Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On the Fence

On The Fence by Kasie West
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 320
Keywords: sports, summer, friendship, romance
Other Books Read: The Distance Between Us
Format Read: eARC via Edelweiss
Get It: Book Depository
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.
This was my first experience with Kasie West (I did read it before TDBU, even though I reviewed that one first. I actually read that one because of how much I liked this). And that should properly give you an idea of how much I adored this book. I actually liked it more than TDBU once I read that one.

I'll start with the characters. Charlie is the only girl with three brothers and her father. She grew up without a mother, and the only thing she's ever known is rough-housing, making weird bets, and playing sports. I very much identified with this character. I have one little brother, but my dad's side of the family is very close and I have about 6 guys (between 1-4 years older than me) I grew up playing basketball and backyard football with. We tromp through the woods at our lakehouse, go mudsliding in the rain, and sneak whiskey out to the cliffs during the summer. I grew up playing every sport imaginable (I challenge you to find one I didn't play), ultimately sticking with soccer but juggling everything all at once up until that point.
So I loved this family. They all felt very real and very unique as individuals. West gave us enough information and character development for each sibling to feel like their own person and not just lumped together as "the brothers."

The actual storyline was adorable as well. Predictable for the most part (I was extremely surprised by a serious twist at the end, so heads up for that), but with enough interesting characters and places and events that I was still really invested in what was happening in their lives.

I also appreciated the awkwardness between some of the scenes. The characters were very human, and weren't sure what to do when they said or did uncomfortable things, and I really loved that. I know I've said it a lot, but it was so realistic, and I was so tied to all the people in this story.

Read When: Basically read it now. But if you want a when, it'd be a perfect summer time book outside sipping sweet tea. 

This looks quite a bit like the cover for The Distance Between Us, but my thing is, the girl in the book is really athletic and anti-girly things. So why is the girl on the front in a dress? Still, super cute and I like it anyway.

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