That’s it, I found a book I want to live in!
Call me Charlie from now on (and yes, Charlie is a girl, I am not switching sides not even for the greatness of this story)
For me this book was perfect: perfectly-awesome dynamics, perfectly-sweet romance and just a perfectly-bit of sadness to make up for the perfectly-amazing ‘giggleness’.
Yes, I am a also a ‘perfect’ dork in love with romantic stories, but what can I say? I just loved “On the Fence” so very much!
And you shouldn’t simply take my words for it, so I will give you the reasons why those items on the list were so great to begin with:
1. fantastic family dynamics – from honest punishments, to love, teasing, comforting, helping.. everything was relatable, realistic and just as beautiful as any family should be.
2. best friendships – they are all so great together as friends, having fun, playing sports or just being themselves and nothing more.
3. cutest love story – I simply loved the fence scenes – their game was cute and honest 😀 and there were sparks, and beauty and so much fun.
Remember how I said that I would live in one of Jesi Kirby‘s books if it weren’t for the overwhelming drama (which I love, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t exactly want to live with)? Well.. now meet Kasie West. I would love to live in her/this story!
I mean it as a compliment when I compare these two authors. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to me.. well, they make me cry even after reading one of the funniest and cutest scenes.. Their stories are absolutely perfect, the range of emotions they make me feel is completely insane and my love for their work has no end.
“I already told you to stop reading me.”
“I can read you because I know you better.”
“In your dreams.”
“Yes, you’ve been there, too.”
Charlie is a complex character. Sometimes I loved her to pieces, some others I felt she was a bit insensitive (dying grandma and all). But the thing is, even though she might say all the wrong things at times, she usually means well (or she is just too hurt to be nice with other people).
Also, she is really passionate about the things that interest her. She loves sports and you can see it, feel it. She doesn’t only tell you “I go and play this”, she also involves you in the process (you see how full of life she is while playing or running and you see how sad she is on the side lines). And there’s this other side when she enjoys being beautiful and noticed by guys.
Talking about ‘guys’… I might repeat myself a bit, but really the family Charlie has is so damn incredible – from the loving father (with Carla’s advices that made my heart ache at some point) to the protective but extremely nice and fun brothers (actually, there were tons of moments I loved with them; in a parallel universe I would have liked to have a big family like that – they were so incredibly perfect).
“Don’t be idiots. This is Even. Evan, the angry-looking one is Jerom, the constipated-looking one is Nathan, and the goofball on the right is Gage.”
Gage laughed. “Constipated, Nathan? We said to look fierce.” All three of them laughed now […]
There are no cliché’s in this story at all. Everything is smooth, everything flows throughout the story nicely – Charlie gets to meet new people, to find a more feminine side of herself (more like a balance between the sporty and the beautiful and confident self), to discover her actual inner self, because being raised by guys made her miss some things that she would have found in a motherly figure (one that she missed dearly, no matter how awesome her family was without her).
She also has this nice friendship with Braden that turns slowly into something more (and he is also a great character, with some problems of his own, still he’s always there for her).
There was so much development – no character was there just ‘to be’, they all interacted, they all had a purpose, they all showed something about Charlie that we needed to know, they all left an imprint on her personality.
I had FUN! Tons of it!
I laughed out loud. I giggled like a kid. I smiled until my face hurt.
I highlighted half the book (it involved funny moments, and teasing, and some meaningful words
and pretty much a lot of awesomeness). It was this great and more!
The romance is slow.. And sweet.. And it has that confusing vibe that only first loves (teenage loves) can ever give. It also happened during the entire story and it was based on friendship and trust and history – all ingredients for a great realistic and fun romance.
There is talk at some point about ‘love’ which might seem a bit too early (even though it happens near the end of the story), but it felt somehow right when I thought of it – because she loved him as a brother, as a neighbor, and afterwards she realised that her feelings were about more than just that – she loved him as a guy too.
The transition was sweet, with her discovering all the different ways she might get to act around him – noticing new things about him, blushing at times, actually making a completely fool of herself too.. And it’s true, I wanted the author to take the time and put an “I love you” line in the first pages just to enforce what I am saying here – that there was ‘love’ first in their friendship, but it worked nicely anyways. It’s just a statement, not a problem at all.
Also, there is a bit of drama, no wonder the comparison I made way up there, but it’s not gut wrenching – it’s in there more for the character’s sake than for ours. It shows how strong she becomes, how vulnerable she might be deep down, it shows how much love there is between the characters, it’s a missing piece in Charlie’s life that she needs to find in order to be complete again.
After all, “On the Fence” is a self-discovery kind of story.
Charlie lived in this bubble created by ‘the safeness of brotherhood’ (my words) and she knows that there is more to her, so she makes new (girl) friends, she goes out to meet new people, she takes a job and in time becomes more responsible (or at least she finds out that even small actions can have consequences).
One of the very best romantic stories out there. I have to preorder it because I really need to have in on my shelf when it comes out, on the 1st of July. Keep an eye for it as I assure you that it is well worth it! (as for the fans of Pivot Point – you need this, trust me!)
And now.. I love this picture – it doesn’t show an actual scene from the book
(not that the other ones do either), but it fits nicely with the overall feeling:
Happy midnight reading!
Early review: ARC received for review from the publisher. I can never thank you enough!