On the Fence by Kasie West
Published: July 2014, HarperTeen, 296 pages
Description: 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.
My Review: Charlie is a total tomboy. How could she not be, growing up without a mother and three older brothers? I'm the oldest in my family and I always wanted at least one older brother. Well, after reading this book, I'm sure glad I didn't have any! I'm sure it's great sometimes, but those brothers of Charlie's were ruthless. I couldn't believe some of the things they did to her--tackling, throwing her into the pool, the dares, etc. Of course, the perks are having them be very threatening and overprotective towards any potential boyfriends. Wait...is that a perk? All that aside, I absolutely loved the relationships they all had with each other. I wish my kids loved each other that much...
When Charlie is "forced" to get a job, she finds a new side to herself--a girly side. Trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be is tough. She finds herself really confiding in her honorary brother (and neighbor), Braden, especially when she starts to develop feelings for him. She is also dealing with nightmares surrounding her mother's death--maybe it's time to learn about and face the truth.
This is a fun, touching, and perfect coming-of-age story. I love the way Kasie West writes; the emotion and way she has of writing really brings the characters to life, from the main characters right down to the secondary ones. I feel that I just lived a summer vicariously through Charlie.
Content: no language or violence; mild romance. Clean!
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