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Magan: On the Fence by Kasie West

Book Cover On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West (twitter | website)
Previously Reviewed: The Distance Between Us
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 320
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: strong sibling relationships, athletic female, single-parents
Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!)

Summary: Super athlete Charlie finds herself having middle-of-the-night conversations with her next door neighbor, Braden, whom she’s always considered to be like a brother. Neither of them can sleep and find solace in discussing things (such as who knows who better) between the fence posts when no one else is around.

 

First impressions and crazy thoughts that went through my head about On the Fence:

  • Holy crap this is so so so so so so so good.
  • I love the relationship between the siblings. There are four of them. Hmm. Would Dustyn want four kids? I want my children to grow up close and protective of one another like them. (Truth: I did talk to Dustyn about this possibility after finishing On the Fence. Second truth: I’ve never considered having four kids before. I’ve always had a “we’ll see what happens” mentality.)
  • Whyyyyyyy did it have to end? I just wanted to keep reading forever and ever.
  • Must. Preorder. Finished. Copy.

Cohesive thoughts to justify my fangirling:

Sitting on a bookshelf in my bedroom is a copy of The Distance Between Us. Estelle loved it last year; she recommended we all buy it. So I did. And I’ve had nothing but the best intentions for wanting to read it since then. Yada yada yada — I was pregnant and a foster mom and blah blah blah — fast forward to now. As we were discussing the review books we had to read, Estelle suggested I be the one to read On the Fence. (I think she knew I needed something REALLY good to pull me out of full-time-mommy-mode so I could enjoy some much needed reading time.)

And crap. Now I’m 100% irritated with myself that I haven’t read TDBU because I feel like I have sincerely missed out on greatness. Kasie’s writing in On the Fence is undeniably fantastic. Within a few paragraphs, I was hooked and completely ignoring all life responsibilities. (Don’t worry; Everett was already in bed for the night.) Charlie is the youngest sister to three older brothers (four brothers if you count their neighbor, Braden, who practically lives at their house); she’s tough and fast and very un-girly. She’s eager to hop into a football or soccer game. She doesn’t expect the boys to take it easy on her because she’s a girl. Charlie’s never had a boyfriend, but her brothers would give any guy she brought around the third degree. Her brothers are her best friends.

When Charlie finds herself with another speeding ticket (oops?), her father forces her to get a job to pay him back for it (and the others). The place she finds unemployment is very un-Charlie-like with clothes she’d never be caught dead wearing in front of her brothers and makeup she doesn’t know how to use. Despite her anxiousness to do her time and pay her dad back, she finds herself becoming friends with girls she never would have expected to and creating outfits she didn’t know she was capable of.

But Charlie also has this other thing: she doesn’t sleep well at night. She stays as active as possible so she is completely worn out when she goes to bed in hopes that she’ll have a good night of sleep. More often than not, she finds herself awake in the wee hours of the morning. Oddly enough, she soon realizes that Braden is up at strange hours too. They find themselves outside on either side of a fence, having candid conversations about things they’d be too shy to discuss in the daylight. (Swoon.)

On the Fence has every element I desire in my books: family background, strong friendships, a believable relationship, a great sense of time and fantastic pacing, and a strong setting. I became so wrapped up in Charlie’s life that I felt they were real. I wanted to know these people. I wished I could visit them and watch Charlie kick ass in a football game. I greatly admired Charlie’s dad and how protective he was of his baby girl, but also how hard he tried to be the parent he needed to be for her, especially with the absence of her mother. Every aspect feels so perfectly authentic and real; I laughed out loud and I really never wanted On the Fence to end. I think it’ll be topping the charts as a 2014 favorite for me.

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March 31, 2015 - 6:40 pm

Rather Be Re-Reading | Top 10 Tuesday - […] On the Fence by Kasie West | Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra McVoy | The Comeback Season by Jen E. Smith […]

July 6, 2014 - 8:20 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Yes yes yesssssss I’m so glad you loved it too! I just thought this was so adorable. Super cute, super swoony and I LOVED the family dynamic too! I love brothers in books for some reason. I have no idea why. I also really just loved the tomboy aspect! I think it’s so cute and I identify with that more than girly things. I love Kasie West’s characters and her romances and her families and AH. I preordered this book too!

June 18, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Alexa S. - Aww, yay, I’m glad you enjoyed On the Fence! It’s a super cute book, and, like you, I absolutely LOVED Charlie’s relationship with her brothers. (And seriously, I want five kids but I have no idea if I’m physically or emotionally capable of that yet. We shall see!) I haven’t read The Distance Between Us either, but I definitely want to!

June 18, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I literally just finished reading this 15 minutes ago. I definitely liked it (and I could see how you would want four kids after having read this 🙂 ) but I wasn’t madly in love either. I didn’t like it as much as The Distance Between Us (you must read it asap!). Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but I wasn’t able to really, really connect to Charlie. I liked her, although it took some time for me to warm up to her, and of course I was rooting for her. But I don’t know, I just could’t connect.

There were some scenes that I just though were SOOO cute, though. Like when Braden and Charlie were playing soccer at the end. Too cute 🙂

June 18, 2014 - 12:48 pm

Cynthia - I really loved The Distance Between Us too. I pretty much love all that Kasie West has written. Will be adding this one to my list! =)

June 18, 2014 - 10:19 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I really enjoyed this one, too! Magan, I highly recommend reading The Distance Between Us very very soon since you liked this book so much. I read TDBU last summer and immediately upon finishing I added On the Fence to my TBR list. I had to have more Kasie West contemporary in my reading life!

Re your comment about 4 kids: coming from a household of 4 girls, I can honestly say it’s the best. I wouldn’t change my large family for anything. Yes it was tough and not every moment was the best, but ultimately I am so grateful for my sisters.

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