Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: On the Fence

ON THE FENCE
Kasie West
Contemporary Young Adult
320 pages
HarperTeen
Available July 1st
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
On the Fence is a story as cute as they come, a lovable and endearing tomboy of a heroine charming us instantly as she tries to find a place for herself amidst the testosterone of her all-male family. As is commonplace for a Kasie West novel, humor and witty banter abound, adding new creases to our cheeks from smiling so frequently even as our heartstrings are tugged repeatedly when growing pains force Charlie into a sweet and poignant journey of self-reflection. As was the case with The Distance Between Us, there are a number of facets to Charlie’s life and her relationship with her family that could have been explored with more depth, but that mild complaint doesn’t detract from a hugely satisfying story overall.

Charlie has known nothing but contact sports and brotherly teasing her entire life, her hugely athletic and hilariously mischievous older brothers keeping her on her toes at all times lest she find herself on the losing end of a dare she didn’t know they’d issued. She has no concept of her appearance in terms of how physically attractive she might be to the opposite sex, but its refreshingly clear that she’s neither the falsely modest type nor the frustratingly self-deprecating type, her observations of her brother’s preferences in girls simply give her no reason to think she might be appealing to guys in all her sports-loving athletic glory.

Her changing relationship with next door neighbor–and brother Gage’s best friend–Braden is the kind that makes us suck in a breath and hold it whenever they’re together, hoping that if we don’t so much as breathe these two will find fewer obstacles blocking their path to happiness. That way of thinking of course fails spectacularly, and Braden and Charlie quickly discover that knowing one another as well as they do can cause as many problems to a fledgling relationship as not knowing someone at all. While there are a couple of miscommunications between them, they’re not of the overly irritating variety, rather they feel genuine in nature, the complications of a friendship as close as theirs something we can all relate to in one way or another.

The only other very small complaint aside from the aforementioned lack of exploration in certain areas is the brevity of our time with Charlie and Braden once they finally do get together. Majority of the book is the humorously tense (and sometimes adorably mortifying) progression of their friendship to something more, and while we can’t help but love all the build up, their time together is our reward and it’s cut just a touch short with the last page finding us long before we wish it to. Overall though, On the Fence is cute and flirty and pure fun, a story destined for the rereads shelf so we can experience Charlie and Braden again and again.

Rating: 4/5


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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

47 comments:

  1. This book was so cute!! and you are perfectly right, this is one of these books that can be re-read over and over again!

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    1. YES!!!! SO ready for a reread and it's only been a few weeks:) Loved Charlie and Braden.

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  2. I agree that we don't get enough of these two once they do find their way to each other, but I loved the growth and family dynamics in this and the relationship progression felt so smooth too. It wasn't littered with drama and the unfolding of Charlie's past was such a surprise for me. West has disappointed me a lot in the past, but this is the first book of hers I really enjoyed and I hope that stays true for her future works too. Fabulous review, Jenny! :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this one too Keertana! I wouldn't mind a little epilogue novella on Charlie and Braden. Wouldn't mind at all:)

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  3. Well even if we don't have enough explorations an dlittle other things, the book sounds perfect for a summer read. It looks pretty cute and I confess that I heard great things about it. In a whole I'm quite curious to try it. thanks for the review!

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    1. It's definitely a fantastic summer read Melliane, I hope you find time to read it!

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  4. Kasie is the queen of adorable! Really can't wait to pick this pretty up :) "but its refreshingly clear that she’s neither the falsely modest type nor the frustratingly self-deprecating type" Oh, thank goodness! I hate those >.< Heh! I wasn't aware that it was a brother's BFF romance, but me likes the sound of this! From friens to lovers? Yes, please! Really super glad that you enjoyed this one, sweets :)

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    1. Isn't she? The brother's best friend romantic setup always makes me happy, and then there's the fact that Braden is her friend too which makes it even better:)

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  5. looks like another fun read from Kasie West. I enjoyed The Distance Between Us because of the fun dialogues, so this one sounds the same. Now I'm looking forward meeting Charlie and Braden! Thanks for reviewing this Jenny.

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    1. YAY!!! I think you'll really like this one!

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  6. I totally agree with everything you said, Jenny! I for one, loved this book and I haven't read The Distance Between Us yet, this was my first book from Miss West. It really was cute and fluffy, and this sort of romance contemporary is the one that really shows the development throughout the novel. There is no insta-love but just the progression of their friendship blossoming even more. Lovely review, Jenny! :D

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    1. This was your first Kasie West book! YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO EMMA!!! Read Pivot Point immediately. That's my favorite of hers:)

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  7. I'm glad to hear the lack of exploration into Charlie's life didn't take away from your overall enjoyment of the book, Jenny. I've been reading so many great reviews for this one and it's making me regret giving away my copy :P

    Lovely review, as always, Jenny!
    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

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    1. There was definitely room to push things a little further Hafsah, but I didn't mind that some of the family issues stayed more superficial. It was just meant to be a sweet, fun romance and it was certainly that:)

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  8. This book sounds utterly adorable Jenny, I am so behind on my ARC books yet, that I still need to read this one, but I am certainly looking forward to diving into all the contemporary books this Summer, especially this one! Gorgeous review!

