Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Why I chose this book: 
I chose this book specifically because I haven’t read a lot of contemporary novels, and I know I need to. This looked like a cute quick read, so I decided to download it from Edelweiss. I was happy that I did, because I think I liked it more than I’m willing to admit. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

On the Fence by  Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary/Realistic
Buy: B&N || Amazon || Indiebound 

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. (Goodreads)

3 things you need to know about this book:

1. Femininity vs. Masculinity
Charlie is an athletic girl. She practically breathes sports, and being around primarily guys makes her love for sports flourish. She is what you would expect of someone who lives sports (generally speaking): no makeup, athletic apparel 24/7, hair in a ponytail 95% of the time, etc. You all know someone that fits this description, I’m sure, and let me be clear, I am totally not bashing this, just stating that this is Charlie’s personality. 

As Charlie works at the little boutique downtown, she comes to realize that dressing cute or in a feminine way isn’t bad -of course, she hates it in the beginning -but then learns that it actually makes her feel good. Even further, she begins wearing more makeup with a little help from her new girlfriends. 

Charlie identifies girls who dress femininely and wear makeup as weak, because she sees strength identifiable through masculinity. I was at first clearly opposed to this line of thinking, but you see Charlie change and adapt and learn more about herself and what she wants as a woman in the novel, which makes me extremely happy.

2. False Attraction
When Charlie accepts an offer for a date, she becomes extremely hesitant to show this boy, Evan, that she could probably kick his butt in tackle football or that she knows everything about baseball. She immediately hides who she truly is in order to make Evan more attracted to her. Thankfully, this is another area in which her thinking changes as she comes to certain conclusions concerning herself and how other males see her.

3. Identifiable Teenagers
I felt like this story was true to teenagers. The way they act, they way they say things, everything was perfect to a T. Along with that, I saw my middle/high school self in Charlie. I wasn’t by any means a sporty girl, but I did a lot of the same things she did. I was one of the guys. I hung out with them because they seemed so much easier to understand (at the time). Things weren’t extremely complicated with them, whereas girls could be catty and snobby. I liked that Charlie was unsure of herself and insecure in areas, yet her strength was unparalleled. Despite having issues of her own, her weaknesses do not make her weak; they strengthen her character and create growth, which is something that took me a while to learn in high school.

Final Thoughts
I liked this book more than I am willing to admit, but something didn’t quite click. I thought the writing was decent -nothing spectacular, but it relayed a short easy read that was at the very least enjoyable. Definitely worth checking out from the library or borrowing from a friend.

I gave this book 3 stars on my Goodreads.


  1. This sounds like a fun read! I love it when you get to see the main character grow throughout the story. :)

    1. It was definitely good, and her growth as a character was most definitely my favorite part! :)

  2. I've never read Kasie West but I've seen the cover for this one around for months and I'm looking forward to reading it. I guess they can't all be 5 stars, but at least you enjoyed it.

    1. I've seen a lot of average to good ratings for this book. From some people I've heard that it's better than her last but most people like her other book.


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