My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Beware spoilers ahead!
This book was recommended to me by my GR friend Alyssa ! Click on her name to read her review.
I had originally added this book back in February. I was going through a chick lit phase and thought that all of Kasie West’s books would be excellent additions. But because I thought they would turn out to be shallow I took them all off. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Alyssa’s review that I decided to read all her books. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!
As is with all of Kasie West’s books, this book is written in first person in Charlie’s point of view.
The book begins with Charlie as she is pulled over by a police officer for breaking the speed limit. Charlie is about to use the fact that her father is a cop, but then the cop mentions that this is not his first time pulling her over. She accepts her ticket. When she gets home her brothers and Braden are having another bet. If a person does not drink the weird smoothie that Gage made then they have to dump it on themselves.
Charlie getting rattled by Braden drinks it. Her brothers and and Braden now have to dump the smoothie on themselves. On Charlie’s command they all set off for a run.
A few days after this Charlie’s father confronts her on the ticket she got. She didn’t tell him and he was not happy to here it from one of his coworkers. He tells Charlie that she has to get a job to earn the money for the tickets. Charlie tries to protest as does her brother, but their father does not budge.
Her brother Gage offers to help Charlie look for a job. Upon looking a majority of what Gage does is flirt with girls. They come across a shop and the girl Skye tells Charlie that there is a shop that is hiring. And to tell the shop owner that Skye sent her over.
When Charlie finds the shop it is not what she excepts. It’s a Bazaar that sells clothes that Charlie does not wear. And the owner Linda is very odd. Desperate Charlie takes the position making a vow to quit after her tickets have been paid. Linda tells Charlie that she will have to buy some more fashion forward clothes. She suggests that on Charlie’s first day she will pick out some clothes for her and fill out the paper work.
Once she gets her job she finds it hard to sleep at night and this is because she isn’t running anymore. When she runs she falls asleep quickly and this keeps the nightmares at bay. When Charlie was 6 years old her mother got into a car accident. She has nightmares of said car accident.
Seeing as she can’t sleep she decides to have a conversation with Braden. A fence chat. They play this game to see who knows more about the other. Which makes Charlie happy and helps her forget what kept her up.
Braden seems to benefit from these conversations as well. His father verbally abuses his mother and him whenever he is drunk. He suffered a back injury a few years ago and since then has developed an addiction.
To be honest I did not except to fall in love with this book. In the beginning Charlie was annoying. All she cared about were sports and winning. She was cold and did not care for others emotions. But as I read on she became likable and in ways relatable.
There are cameos from The Distance Between Us. Skye comes in frequently and it was nice to read about her and Charlie’s friendship. Charlie and her families relationship was sweet. Her brothers were very protective of her as was her father.
The fence chats between Charlie and Braden were sweet. Charlie found it much easier to talk to the fence then she did to Braden’s face. I liked reading about their game and learning more about them. The romance in this book was slow burn. It was pretty awkward considering that Braden is Charlie’s brother’s best friend.
It was sweet how supportive Braden was with Charlie. Even when she did test his patience. As a character Braden was nice but I didn’t like him. And in turn I couldn’t really see the romance between the two of them. They felt like best friends to me and that’s it.
Linda was absolutely weird in the beginning of the book but she grew on me as well as Charlie. She turned out to be a mother figure towards Charlie and Skye. During her job Charlie meets this girl Amber and the two become friends. Unlike Charlie’s other friends she is girly and does not like sports. I was happy that Charlie didn’t judge Amber for that. Their friendship was sweet!
The best part of this book was Charlie’s character. I liked how she didn’t instantly hate all girly girls, and how when she turned 16 (the dating age her brothers set) she didn’t instantly want to date guys. Charlie is pretty tough and throughout this book she goes through a self-discovery journey. She finds that she does not hate the clothes Linda chose for her, she doesn’t even mind make-up, and she likes her job.
During this book Charlie starts to become self-conscious about what others think about her. She had two different lives. The Charlie who loved sports and the Charlie who dressed up for work. For most of the book she doesn’t tell her brothers about the clothes Linda bought or how she started modeling for make-up. She thinks that her brothers would only make fun of her. And with Amber she thought that Amber wouldn’t like the side of her that played sports. She even pretended not to know anything about sports when she started dating this guy Evan. She thought he only wanted a girl who cheered him on not a girl who could play against him. Eventually she accepts these sides of herself and stops hiding it from people.
The most important thing that was brought up in this book was how society or people in our lives start categorizing us in these bubbles. In Charlie’s brother’s point of view she could not like make-up and wear pretty clothes. So when it came out that she did they treated her like an alien. They have even said that Charlie isn’t a normal girl. There is no such thing as a normal girl or boy. Everyone is unique and different. And as people we could become whoever we want to be. I loved how the author incorporated this!
Overall this was a fantastic book! I would recommend this to everyone because there is something in here that we can all relate to.