On the Fence
By Kasie West
Available July 2014
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
Charlie has always been a tomboy. Her mother died when she was young so she’s never had a feminine influence. Her dad isn’t around too much in the book but it seems to be more of a hard worker situation. What we get from him is that he’s not sure what to do with a daughter but seems willing to do what he can. Charlie also has a great relationship with her brothers. Her brothers and her neighbor Braden make up her core group of friends. At first glance Charlie seems to have a great life even if she doesn’t seem to understand anything about being a girl.
When Charlie is put into a new situation we start to learn more about her. Watching her learn new things about herself and make friends with another girl was great. Even though she was willing to make the mistake of pairing up her new friend with Braden despite how close they’d been growing.
I really loved her late night chats with Braden. The way that they could be themselves without reservation at night and talk about the things that were bothering them. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow into something more. They tried to keep it like it was normal during the day, but I couldn’t help but be happy when it would bleed over into the day and a simple touch would mean more than it used to.
More than her relationship with Bradon, I really liked seeing Charlie learn about relationships with other women. Not having her mother around or other feminine influences meant that she didn’t really even know what it was like. Getting used to the way her boss treated her, seeing how the girls who came in were kind and wanted to make friends, these were new things for Charlie. She’s used to being one of the guys, girls only talked to her to get close to her brothers. So I really wanted her to be able to explore that part of herself. Realizing that she liked lip gloss and some of the girly clothes she never wore before and could make it work with her comfortable clothes in her own style was exactly right. I liked that she found her own way to be both.
Charlie’s baggage was a surprise. I didn’t see it coming. At first glance she seemed to have a great life and barely noticed not having a mother. Then it seemed that maybe it meant more to her than we realized. I didn’t expect the real problem or what had followed. The way her family stood strong for her was heartwarming though. I couldn’t help but love them even more than I already had. I would love to see Charlie’s brothers in some other books.
I really enjoyed this book. If you like the idea of seeing Charlie learn that it’s possible to be one of the girls while still fitting in with the guys then you’ll enjoy this one.