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    1. It was Jasprit! Highly recommend:) Can't wait to see what you think of it when your ARC pile lets you get to it!

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  9. I've been feeling that same ending dissatisfaction with some of the romance novels... they come together at the very last moment and I just want to revel in their relationship a bit before it ends.

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    1. Yes. I would have liked just another chapter or two with them after they decided to be together. I loved them so much, I wanted to witness their togetherness!

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  10. I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall. I hope to read it soon. It sounds like a fun summer read and I like that the main character is a tomboy…sounds fun! I also have never read a novel by Kasie West before, so I am looking forward to the witty banter and humor I hear about! Great review, Jenny!

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    1. WHAT? YOU NEED TO READ HER CHRISTINA! I'm a big fan:) This would be a fun one to start with, but definitely read Pivot Point too!

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  11. I feel like I must read this one. Everything I've read by Kasie I've liked or loved, and it seems like this one would be another one!
    Simply fantastic review, Jenny!

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    1. Yesssss. READ IT PILI! So good:)

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  12. Reading your review makes me feel like a complete party pooper. I really did not enjoy this book even though all my friends and all the reviewers I really trust have.

    I definitely wish that some things had been explored in more details and perhaps... that there had been more going on? I am not quite sure what I wanted from this book :/ Eh. :P

    I am really glad you enjoyed this though, Jenny! :)

    Fantastic review!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. That's okay, it happens! I was that way with Throne of Glass, but have since fallen in love with that series. It would be boring if we all liked the same things:)

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  13. I felt the same way as you did about On the Fence, Jenny. It was a cute book and I liked Charlie and love watching her growth throughout the book, but I also wanted a little more from some of the themes of the book. I was also slightly disappointed that we didn't get enough screen time with Charlie and Braden.
    Beautiful review! :)

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    1. I think we should campaign for a Charlie/Braden epilogue Nick! Just a couple chapters of them being adorable would work for me:)

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  14. I love this Jenny! The blooming romance "makes us suck in a breath and hold it whenever they’re together, hoping that if we don’t so much as breathe these two will find fewer obstacles blocking their path to happiness." Wonderful review :)

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    1. I find myself doing that all the time Kim! I just forget to take breaths sometimes, and I so badly wanted these two to get together already! Such a fun book:)

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  15. I really like Kasie's writing so this one is definitely on my list to read, I'm a bit bummed though that it doesn't go deeper in some of the areas of the book.

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  16. Yes! So well said Jenny I just adored this read, so stinkin' cute!

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  17. Aw, I have yet to read a Kasie West novel myself, but whenever I read your review for one of them, I am always struck with the impression that I would enjoy it just for easy entertainment's sake. This seriously sounds like the PERFECT summer read!

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  18. I found this to be a cute read but thought it could have gone a bit deeper too. I still like Pivot Point though more than West's straight up contemporary novels because of Addie and Trevor.

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  19. This was such a fun story! I do agree though, it would have been nice to see more of Charlie and Braden once they were together.

    Great review! :)

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  20. First hugs! Thanks for your sweet comments last week. I am doing much better. I really liked this one as well. I thought the romance was adorable and it just made me smile. I was a tad disappointed in the fact that the serious issues were glossed over, but all and all a good read.

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  21. Lovely review! I adored this book and the way the relationship grew.

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  22. Yay! I just found this one on my Kindle (don't ask...) and can't wait to read it. Love that she has such an affectionate family.

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  23. I haven't read any story by this author and many told me it's a must. I guess I'll have to give it a go. I love that this book is not about insta-love and the romance progression sounds really great here. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Jenny :)

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  24. Sometimes I actually hate all the buildup and other times I love it. I have a feeling I will love it here. I also want to read The Distance as well and you reminded me. Oh you are finding me lots of contemps I want to read!

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  25. I really loved this one. But honestly, I can see where you're coming from with your minor complaints. I would have like to have seen more of them together as well. Great review! :)

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  26. I loved this so much. I connected with Charlie so much. I didn't mind that we didn't get more of them after getting together, but at the same time, I WANT more of them. lol.

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  27. Aw this sounds adorable and fun! I love the sport element. Great review, Jenny.

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  28. I REALLY want to read one of her books. They just sound like perfect, fun, summery reads that put a huge smile on your face!

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  29. Yay! I'm so psyched that you loved this book of this amazing author's. Kasie West's books are some of the most enjoying pieces of literature out there! This is on my ASAP TBR list and great review!

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  30. I do love a "brother's best friend" romance. The appeal of seeing someone you've known forever and then seeing them in a different (romantic) light really appeals to me. This sounds entirely too cute, but like you, I'd probably wish for more couple time in the end. Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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  31. Cute is a great way to describe this! I enjoyed the profession of Charlie and Braden's romance, but I agree, it would have been nice to get a little more of them. I want a story for Gage next!

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