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.
Four stars: A sweet, feel good story that will leave you smiling despite the fact that it lacks a bit of depth.
Charlie bursts through the door to find her three brothers and her surrogate brother, Braden, in the kitchen daring each other to drink the latest nasty smoothie concoction. After years spent with the guys, Charlie knows she must either drink it and suffer the gastrointestinal consequences or avoid it and then have to take their punishment. Charlie loves their games and the easy camaraderie she has with her three brothers and Braden her next door neighbor. She is just one of the guys and comfortable with that. When Charlie's dad tells her she has to get a job to pay off her speeding ticket, Charlie lands a job at boutique and she soon finds herself getting in touch with her feminine side. This in turn leads to the discovery that she might just have feelings for a certain boy. Can Charlie find a way to be comfortable in her own skin?
What I Liked:
- This was a charming, sweet fluffy book that was so easy to slip into. I immediately feel in love with Charlie and the guys and loved the fun relationship that they shared. Charlie is a tomboy through and through. She loves sports and her brothers with a fierce abandon. This is a completely character driven story with a cute romance, perfect for summer reading.
- I loved Charlie. She is a tomboy and so much fun. I liked her easy relationship with her family and that she was comfortable with herself, until things change. Once she starts to explore her feminine side, she grows uncomfortable and she makes some questionable decisions. I loved watching her grow and learn more about herself and most of all, I loved seeing her find the right balance and learn to be comfortable with herself. Her growth is wonderful!
- How could I not fall in love with Charlie's three brothers and Braden? The five of them have been through thick and thin, and they have each other's backs always. I thought their antics were hilarious, and I loved how they were always playing pranks on one another. The relationship Charlie shares with the guys is so much fun.
- The romance is slow, steady and all kinds of feel good. Even though it is apparent from the get go who Charlie will fall in love with, it was fun to watch it unfold. It takes its time and it is a bit hesitant as it begins to form, but once it blossoms it is the type of romance that you get giddy over. This is a best friend romance, one of my favorite types of relationships. For all of you who love sweet, friends to lovers books, this is your perfect summer read.
- I liked that I caught a brief glimpse of some of the characters from Ms. West's The Distance Between Us. We only get a snippet from Caymen, but Skye plays a big part in the story, and I enjoyed seeing her again. I hope we eventually get a book from her perspective.
- I was pleased that this YA romance refrains from love triangles, drama and cliffhangers. It is a simple, sweet story perfect for teens of all ages. There is nothing inappropriate in this one, so hand this to your teen with confidence. It is sweet and satisfying.
And The Not So Much:
- My biggest issue with this one is that the quick pace caused the book to lack detail, and I thought it needed more development. The characters especially aside from Charlie, Braden and Gage come off as being a bit one sided. I know hardly anything about Charlie's other two brothers, Nathan and Jerom, especially Jerom. Charlie's Dad plays the disappearing parent. At first, I thought he was going to play an important part in the book, but then he just floats in and out until the end. I was hoping for more involvement with him. Linda was a character that I found fascinating with her ability to see auras, and I wanted to know so much more about her, but she too lacks development. Ms. West has the ability to create wonderful, memorable characters, and I wish she had spent a bit more time on the secondary characters.
- My other complaint was that this book completely glossed over the two serious issues that it covered. While part of me appreciates that the author didn't go into too much drama, I wish that she had spent a bit more time on Braden's issues with his drunken father, and I wanted way more discussion on what happened with Charlie's mom. There is a bit of mystery and suspense surrounding Charlie's mom's death, and then when you get to the reveal there is just a couple of paragraphs. What type of mental illness was she suffering from? How did she behave with her children before her death? I was left with all kinds of lingering questions regarding this storyline.
- There were a couple of story lines that were introduced that weren't followed up on. One big one for me was the whole thing between Nathan and Lauren the frisbee girl. The set up was cute, and I was expecting more, and it just faded away and was forgotten. Once again, this book suffers a bit from rapid pace and lack of development. However, I found this easy to overlook as I liked the feel good of the story.
On the Fence is a simple, sweet summer romance with memorable characters. This is a book about finding oneself and learning to be comfortable in your own skin. I liked following Charlie's journey as she explores her feminine side and as she learns to follow her heart. This is the perfect read for summer, and for anyone who wants a easy, fluffy read.
"She just needs an extra helping of love. That's all."
"I don't know hot to get over it."
"You can only go through it."
"She wears sparkly words across her butt. You told me not to date anyone who did that."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.