On the Fence

Finished On the Fence by Kasie West.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.”

I am a huge fan of Kasie West and now I have read all of them.  :(  (Fortunately, there’s one coming out in less than a month.)

I think this one is my absolute favorite so far, probably because it really reminded me of One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin (which I also loved).  Charlie is most comfortable with guys, because she has three brothers and was raised by her dad (her mom died when she was little).  She doesn’t really have any girl friends, and when she has to get a job (one too many speeding tickets), she ends up working at a clothing store.  Which is unfortunate, because she has no fashion sense to speak of.

Then she starts being the test dummy (essentially) for makeup classes to get extra money, and it turns out that maybe being a girl isn’t so bad.

I love this book.  It’s incredibly sweet and fun, and the characters are all great.  (I’m kind of hoping it’ll get a sequel or maybe a spinoff novel, although Kasie West doesn’t do those for her contemp YA novels—at least not yet.)

Charlie is the kind of character I immediately love.  She’s strong and smart and lives life on her terms.  She’s not afraid to be exactly who she is and even when she changes a little, it’s for the right reasons.  (There is a part where she pretends not to be as into sports, but at least part of that is because her brother tells her that always acting like you know everything is a jerk move.)

If you’re looking for a book that will put a smile on your face, this is for you.

Highly recommended.


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