In a testosterone-filled household, it's not unusual for Charlie to be more comfortable with participating in wrestling matches than a shopping spree. Charlie is one of the boys, and she's more than okay with that, until she starts working for a chic boutique to pay off a speeding ticket. While wearing makeup and putting on clothes that actually fit well seem to be a novelty that's somehow growing on her, Charlie's almost desperate attempts to keep her home life and blooming social life separate are catching up on her. The only place Charlie feels where she could truly be herself is when she is talking to Braden behind their fences, but could she lose her sanctuary when she figures out that she's actually in love with the cliched boy next door?
I recall that On the Fence was announced just after I finished reviewing The Distance Between Us and all at once, I felt like a cat about to be given another bowl of creamy milk. Based on TDBU, I more or less already predicted the cute fluffiness that West will throw at her readers, as if she already knows the secret ingredient to the balm that would undoubtedly soothe our heavy-YA-weary souls.
On The Fence is exactly that.
Watching Charlie Reynolds being thrust into the world of makeup and fashion is very fun, especially if you're the type of reader who likes reading about things like that (which I am). And watching her being all flustered with Braden, who is suddenly simply not just Braden? Even cuter, if you're the type who smirks while reading a fun, fluffy, contemporary novel (which I also am). Charlie is at the right age to be exploring her true identity, given that all she's ever known and have been comfortable with, was hanging out with her brothers and Braden, and playing one game after the other. It's quite lovely to see the lightbulb go off in her head that she doesn't have to be only one orthe other - and that she could actually be both!
I do have my misgivings with On The Fence, however. Similar in the fashion of The Distance Between Us, some events that seemed minor, given the little amount of spotlight thrown on them, ended up being major events that got in the way of the storyline. Also, Charlie didn't seem to be the type of girl who lived for pushing the pedal to the metal. The girl got one speeding ticket, and didn't seem to come across as having them habitually since there were no repetitive nuances about it throughout the whole book.
But still, On The Fence is one such balm to soothe my heavy-YA-weary soul, and for that I could not ask for more. And yes, I still lapped that cream to every last drop.
Read On The Fence if you like cutesy, fluffy fiction about tomboyish girls and their equally adorable love interests. Or you know, you're a kindred heavy-YA-weary soul as well.