Author: Kasie West

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

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Review: On the Fence by Kasie West
On the Fence
Kasie West
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: July 1st 2014
by HarperTeen

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.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

Very readable and incredibly character driven, On the Fence was the perfect pick for a cold Sunday afternoon. I can’t say that I loved it quite as much as I had expected to based on the slew of 5-star reviews I had seen, but it was definitely a sigh-worthy read that left me smiling at the end.

Our protagonist, Charlie, has an easy, relatable voice that instantly pulls you in. She’s a tomboy, she loves sports, and she’s living with her dad and 3 brothers, plus a neighbour who pretty much lives there, too. That gives us a great, hectic family dynamic that I thought was just wonderful. The brotherly banter, the silliness, their overprotective nature towards Charlie – it’s all super sweet and fun to read. It also gives the book all the more heart. All these characters are carved with distinct personalities and quirks that make them memorable. My favorite is definitely Gage with his sense of humour. Even the dad is awesome and built with a lot of layers. The poor dude is just trying to figure out teenage girls – Lol!! Characters don’t end there, though. We also have Charlie’s co-worker and a new friend (her first girlfriend!) who help Charlie figure out who she really is besides her brothers’ sister. They make her leave her comfort zone and try new things and I liked that about them.

Charlie herself though, while easily engaging and three-dimensional as a character, can be frustrating at times, too. Mostly because she’s so stubbornly oblivious to Braden’s feelings for her. Even when it becomes very obvious, she would think up of dumb excuses or reason it out in a way that kept him out of her reach. Have more confidence, girl! Then instead of just being honest she starts dating this dude who’s totally wrong for her – she needs to be a fake and change who she is to convince herself he likes her. Then we have the whole “she’s gorgeous but she thinks she’s ugly or plain or unattractive” ordeal which always irritates me. All in all, Charlie’s a very well-written character with a compelling voice, but I found myself frustrated with her a lot. I just wanted her to stop putting herself down so much when it came to how she thought others saw her.

There are many layers to this story. Charlie’s mom died when she was little, leaving her with nightmares even after all these years, and of course, lots questions. There’s a story there and it ends up bringing in quite a bit of emotional depth. There’s also her relationship with her father that Charlie feels is crumbling. As if maybe he resents having to deal with raising a girl. Ultimately, though, this is a love story. And it’s a romance that has chemistry flying off its pages. From friendship to romance is one of my favourite love stories so this was just perfect for me. We see her and Braden as best friends, then we see her develop stronger feelings for him. This is obviously confusing and a bit worrisome for her – no one wants to lose such a close friend by turning it into something more, but you just know they belong together so you can’t help but root for them. Their nightly talks at the fence, their easy friendship, the banter and teasing; it all strengthens their connection and we can easily see the love they have for one another. There’s none of the dramatic love at first sight insta-love trope, it’s just… real.

On the Fence is the book to read when you’re in the mood for a light read that still has depth, substance, and a wonderfully sweet love story.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: On The Fence by Kasie West

Review: On The Fence by Kasie West

Posted by on 06/26/2014 • 15 Comments

For readers looking for the perfect summer read, look no further than On The Fence by Kasie West. This was a sweet, fun read and although I didn’t really swoon as I was hoping to I did get lost in the lives we meet and I was fully engrossed in the story.

Charlie lost her mother when she was very young, in lieu of memories she has a box of pictures that she goes through from time to time to keep her mom’s memory fresh in her mind. Her mother’s passing left her growing up in a household of 3 brothers (which is basically 4 because of the neighbour boy, Braden, who has become a part of the family over the years.) She’s athletic and has a great sense…

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Posted by on 03/11/2014 • 28 Comments

PIVOT POINT was a fast favourite of mine from last year so when SPLIT SECOND came out I was quick to run out and get it and make the time to read it. Coming out of it I am happy with the story but I I feel it was missing some elements of a successful sequel. After reading through the reviews of this I see that I may be the only one who had this issue, but I haven’t come across this so strongly before so I feel the need to point it out.

So my issue is this: I was completely lost as to almost all of the references to the first novel. I have a terrible memory and I know this but I can usually carry on pretty…

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Posted by on 02/12/2013 • 31 Comments

para·nor·mal: adj. not scientifically explainable : supernatural -Merriam-Webster

Meet Addison, or preferably Addie; Clairvoyant Divergent. Addie has the unique and thought-provoking ability of being able to see both sides of the coin. In other words, when she has a decision to make, she can see the future of each choice and pick the one that’s best. Fascinating, no? But what happens when you don’t want either future you foresee? This plot revolves around Addie’s venture into two futures after she was asked to pick between staying in the paranormal compound, or going with her dad in the normal world.

Told in dual reality perspective, reality one keeps us in the compound where life with abilities is the norm. From telekinesis to lie detectors, living with knowing someone may currently…