Sunday, December 21

On the Fence

On the Fence
Kasie West

My rating: ★★★★½

ISBN: 978-0062235671
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of publication: July 1, 2014
Age: Grade 8 and up
Genre: Romance, Realistic Fiction

Themes: identity, femininity, family, secrecy

Charlotte Reynolds (aka Charlie) can outrun, outplay, and outscore the best of them--all thanks to being raised by a single dad, her three brothers, and her honorary brother from next door, Braden. But she doesn't know the first thing about being "girly." So everyone's surprised, especially Charlie, when she starts working at a chic boutique--and likes it. While trying to understand her evolving identity, and battling with nightmares about her mom's death, she escapes to the backyard fence late at night to talk it out with Braden. And falls for him. Hard. Can Charlie risk their friendship? Or is it a game she can't win?

I will be upfront about this right away: I loved this book immensely because I could relate to Charlie immediately. I loved hanging out with my brothers, and took my time figuring out the girly stuff (makeup? I mean really). I read this book into the wee hours, I couldn't put it down! Anyway, moving on to the more technical aspects...

West writes an amazing story. It's not just a cutesy romance; there's a serious undertone regarding identity and family. Charlie would much rather deal with sports than the real reasons behind her mother's death; she'd rather hide her appreciation for her new job (and new-found girly-ness) from her brothers than own up to a evolving self-perception. And then there's the romance with the boy next door. Which is a hard decision in itself. Overall, Charlie's character development is fantastic.

It's not perfect; I felt that the other characters were a little flat. Braden had some depth with his family issues, but I wish I knew more about his development. Like, why did he suddenly love her, too? I felt that all came in at the end, a little to rapidly. But still, this comes with a high recommendation. Plus, it's a clean romance. So go and enjoy!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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