On the Fence


On the Fence by Kasie West

Blurb:

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.

Review:

"A girl who plays disc golf?" Jerom said. "That's hot."
Gage curled his lip. "I don't know. A girl who plays disc golf? She's probably a dog. Some aggressive, burly thing."
The guys laugh, not seeming to realize I was standing right there … playing disc golf.

Something you need to know about Kasie West's books: They aren't perfect. If you ask me they're really far from it. But, somehow, that doesn't matter to me. On the Fence is pretty much the perfect example of what I like about her books and what I dislike about them, too. The thing is, West has the ability to touch on all of the insecure teenage fears I used to have/still have which makes her book very engaging (especially for someone who used to be a tomboy and therefore gets Charlie on a rather fundamental level). But, in order to be a happy-go-lucky book it needs a happy end and West's happy ends are always very rushed which can be rather disappointing.

Charlie has this thing where she just gets so focused on one remark (usually uttered by a boy) that she totally forgets any kind of context, like the excerpt above. Throughout the whole book she refers back to that conversation and does this very annoying thing of assuming that that's really how the world works. The thing is: although it is annoying I always feel the twinge of disappointment same as Charlie does. It just gets to me. And that is what I wanted from this book: I wanted to feel the anticipation and disappointment that comes with discovering more about yourself and falling in love like Charlie feels them. And that is what I get, and have gotten from every other Kasie West book I know (which aren't that many but I'm working on it). That is the reason why I adore her books, why I need them in my life. They somehow completely suck me out of my own world and transport me into someone else's mind.

On the flipside: West also usually needs to include at least two major strings of drama. In this book Charlie not only has to deal with falling in love but also with remembering her dead mother. This is great for including more tension and drama and stuff but it's not so great for concluding her stories. Because within the last 30 pages West claps her hands and starts doing her spring clean up/end of the book clean up where she picks up every threat of story and ties it into a happy-end-knot. Prolonged  250 pages agony and uncertainty wrapped up in 30 pages? That just doesn't really work out if you want a satisfying conclusion.

But overall I really do like these books. They are such quick reads, they are such easy reads, they are such engaging reads. I just can't resist them. I literally sat down yesterday evening at ten o'clock with about 2 liters of tea and read this book in one sitting and it was brillant. I forgot the time, I forgot all about the stress I wanted to forget about and I was left feeling warm and fuzzy and that is all I wanted from this book. So, if you ever need something to take your mind off of something just read this book and feel the West magic.

Rating:

It's not the first time I've read this book. Well, actually it is but I've listened to a German audiobook a couple of times before (courtesy by Lisa) and it always had the same effect on me. Thus, I wont change the rating I've previously decided on: 3/5 stars.

Details:

Name: On the Fence
Deutscher Titel: Die Nacht der gestohlenen Küsse
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (Deutsche Version)

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