Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Firstly, thanks to HarperCollins Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: January 10 - 11 2014
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Source: ARC via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

"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."


“Why did the moon make me want to spill all my secrets to Braden?”

BAM Kasie West has done it again. She is officially one of my favourite authors and I will read and buy anything by her. On the Fence was so good I finished it in 1 day. What I love about West’s contemporaries (The Distance Between Us and now On the Fence) is that while they’re great summery/fun reads, the protagonist also deals with serious issues and West handles these so well.

Our girl Charlie has grown up in an all-male household – her father raised her and her three brothers so to say she’s a bit of a tomboy is an understatement. It was quick shocking how out of touch she was not only with “being a girl” but with emotions and sensitive topics too. At one point in the beginning, they’re playing football and one of Charlie’s school friends gets a call about his grandmother dying; while everybody is giving him their condolences, Charlie just asks if they want to continue the game. But as Charlie develops relationships with new people as a result of her new job, she grows as a person. I love the way West has made this so natural and gradual – I could see Charlie have her eyes opened to another world, to have boys notice her and it was very relatable.

“I don’t know how to get over it.”

“You can only get through it.”

All the secondary characters have something to offer Charlie in terms of lessons. I liked how Amber is so accepting of Charlie and goes along with Charlie’s cluelessness. I loved the way Linda and Skye introduce Charlie to a life outside of sports and how life can be a little eccentric. Then there’s Evan who is the first guy in Charlie’s life who doesn’t see her as a tomboy, but instead as a pretty girl and this opens a whole new world for her. And finally we have Braden, the one who’s there for Charlie to talk to every night by the fence, lost in their own little world. All these great characters along with Charlie’s dad and brothers, are unique in their own way such that I wouldn’t mind if they had their own books – especially Charlie’s brothers!

“She brought something into my life that I’d never had before… I needed someone to understand me. To help me understand myself.”

West always writes such sweet romances with the cutest guys. In paranormal/fantasy/speculative fiction you have guys that are swoony and they say and do things that in a contemporary novel would be just over the top. And this has happened in quite a few contemporaries I’ve read. But Braden (and Evan) are both so real. They could be any of my (nicer) guy friends who take the time to listen to what a girl has to say. They’re by no means perfect and yet they have endearing qualities.

The romance is so cute eeeeep. There may or may not be a love triangle but it’s sweet and adorable and watching Charlie trying to unjumble all her feelings just makes me cheer for her. The romance is perfectly paced, and it progresses slowly, hesitantly and sdlkfjsldfjsdsdf I was like just WHY YOU SO CUTE CAN YOU JUST PLEASE GET TOGETHER ALL OF YOU. Yassss for reals.

“He smiled and his gaze went from my eyes, to my mouth then up to my hair.”

As Charlie and Braden’s late night talks continue, she continues to be plagued by nightmares which have a recurring theme. I loved the way this was incorporated into the plot of the book and how it relates to her inner-demons and a secret she has yet to uncover.

An absolutely refreshing read! With a relatable MC, swoony romance, many lessons to be learnt, an intriguing plot that runs deeper than you think, and all topped off with West’s fluent prose, On the Fence is a must have addition to your contemporary pile

“I don’t want this to be in our alternate reality. I want this to be in our real one.”


  1. Kasie's on my auto-read list now as well! <33 Braden... BRADEN.

    1. Yes! Just every one of her books is amazing <3

  2. This sounds absolutely wonderful! <3 I haven't read any of Kasie West's books, but I really want to because I've heard nothing but glowing reviews for her books! :D I'm glad this lived up to your expectations, and I can't wait to read it for myself! :D The romance and characters sound fabulous! <3

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. Zoe you really need to read Kasie West! She is wonderful - both her paranormal and contemporaries are fantastic.

  3. OMG THE QUOTES! They are bringing back all the feels for me! I absolutely loved this book and I'm really glad you liked it too. Kasie West is definitely one of my favourite authors now too. :D Lovely review Jaz!

    1. Hehe aren't the quotes just adorable? I can never find fault with Kasie West's books. I hope she releases more soon.

  4. It's funny, Kasie West seems to be either a real hit or miss with most readers and I've seen a few reviews lately that didn't like this one. I've got a copy and looking forward to reading it now after seeing your review. Clearly they don't know what they're talking about. Awesome review Jaz and thanks for sharing <3

    1. Woah really? I actually haven't met anybody that doesn't like Kasie West so this is news to me.
      I hope you enjoy it Kelly <3

  5. Kasie West is officially an auto buy author for me after this book. You made a great point about how the relationships were paced. I of course wanted them to be together after the first fence chat but that would have been a very short book :)