Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
My rating: 4 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.

You’ve probably noticed a pattern in my reviews the last couple of weeks, I’ve either had a hard time connecting with books, so they’ve taken me either days or weeks to finish or there’s been a few spectacular books which all I’ve wanted to do is read all day. On the Fence was one of the latter books, I started it late one night and before I knew it I was already half way through and thoroughly loving it,  This book was just freaking adorable.

Charlie was a fantastic character, she’d grown up with three older brothers and her dad and Braden next door, so she was always one of the guys, played soccer, was used to messing around with them, so never really had time for herself or even paid attention to what other girls focused on; hair, make-up, thinking through her out fit for the start of the day. I knew what it could be like for Charlie, I’d grown up with my cousins, so had been engrossed into sports from a very young age (I still am) and was used to being chucked about just so they could practice the latest wrestling move. I liked that Charlie felt comfortable in herself with the guys and who she was. But I was delighted that many more opportunities were thrown her way, which gave her the opportunity to try out things which she hadn’t done and actually hang around with girls. It was really sort of confidence building for Charlie, having three over protective brothers around all the time, I liked that Charlie finally had time to herself.

What I also enjoyed about On the Fence was how family played a forefront in this book. There are far too many YA books where, family don’t give a toss about what their kids up to or are never around when they get into trouble. But in On the Fence this was not the case, we had a father, who was in the know how (most of the time) with what was going on in his kid’s lives and actually put his foot down and made them take responsibility for when they messed up. He actually made Charlie get a job to pay off her speeding tickets. Then there was Charlie’s brothers; Jerom, Nathan and Gage, I absolutely loved these guys, especially Gage. I loved the fun they could have with each other, which was mainly goofing around. But also how they had Charlie’s back (maybe the over protective brother came through strong a few times, but isn’t that what brothers are there for?)

Then there’s Braden, he wasn’t your typical character which created all the swoons when you first meet him, for me it did take a while to totally fall head over heels for, this may be largely due to the fact that whenever Gage was about he was quickly able to distract me. But I loved the secret meetings him and Charlie had at the fence, how he was great at distracting Charlie when she was stressed out. There was that will they won’t there for a while, and a bit of heart break along the way, but I think West did a great job in dealing with it all.

What surprised me the most I think was that I was expecting a light, fluffy book throughout, but there was also a darker underlying theme, and I really did like it, as we were never fully clued in on what was going on, until the very end. I always knew that West was a super talented author after devouring Pivot Point and Split Second, but for me I think On the Fence was my favourite book of hers yet. I highly recommend giving this book a go if you haven’t already done so, it was a cute funny read and full with many memorable characters. 




16 comments:

  1. I will finally be able to read this next year because I'm being gifted it at Christmas and I canny not wait, seriously, GAH! Your review just makes me excited again because I need more Kasie West in my life, honestly! I love this review, it's positively exciting in all ways possible, so thank you! :D

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  2. I loved this book Jaspirt, it was one of my first Kasie West's books and for her contemporaries it was just brilliant. I the relationship of how they became friends but between then was a burning desire for more. I loved that Charlie was such a different character to connect with, the tom-boyish persona she carried. Her family too was just awesome to see as well, as her being the only girl in the family. Great review, Jasprit! :)

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  3. I loved that the family was at the forefront in this book too. I typically enjoy books that place a huge emphasis on family.
    This wasn't my favorite Kasie West book, mostly because I wanted to see Charlie and Braden as a couple after they admitted their feelings, but this still left me with a happy glow. :)
    Lovely review, Jasprit!

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  4. YAY JASPRIT!!!! I so loved this one too, and like you, one of my favorite parts was how prominent Charlie's family was. I'm hoping we might get more books about her brothers, I would definitely like to read their stories. Glad this one landed in the "read all day" category:)

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  5. Awww, this book sounds like such a cute book. I guess I'm getting into YA again. great review! :)

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

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  6. I read this at the beginning of the summer, and I thought it was the perfect, light summer read. I loved the family focus and the touching on of deeper issues. I think West is definitely an author to watch.

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  7. I loved the character growth of Charlie in this one! It's hard not to like the brothers. :)

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  8. I have heard some amazing things about Kasie and her stories but haven't read any yet. I need to change that as this one sounds really good. I love to see characters grow and it seems to me it was well done here. Great review, Jasprit :)

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  9. I know very well how you feel with the slow reads and the fast reads. Sometimes I start reading a book from my tbr pile and I'll find myself taking days or a few weeks to finish it. Other times a book will engross my attention so much I'll take a day or two to finish it. It's weird but it's happened regularly now so I'm starting to get used to it. I also share in your love for On The Fence! I loved this book so much. I liked how Kasie managed to balance out so many things at once it was a little mind-boggling. I can't wait for her next book! Just a few more months :D

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  10. So glad you loved this one! I also mentioned on my review how it's not advisable to start reading this at night because you'll not be able to resist finishing the entire book. It looks like we pretty much had the same experience. :) It seems that Kasie is determined to make family an integral part of her stories (regardless if a parental unit is missing). I love that about her stories!

    Great review, Jas.

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  11. I've always wanted to read a West book, and this looks like a good one to start with. So glad you loved On the Fence, Jasper!

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  12. Jasprit, I loooove this review of yours because it captures everything I felt about this novel so perfectly in a manner I couldn't articulate. Braden isn't the typical swoon-worthy boyfriend, Charlie isn't a cookie-cutter mold, and the novel ultimately wasn't the fluffy tale I imagined either because of so much unexpected depth. I really can't wait to read what West comes up with next. Fantastic review, dear!(:

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  13. I've heard good things about Kasie West though I haven't picked up any of her books myself. This one sounds right up my alley. I love books that place emphasis on family! I have two older brothers and no sisters so I feel like I'd relate to Charlie pretty well. I'm interested in finding out how this Gage caught your attention ;) Wonderful review, Jasprit!

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  14. I am so glad On the Fence turned out to be a cute read. I've wanted to read something by Kasie West so I might just pick it up. Great review Jasprit! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

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  15. Wonderful review, Jasprit! I agree completely. This is such a wonderful book - a little bit fluffy, but it has just enough emotional meat as well. Charlie is an awesome character; I loved her journey and how she discovered more sides to herself. The family dynamic is awesome, and then of course there's Braden. KW always gives us such a wonderful ship. :)

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  16. YAY! I love books like this that you just can't stop reading. That's the best feeling. And I'll agree that this was one of those for me as well! I had so much fun reading it. The family focus - especially Charlie being surrounded by a host of guy family members definitely stole my heart for this book. And I loved watching her relationship with Braden develop. I hope that this author gives some of these guys there own story, especially Gage!

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