“We can’t let boys define how we feel about ourselves. You have to know who you are before you should let any boy worth anything in.”
Okay. So, On The Fence is officially my new favorite West book! Like her other books, this one is cute, sweet and everything is just so perfect! Few pages in and I knew I was going to love it. And West does not disappoint. If I loved The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend and P.S. I Like You, I really truly dearly loved On The Fence!! ♥
On The Fence is the story of Charlie, a girl who grew up with a single father and three brothers, Jerom, Nathan and Gage, plus Braden, their neighbor who might as well be her fourth brother for always being with them. Right from the start it’s always been Charlie, her father, her brothers and Braden. They’re a family which everyone is comfortable with. Now Charlie is sixteen and growing up surrounded by her brothers and Braden, she has somehow became “one of the boys”, acting and dressing like them which also became normal for her. All of them love sports; soccer, basketball, baseball, you name it, and they all get along so well when it comes to that. And being raised by all boys actually has its perks like in the field of sports and other boy stuff. But when Charlie suddenly takes a job at a boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she has no clue what to do. Being a tomboy, it’s like she’s lost and needs someone to teach her the basics when it comes to dresses, makeup and other girly stuff. Fortunately, Linda, her boss, can read her and just knows what to do. And it doesn’t really help that one night she and Braden just suddenly starts having their own alternate world by the fence, which eventually leads to realizing some hidden feelings inside her.
This book seriously gave me all the feels! It’s adorable and sweet and I just love everything EVERYTHING about it, thus 5 shining stars! The story runs in a good pacing, the characters are all lovely, the family dynamic is present and Charlie is the kind of character you can easily connect with. The story is actually refreshing since I’ve been reading vampires and dystopia lately so it was really nice to read a fluffy contemporary!
Let me give you three reasons why I superfreakin’love this book! First, Charlie has more sides than meets the eye. She may not act girly but at one point she starts worrying about how she acts and how guys look at her. And I think we all came to that point where we worry about how we present ourselves and how other sees us just like her. We all have our insecurities and I think it’s harder for Charlie since she thinks she’s not “normal” because she doesn’t wear a dress or sparkly tops, doesn’t put on makeup and instead of being a cheerleader, she plays sports. Her brothers make it even harder by treating her like she’s one of them, wrestling and throwing her around. But despite struggling to find her true self, Charlie eventually learns that the people who truly cares will love her for who she is whether she plays sports better than any other guys or wears makeup and beautiful clothes.
“I could’ve killed you guys three times by now. Stop flirting with my sister and get your head in the game. I’ll give you a ten-second head start.”
Second reason, Charlie’s family. I freakin’ love her goofy brothers! Each of them has their own personalities and they’re adorably protective of Charlie. They love her and would punch anyone who messes with her. Especially guys! I personally love Gage the most since he’s the craziest and closest to Charlie. But Jerom and Nathan are cool as well. I liked it everytime they tease and harass Charlie. Lol. We also see Charlie’s father and his struggle on how to raise a daughter. It’s obvious he doesn’t have a clue how so he depends on a book by Carol which is really heartwarming. Then there’s Charlie’s mother who died when she was young and I think it plays a major role in her character development. Sometimes it makes Charlie wonder if things will be different if only her mother is around. Will she spend more time with her than with her brothers? Will she be more feminine? Will she not play sports but go shopping and learn make up? And now that she discovers that she actually likes putting on makeup and dressing up a little, she’s afraid to let her dad and brothers know because she thinks they might not approve. She thinks it will disappoint them to see her a little girly because they’re so used to seeing her in baggy clothes and playing sports with them.
“What are you doing and why did you have a goofy grin in your face when you came in here? You sneaking around? Is there some boy I need to beat up?”
This book actually made me want to have brothers because how cool and fun would it be to have brothers like them? But either way I got my three super girly and fun sisters and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. Well, maybe except for Braden? Lol. And that leads us to the third reason why I love this book. Braden. He’s charming, sweet, kind, caring, athletic and he’s perfect! He knew Charlie more than she knew herself and Charlie claims that she knew him more than he knew himself. They’re actually perfect for each other! The romance in this book is slow but really sweet. Like ohemgeethey’resoadorable sweet! Charlie’s interactions with Braden are my favorites and I so so love seeing them bantering with each other.
“If you can’t be yourself around him, then you shouldn’t be dating him.”
I think it’s really sweet that Charlie and Braden started off as friends then eventually developed feelings for each other. They’ve known each other since they were kids so they knew everything about each other. They’re comfortable goofing around and interacting with each other—sitting too close, holding each other, playing around—but when when Charlie starts realizing her real feelings for Braden, even looking at him becomes torture because she thought Braden only see her like a sister. Little does she know that Braden has been feeling the same way but only stopping himself because he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship and I think he’s afraid to face the wrath of Charlie’s overprotective brothers, and father, in a way.
And, and! I really liked that scene when Charlie just came back from camp and everyone is watching a rom-com movie courtesy of Amber and Charlie wishes they’re watching an A’s game and then Braden just starts spelling something on her knee with his finger letting her know that he wants to watch the A’s game too but can’t do anything about it. That’s a really sweet scene! And oh my god that soccer scene where Charlie bites Braden on the neck and Braden bites her back. All the feels, you guys!! :”)
I also remember Skye from The Distance Between Us and if I liked her there, I loved her in this book! She and Linda are charming and it’s good to see that she gets along well with Charlie too. The other secondary characters are also amazing. Amber and Evan are both likeable and Evan is actually nice. And I like that Amber and Gage end up together.
Overall it’s a very sweet, charming and fluffy read! A cute contemporary that will surely give you all the feels. Charlie and Braden are so good together but can I please have Braden? I don’t play any sport but I’ll learn just for him. Or I can be his cheerleader! ♥ It’s my fourth book of Kasie West and now I can’t wait to read her next book!
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He stared at me for a long time, as if trying to read my sincerity. His breath touched my lips. It took everything in me not to close the distance between us. When his lips brushed against mine, I let out an involuntary gasp. Had I done that?
“Am I reading you wrong?” he asked.
I shook my head no. I couldn’t find my voice, couldn’t dare to believe this meant what I thought it meant.
He let out a slow breath of air that smelled so familiar. “I was going to tell you that.”
“You were going to tell me that you wanted to kiss me?” He nodded.
“Is this going to change everything?”
“I sure hope so.”
He smiled and his gazed went from my eyes, to my mouth then up to my hair. He tucked a piece behind my ear. “You’re so beautiful.”