Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: gifted
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pacing: fast
POV: 1st person & female
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Family, Friendship.


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.


Charlie is a sixteen-year-old teen who likes playing sports, especially soccer, watching sport games and hanging out with her three brothers.


She’s not your typical teenage girl since she prefers watching a soccer game (or playing it) than go shopping or reading or going to the cinema, etc.

That’s why she and I couldn’t quite ever be best friends but she’s a nice girl so, sure, we could at least get along. But, see, I’m the kind of the girl who will exclusively cheer for players and not be one myself, except if we’re talking about badminton, dancing, cheerleading or gymnastics (which aren’t in Charlie’s list of sports to practice.)

The point is that I couldn’t very much connect with her and…why is she wearing a dress on the cover? Yes, she has a bit of a character development and yes she does get more feminine but, the way I see it, that pretty little summer dress doesn’t match her personality so when I look at that cover it doesn’t feel like it’s Charlie that I see with the guy.

While I think this was a clichéd story (I mean come on…you fall in love with your neighbour who you’ve known since being a child and it takes you to date another guy to see it? Yup, not impressed) and a quite unrealistic one, (who actually has that of a good relationship with their three brothers + father + gets a job without even wanting one?) it was also fast-paced, fun and I certainly had a good time reading it.

The romance was light and cute, absolutely typical of contemporary YA. Nonetheless, that didn’t keep me from thinking it was good and lovely. Braden wasn’t actually my favorite guy, even though he and Charlie get along very well and have much in common. I prefer Evan all the way. That’s when I concluded that she and I are quite different. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. But in order to love a certain book, I like feeling some connecting to a main character and feel common interest.

I was lying, actually, when I truly thought she and I were not alike was when she said in the story that she doesn’t know who wrote Pride and Prejudice.


Exactly! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Maybe you would thing that it’s okay (I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing) but that really killed the small connection I had with her because Pride and Prejudice is my favorite classic (and I’m in love with Mr. Darcy—who isn’t? *winks*)

The writing was good and, in general, the story was interesting. Plus, even though the characters felt clichéd, I liked how the story went. It may have been predictable but there were always small things happening that made that fact not an obvious problem.

I would recommend this to anyone seeking a light contemporary read perfect for summer (especially if you’re a fan of sports and characters similar to Charlie.)

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45 thoughts on “Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

  1. Ah yes you’re right it’s strange with the cover and it’s a little annoying to have a cliché and unrealistic story… I never read a book by the author but who knows maybe one day.


  2. I had the same thought about the cover! Reading the blurb makes it seem like she wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress. I like Kasie West and this has been on my TBR list for a while, but I the whole gender norms and stereotyping piece really gets to me. I hate that because the character likes sports she isn’t considered feminine. I’d have to look past that stuff in order to enjoy this one!


  3. Hmmm…I actually have this on my TBR. You didn’t love it. You didn’t hate it. Now, I’m torn! LOL…oh my word, if my bookworm problems were the only ones I needed to worry about life would be perfect! *snickers* But you mentioned a “light and contemporary read”, which sometimes I need when I’m in between books or when I’m not sure what the heck to read next! Fantastic review Lola! ♥


  4. Glad you had fun reading this one Lola, even if you couldn’t really relate to Charlie and her lack of Jane Austen knowledge 😉 I always love Kasie’s books, they tend to be light, fun reads and I need those in my life to balance my love of dark, gritty, soul-crushing stories! Thanks for your thoughts!


  5. I must agree with everything you said, and I’m glad you had fun reading this although you didn’t end up liking it as much as I did. This is the kind of book I need every once in a while, so I guess it does shine as a light, fun book. And oh, I never really thought about the cover like that but now that you mentioned it…hmm. Anyway, great review Lola! 😀

    – Naban @ The Literary Oracle


  6. I liked this book but I totally understand your quibbles. It’s totally cliche and recycled plot, but for what is worth it, it was entertaining and fun. I especially loved the family dynamics. It feels so good to read such tight family bond in YA! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I love all Kasie West books so I recommend you to read Pivot Point or The Distance Between Us (warning: another cliche but fun contemporary! there’ll be lots of laugh XD) Great review, Lola!


  7. Ah well you see this girl and I would really get along! I was even willing to try this one out but really cliche and unrealistic is not how I like my contemporary stories. AND SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHO WROTE P&P?! No, I take back what I said at the start! So I’ll probably skip it. But still glad you enjoyed it overall 🙂 Great review, Lola 🙂


  8. I have heard good things about this, but it does sound like the more mindless contemporary romance read that’s just light and fluffy. Still, I am glad you enjoyed this one.


  9. Sucks when you can’t connect to the characters much! At least you enjoyed it somewhat right? I really enjoyed her Pivot Point series, so maybe try that one out?


  10. Besides gymnastics, I am not athletic whatsoever; yet I always enjoy reading books about characters who have those talents. Charley sounds like a great MC who is easy to relate to, and the romance sounds sweet. It’s a shame the story is a bit cliche and unrealistic (“who actually has that of a good relationship with their three brothers + father?” <– BAHA!) it sounds like it was entertaining nonetheless, and that's what matters, right? Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review Lola! ❤


  11. Awesome review! I totally agree about the dress on the cover–though I haven’t read this book, I do know the synopsis and it confused me, haha. I’m not that interested in sports (mainly because I, um, suck at them) but the ones I am interested in are very similar to yours! Gymnastics is so fun, heh.


  12. Maybe I can relate to her being that boyish and having difficulty adjusting to the feminine stuff(like all the makeovers… wooohh.. blame it to having a lot of guy friends and 2 older brothers that I’m so close with) but that’s just that. There’s no other connection. The cover really tells otherwise and I can’t believe she doesn’t know who wrote P&P? Whhaaatt??? Even my brothers know Jane Austen. Ha-ha Awesome review. 🙂


  13. Thanks for the fantastic review, Lola! It’s a shame you couldn’t really connect to Charlie, and I can’t believe she didn’t know who Jane Austen was! But I’m glad you enjoyed it somewhat. 🙂 I currently have this from the library, and after reading all of Kasie West’s other books, I’m intrigued to see what I will think of this one.


  14. I think sometimes cliche books are good. Especially to cleanse the pallet after a heavy book. However, this seems a little bit too cliche for me!

    I am not a huge fan of the book covers not reflecting the characters either. It is like they have missed the purpose of the actual cover! 🙂

    I am glad you enjoyed this one for the most part. I have The Distance Between us on my kindle so I will get round to a Kasie West book soon! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries


    • It wasn’t THAT cliché…wait it was. But still, enjoyable. 😛

      Me neither! But most of all I love having fantasy books in my library (hardcovers) because in my opinion they have the most original covers!

      I’ll probably get to that one too one day. Hope you enjoy! Thank you 🙂


  15. So I’ve spent a lot of time on Wattpad, and after reading your review (and the blurb) for this book, The Fill-In Boyfriend, and P.S. I like you, I AM SO SURE that I’ve seen these stories before, on that website, in various forms.. Like almost exactly, at least what’s conveyed in the blurb. Odds are the execution is different and West has her own voice, but it’s kind of incredible when you can read a blurb and think to yourself… “Have I read this before?” knowing fully well that you have not actually read this book, but somehow recognize the plot so well. That’s beyond cliche, in all honesty. I still look forward to reading some more of Kasie’s work, just because I LOVE easy, lovable, lighthearted YA novels. Although, I’m not sporty, I feel like I might like this book. Unless, of course, it’s one of those “I’m different because I get along with boys” portrayals of what could be strong female characters. I despise those lol. Sorry if this comment got ranty. Sometimes I word vomit! Great review!


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