Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: July 1, 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.
Review: I’m honestly still reeling over the cuteness of this book! This is the perfect coming-of-age romance read with a modern Cinderella twist. It had me thinking of She’s the Man the entire way through! Charlie has never been afraid to get down and dirty with the guys– literally. She loves to rough it up whether it’s football, soccer or basketball, but when it comes to life off the field, Charlie is still learning the rules.
She is forced to get a job to pay off some tickets and she finds herself thrown into the unfamiliar world of makeup, clothes, and boy talk. Charlie is like Viola with her ‘strict no ruffles policy’, and prefers to stare at girl world from a FAR distance. Alas, she can’t deny that her feminine side is screaming to come out in some way. So, she ends up lying to the people she loves and the only way she can cope is by running before she goes to sleep. When her new job gets in the way, her only outlet becomes her nightly fence chats with her neighbour Braden. At night they can pretend that everything is okay, but by day the fence doesn’t exist. It becomes a distant dream fueled by an alcoholic father and constant nightmares.
Charlie becomes caught up in her own web of lies and is even afraid to show her latest crush what she assumes is her less desirable side. The only one who tries to get through to her is Braden, who calls her out on her lies and shows her that she is wrong. On the Fence shows that everyone deserves a fairytale ending, even if it’s not in the way they expect. Kasie West writes a charming story of self-discovery, life lessons, and first love that shows the power in truth and is sure to make anyone fall head over heels. I can’t wait to read more of her books!