Saturday, 13 August 2016

BOOK REVIEW: ON THE FENCE BY KASIE WEST



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.





This book was so cuuuuute! I guess I expected that from a Kasie West book anyway, but this one I enjoyed more than her other book, The Distance Between Us. I read this in one sitting, and I will say that I had a tear in my eye and I was smiling with such joy.

In this story we meet Charlotte "Charlie" Reynolds. She is a tom-boy sports fanatic who would rather be clean-faced and rolling around in mud with the boys, wearing loose and comfortable clothing. She lives with her 3 brothers and her father, so growing up in a male-dominated house have given her many male figures to look up to. Losing her mum at a young age, she spends her time trying to work out what really happened, as well as trying to earn money for a speeding ticket she couldn't get out of by using her father's name.  After a few hours at her job, things start to change, and not just about her but due to a certain neighbour, Braden.

My favourite thing about this book was Charlie's brothers and her father. The whole family dynamic in this book actually caused a tear in my eye, and I adored how close and hilariously brilliant they were. It was full of chaos, fun, pranks and love, and even when she introduces them to boys, they put on a fake 'we're going to kill you' to him and laugh when he leaves the room. How lovely would it be knowing they will always have you back and be looking out for you? It was very endearing and sweet. At one point, Braden who was the neighbour and one of her brothers' best friend, says something along the lines of 'I wanted to be in your family'.


Me too, Braden. Me too. Please adopt meeee.

Her father was adorkable too. He was so clueless on girls and we were reminded of times when he had to do the period talks and mentioning that her female friend told him to get her a bra. Near the end of the book, they had a talk which got me emotional, and I think girls like her need to realise how lucky they are to have a father like that. Some of us aren't as lucky, but it was lovely to read. His punishments and actions were fair, and I think he was a great father, I liked reading about him. And my hat goes off to him for raising all of those boys - mischievous and boisterous one's, at that - and Charlie. My goodness.

What was also nice was to be reminded of West's other series, The Distance Between Us. We're reunited with some characters, Caymen even has a line, and Skye is in this book quite a lot. It was nice to be brought back to some similar faces, and I always liked it when authors did that. 

The romance, well, of course there's the 'love triangle' but it's never as prominent as something like a fantasy series. It seems to be 'one is a distraction and the other I want to have children with' because we're already aware that she doesn't love the distraction. Charlie has nightmares, so when she can't sleep, she'll meet Braden at the fence in their garden and talk about things. And by things, I mean anything that's bothering them but they never mention their feelings towards one another. Obviously, with books like these, it's pretty clear who she ends up with because it pretty much says in the summary. They did just suddenly go ~omg i'm in love~ and I was like 'wait what', but that's to be expected with fluffy books like these. It all happened quite fast and I was thinking that it was a little bit silly, especially considering she found true love at 16. (Come on....) These kind of books, eh?

I do want to add something about Charlie - she can be kinda sexist towards her own gender. She was harping on so much about how girls are all about make-up, shopping and boys. I have to say, this isn't very accurate. I know she was brought up with her father and 3 (4 if you could Braden) boys, but she shouldn't keep saying that girls are these worthless airheads who just spend their time caking make-up on and caring literally only about their appearance and who never ever play sport. Charlie, you're not the only girl ever to like sport and hate make-up. She was constantly putting down her new friend Amber just because of who she is and that she's the 'typical girl', which did bother me, but if she's been brought up a specific way, who am I to judge. I'm glad she got over that though, but still. 
Charlie even got to the point when she was like 'Y'know what, I'm a girl, I will dumb myself down for a guy because boys don't fancy tom-boys or sporty girls' and she actually does. She has the interest of a boy called Evan, and he's never see her without make-up and she spends her time with him asking him about the sports she already knows about. 


gurrrrrl. You were bad-mouthing "the typical girl", and now you're doing that? But it's okay, because Braden and her father both have a brain, and they both said:

 "We can't let boys define how we feel about ourselves. You have to know who you are before you should let any boy worth anything in"

"You don't have to change for a guy. If you can't be yourself around him, you shouldn't be dating him" 


Yes. Someone has to tell her that she's being an idiot, and that's something that bothers me about dating shows we have here in the UK. Girls pretending their stupid so a boy likes them, because honestly, they don't find the ditzy blonde airhead act as cute as you think. I know these girls aren't like that, and that's what Charlie does. She even says that Evan is getting things wrong, but she says nothing. Thank goodness for Braden.

It wasn't a long book but it was enough. It was short but sweet, and I got out of this book what I went in hoping for. It was pleasant, made me laugh and smile, I cringed once or twice and ended up turning my Kindle off in happiness. I can't see how anyone can dislike Kasie West's books, they're there to lighten the mood and to also teach us a little lesson, and in this one it was to just be yourself. Don't let people change you, and you should know that family will always be there for you.

*turns into a goey mess* 

Really enjoyed it. I'll be on the hunt for another West book very soon, I'm sure of it.




I know not everyone is a fan of these books, but you should try them if you want cheering up. If you want something light and fluffy and a cheeky giggle. These kind of books are popular for a reason, and that's for sappy people like me who like to think life is this cutesy, but I'd rather have a life this chirpy than to have a life full of hate. Am I getting deep now? Yeah, I should quit while I'm ahead.
Thoughts? Don't hesitate to leave a comment, a comment always makes me happy! Either that or you can find us at any of the following social outlets:


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