Date published: July 1st, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Synopsis: 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.
What I Thought:
Kasie West has quickly become one of my favorite young adult authors. She's written in two genres, one which I read frequently, contemporary romance, and the other which I read infrequently and am choosy about, which would be paranormal/fantasy/alternate reality. She's published four books including this one and all have been five star reads for me and frequently get rave reviews from other bloggers and readers. This book had the Kasie West brand of magic. The story of Charlie pulls on your heart strings and evokes memories of all we felt when we fell in love for the first time.
The blurb implies that this story is just about Charlie and Braden. However it's about so much more. Charlie is beautiful and she doesn't know it. She thinks she can only be a tomboy and play sports. The "feminine" world is something she avoids because she doesn't know anything about it. I love how teenage girls reading this book will get to see a strong girl who isn't a "girly girl" but not a total tomboy either. She's trying to deal with all these new emotions she's feeling and revelations that keep occurring. Girls will also see you don't have to change yourself in order to get someone to like you. The catalyst of all this is a speeding ticket, but it allows her to start learning more about herself and what she wants.
It was really hard for me to put this book down. I really wanted to know more about Charlie's mom and what the story was there. I thought I'd guessed, but I was only partially right. There was a twist I didn't see coming but should've, based on everything that was going on. Another aspect of the book I really loved was the fence chats. There was something so sweet about them and they soothed both Charlie and Braden. I felt like I was intruding into their world when they spoke about what bothered them, but they are invaluable to the book.
I love Easter Eggs. For everyone who doesn't know what they are, those are references to previous books. Caymen from The Distance Between Us had a quick cameo and Skye had a recurring role. Henry/Toad also made a brief appearance. Kasie has already announced when her next book will be available and of right now, that's not until next summer. I've been spoiled by having a new book of hers to read every couple of months and now I'm not sure how I'm going to wait that long to read another one by her. Kasie's books always have great messages and resonate with readers of all ages. You won't want to miss this book.
About the Author:
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel), and ON THE FENCE (July 1, 2014). I also have THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
* I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*