ON THE FENCE
In On the Fence, West does a masterful job of creating and then destroying stereotypes, to the delight of the reader. Charlie is so typical, yet there are hidden depths and desires within. You’ll love watching her cope with her mother’s death, and the circumstances surrounding it, and watching as she grows into the realization that she is indeed normal — not to mention blossoming into her first love. Charlie’s brothers delight and will have you laughing, and so will Charlie’s inner monologue. This is the perfect read for when you’re in the mood for sports, steam and just feeling good. West always entertains, whether it’s with paranormal powers or sweet contemporary charm.
Charlie Reynolds is your typical tomboy. She has a cop father, three older brothers and a neighbor, Braden, who might as well be her fourth sibling. She’s also a star athlete and can get down and dirty with the guys, be it rain or shine, mud or dirt. When her father forces her to get a job to pay off speeding tickets, she winds up surrounded by glitter, dresses and makeup. As Charlie discovers a whole new side of being a girl, she’s not sure if she likes the girliness, or if she’d rather be playing ball with Braden and her brothers. Life gets more complicated when she starts falling for Braden after their late-night fence chats. Which Charlie is the real one? (HARPERTEEN, Jul., 320 pp., $9.99, ISBN: 9780062235671, PB, 12 & Up)