On The Fence by Kasie West
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harper Teen
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
Another perfect contemporary read! I loved the characters and thought the relationship was so cute! Kasie West tried to deal with some more intense issues but I thought they were pushed to the way-side with the main focus being on Charlie and Braden’s relationship. I fell in love with Charlie’s family, but I much prefer having one twin sister to the thought of four older brothers!
On The Fence follows Charlie who is forced to get a job after accumulating one too many speeding tickets, because of her new job she meets new friends and starts to uncover a new side of herself that’s the complete opposite of the tom boy she is when she’s with her brothers. Charlie goes on a small journey of self-discovery, learning about herself, and recognising that’s it’s okay to like sports and also be a little girly! There were a few mixed messages about ‘right’ness and ‘better’ types of girls that made me a little uncomfortable, and probably weren’t dealt with in the most sensitive way. It’s easy to overlook, though, because I know it’s not meant maliciously!
I was completely drawn into Charlie’s family, they were so kind and considerate, it was really nice to read about a family that really loved each other. They were a bit dysfunctional at times, but what family isn’t? Most importantly I loved how concerned Charlie’s brothers were about the transition she was going through. A good ‘we were only trying to protect you’ scene, especially ones done well, is such a guilty pleasure for me! I know the whole concept is ridiculous, and I much prefer a protagonist that can stick up for themselves, but I love the sentiment that someone cares for you so much that they want to protect you from harm. Yeah, it was a little cheesy, but that’s what I want from my summer romance reads!
Braden and Charlie’s relationship was predictable yet I still loved every second of it. I rooted for them to be together, and as Charlie made new discoveries and experimented with make-up and hanging out with so-called girly girls I really enjoyed the changing nature of their relationship. Obviously, the most important message that On The Fence delivers is ‘you don’t have to change for people to love you.’ SO IMPORTANT.
The pace was good, and I really enjoyed all of the back ground characters. The writing was simplistic making this the perfect read-in-one-sitting book. The plot might have been a bit predictable, and Charlie wasn’t always making well informed decisions, however I still really enjoyed the experience of reading On The Fence and I will be sure to read Kasie West’s other contemporaries too!
I gave On The Fence 3 stars because it was lighthearted with just the right amount of deeper emotions – like the mystery surrounding Charlie’s mother ( I though this bit of the plot was a little contrived, and could have been a whole novel idea in itself as the romance took away from some of the messages about depression, but it certainly added another layer to the story!) I really like Kasie West’s supernatural duology Pivot Point, which I would highly recommend to fans of her contemporaries!
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