) Family – I adored Charlie’s family: her three protective older brothers who clearly love her deeply, and even her father who struggles to do his best with his only daughter. Charlie has a heartfelt chat with her dad at a point in this book, and it was such a beautiful/heartbreaking conversation. I hope Kasie West writes a story for one of these brothers, especially Gage. 

3) Braden – Charlie’s neighbor and her brothers’ best friend, Braden has been a fixture in Charlie’s life for years. She considers him as one of her brothers…only he’s not. I loved the clear bond between him and Charlie, but also how obviously dense Charlie was about her feelings for him. Their fence chats were fun and a great way to open up to each other.  Their romance was sweet and clean too – and though Evan (a boy Charlie meets when she's dressed up like a "girl") was a bit of a nuisance, he also served to show both Charlie and Braden how much they meant to each other. I actually enjoyed the tension he brought into the book. Don’t worry, this isn’t really a love triangle. Charlie always wants Braden, even when she pretends she doesn't. 

4) Easter Eggs – I didn’t realize this would take place in the same town as The Distance Between Us. It was fun to get glimpses of previous characters. I hope that happens again in the future.

5) I am now a Kasie West contemporary convert. On the Fence was adorable, and I liked how it played off of the Cinderella trope, but didn't become that at all. I can't wait for more of her books!  

Love Triangle Factor: None. But mild in action. 
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone


  1. I'm a Contemporary Convert now too! ;) I really enjoyed this one and thought the relationships were depicted so well and came across strongly across the page. It was such a huge turn-around from The Distance Between Us, so I'm glad I gave it a shot. Lovely review, Lauren! :)

  2. Well, I knew your feelings already, but still glad you liked this book a lot. I needs it! Hopefully I won't be too bothered by Evan. :P Family dynamics have been more prominent in Contemporary YA this year - glad KW is keeping with that trend.

    Great review, lady.

  3. I'm keeping this to read closer to the release date but all the great praising reviews have me rethinking my decision. I've loved most of Kasie West's books, so I have no doubt that this is going to be book I love too. Charlie sounds like a really sweet girl that I would like and I love how her family is prominent. I'm looking forward to the scene with her dad now that you mentioned it. Also, I might already be in love with Braden with your review. :)
    Great review, Lauren.

  4. Ohh. Amazing review sweetie :D Charlie and Branden sounds amazing. <3 And you made me want to read this book. Hmm. Though.. you say it isn't a love triangle, but what you said about the other guy makes me worry :\ I worry about everything, lol. Thank you for sharing. <3 I'm glad you loved this book :)

  5. I've been using contemps as palate cleansers because I read them so rarely. I haven't read anything by this author but it sounds like I need to change that ASAP! Love when there are Easter eggs from other books the author's written. It's almost like we're in on a little secret...

  6. EEEEEP. I didn't know it was going to be in the same town!!! Now I'm even way more excited!

  7. You should read Pivot Point! It's the only book of West's I've read so far, but I enjoyed it.

    I'm a bit more hesitant to read West's contemporaries, though your review has gone a long way towards alleviating some of my worries. I'll have to keep this one in mind for a future West read - after I read Split Second, that is!

  8. I need to pick this up because it sounds exactly like something I'd enjoy. I have a copy of The Distance Between Us, I just haven't read it yet. Wonderful review, Lauren! :)

  9. I loved Pivot Point by Kassie and now I'm thinking I should pick this up despite the fact I don't read as many contemporary romances. It sounds too cute! :)

  10. I'm glad that you ended up giving Kasie's books another go and ended up loving this one. I haven't read The Distance Between Us, but I am in the mood for some contemporary to blow me away, I've not had the best of luck recently. But this book sound perfect and also perfect to get me in the mood for the Summer! Gorgeous review as always Lauren!

  11. I'm so glad you like this book, I'm really looking forward to it. You didn't like The Distance Between Us…what???? :) Great review! ~Pam

  12. I'm kind of sorely tempted to go ahead and read this one early too! It sounds like the perfect summery contemporary that I love, especially with the whole next door neighbors aspect to it. I have yet to read a Kasie West book, but I might just make this the first!

  13. I really liked The Distance Between Us (even though it was a little slow going) but I'm glad you tried this one even if it wasn't a fav for you. Yay for "easter eggs" (this made me think of Pixar films and I don't think I read many books about girls with their older brothers -- so yay for family AND a nice romance. Def. a nice change. I think I might be buying this one when it comes out. :)


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