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On The Fence: Relateable and Endearing YA Fiction

On The Fence: Relateable and Endearing YA Fiction

Having once been addicted to John Green’s tear-jerkers and Maureen Johnson’s sweet tales of growing up, I long ago gave up my love of young adult contemporaries. Given the choice of paranormal or normal, I always go for pointy teeth and secret powers. On the Fence, however, is an exception.

I am addicted to watching YouTube videos of book reviews, and many young adult authors kept coming up as favorites. I was tempted enough to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which was a disappointment. However late one night, after watching a few horror movies, finishing a scary book, and listening to a demented audiobook, I saw the cover of On The Fence by Kasie West and it caught my attention. I thought to myself, maybe I need a cute, quick read to even out all the gore I’ve been consuming lately.

I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but On The Fence is exactly as sweet and cute as the photo on the front would have you to believe. The book tells the story of Charlie, real name Charlotte, a sporty girl who grew up with three older brothers, and a boy-next-door who was like family. Charlie grew up motherless, surrounded by men. But a speeding ticket forces her to get a job, she starts to realize that maybe there is more to her then her tomboy ways.

A love story emerges, but the strongest part of this book is the family dynamic. This is a close-knit family that has it struggles, but is stronger together. I honestly cried because I thought the father-daughter dynamic was so perfect. Even though this is a YA book, the story of Charlie learning who she is was something anyone can relate to. I definitely related to her more than a little when it came to being the girl among the guys, and feeling like you are just one of them.

Every character in the story also had personality that made them lovable. From the punky girl Skye (who is also seen in The Distance Between Us), to the flirty brother Gage, to the super sexy Braden (who is now my fictional crush), all of the characters struck a chord with me.

From start to finish, I could barely put this book down, and I immediately started in on The Distance Between Us after I finished.

Hurrah! My faith in YA contemporaries is restored!

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