Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: On the Fence (West)

AUTHOR: Kasie West
SERIES: none
ISBN: 9780062235671
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: contemporary romance
SUMMARY: Raised by her father with her three older brothers, 16-year old Charlie has grown up a sports-loving, smack-talking, rough-housing tomboy. But when Charlie must get a job to pay for a speeding ticket, Charlie starts to discover who she could be when her brothers--and their cute best friend--are not always around.

IF THIS BOOK WERE FOOD, IT WOULD BE: a bag of Skittles--short, sweet, and impossible to put down

REVIEW: Cute, cute, cute! I've only read one other book by Kasie West (Pivot Point), and after reading this second one, I'm officially a fan. On its surface, On the Fence is like so many other "boy next door" romances for teens, but On the Fence's focus on friendship and family--and not just romance--really makes it stand out. I love Charlie's interactions with her rambunctious brothers and their neighbor, Braden. It's clear that the boys adore Charlie, and I love the way Charlie can hold her own with them. She's a perfectly-flawed, believable tomboy learning how to to be herself and embrace her feminine side.

I love that Charlie's dad is a very involved parent, even if he thinks he is clueless when it comes to raising a girl. Charlie's three brothers are fantastic as well. They are never lumped together into just "general" brotherly characters--each one has his own personality, fears, flaws, and relationship with Charlie.

I recommend Pivot Point often at my school, and I will be recommending On the Fence as well. It's one of those books that features a high school character and a swoon-worthy romance but is still clean enough for most middle school readers. No profanity and just a little kissing.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Love it! This will be a popular choice for teen romance readers.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. This will be a hit in my middle school library.

READALIKES: My Super-Sweet Sixteenth Century (Harris), Pivot Point (West), This Is What Happy Looks Like (Smith)

  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing, brief reference to menstruation
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
  • Other: SPOILER--highlight to see--> suicide

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