18298225On the Fence by Kasie West
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: 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.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect. – Goodreads

Review:

Funny fact. This was the IT book of ALAMW2014 at the Harper booth. Everyone and their mother wanted this book and they didn’t bring it because they did not expect it to be the hot item it was. The hot item that was stolen! So of course I was sad I couldn’t snag it, but then, one day, it went up on Edelweiss and I wept. Fine. I did not weep at that moment. BUT I did weep while reading this book. Then I thought I was good and would stop, only to start again.

I’ve stated before that I will read whatever West writes because I adore her writing that much, but I did not expect to be moved to tears. On the Fence is the story of Charlie, who is content in her life. Her mother died from a car accident when she was young, she has three brothers who treat her like one of the boys, and her best friend on the other side of the fence is one of the boys. One of her brothers. Then, finally, Charlie’s cop dad had enough of her acting out and forced her to get a job. The only job she can get is in a dress shop (A+ to West for including illusions to The Distance Between Us) and Charlie is pure tomboy so there is an adjustment period for her. Including part where she tells the shop owner that her mother is alive. Which is awkward, because we the reader know her mother is dead.

On the Fence also includes a love-triangle, which is hard for me, a hater of love triangles to even admit to. But West does it in such a way that your heart goes out to everyone in the best way possible. West manages to pack a good growth novel into a short amount of time (one summer, 320 pages.) Charlie learns about herself, the fact she can be a girl who is one of the boys while still having girlfriends, and even have a boyfriend. The most important thing Charlie learns, to me, was the truth. She learned more about herself by the end of summer than she could have ever saw coming and oh the tears it caused from this reader. Although this is easily a romance novel, it is more than that. It’s Charlie growing up and becoming her true self.