Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Short New Review and First Impression: On the Fence

On the Fence

by Kasie West

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

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.

Kasie West has been a personal favorite YA author ever since I read her debut, Pivot Point.  Following with The Distance Between Us and Split Second, I declared that I would always read anything and everything that Kasie West writes because I mainly just love the subtle sarcastic dry humor she infuses into her characters.  If it's one thing I love about any kind of story, it's the characters and their growth and interactions.

On the Fence was a very enjoyable book when I read it and you very easily find yourself immersed into the contemporary world created.  All the characters are great, and the conflicts are simple and sweet--just the way I like them.

I never wrote a review for this book because there was very little I really wanted, or had, to say about it--I suspect also that this was a time in my life where things had been a bit hectic since I didn't write a whole lot of reviews for many other books either.

The first impression following this short spiel doesn't entirely sum up how I felt about On the Fence in it's entirety, but it DOES present my impression on why I felt that this book was lacking as compared to Kasie's earlier works.  Once again, On the Fence is a very enjoyable book with it's fair share of sweetness and the cute.

However, with no pun intended, I was truly "on the fence" about whether or not I really liked this sweet young adult contemporary romance.  There was a lot to like about it, but at the same time, this is probably the book wherein I found myself a little wary about auto-buying Kasie West books in the future.

The First Impression @ Chapter 4:  (Originally posted on July 2, 2014)

I'm not feeling the usual dry humor and quick wit that I've picked up from Kasie's other books.  But the set-up with Charlie, her brothers, and possible love interest (?) Braden is already presenting pretty nicely.  I'm looking forward to seeing some development in Charlie though, because at this point she doesn't seem like an ideally relatable girl.

I mean, sure, she's a tomboy and she grew up with a bunch of guys and she can take them on like the best of them... but she's coming across kind of... well, spoiled and selfish... and a bit bratty.

But no matter, I'm flying through chapters quickly and expecting the best from Kasie West!  I'm sure things will even out and get better, because I have that much faith in this author.  And even if they don't come out to my liking, I'm still enjoying the subject matter and the characters and the interactions and the writing.

am, however, missing the typical sarcasm undertones.

On a side tangent:  (Circa The Distance Between Us)

Here's a little excerpt that caught me by surprise.  It was a pleasant surprise.  And also, will we get to see more of them?

She bit her lip.  "There's a store two doors down.  A little clothing store owned by a lady named Linda.  You should try there.  Tell her Sky Lockwood sent you."

I kind of like when we get to see old favorites from previous books!

We walked down the sidewalk and passed a doll store.  "Oh, you so need to go in there," Gage said.  I noticed the girl working inside was beautiful-- of course.  Next time I went job hunting I was leaving my brother at home.  He opened the door and a bell announced our arrival.  When we stepped in, I realized this store was either on the verge of closing or on the verge of opening.  Boxes lay open all over the floor and were being packed... unpacked?

"Oh," she said when she saw us.  "Hi.  Sorry, we're closed.  Xander must've left the door unlocked."  She handed us a card.  "But if you're looking for a doll, that's our website.  We're going mobile."

OMG!  It's Caymen!  Doll store?  Xander?  Yay!

This first impression was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in July 2014.

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