She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door.
With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets, she's more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique and going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden, sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there's a secret Charlie's keeping that even he hasn't figured out—she's fallen for him. 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.
On the Fence is a sweet and satisfying read about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect it.
Sixteen-year-old tomboy Charlie Reynolds undergoes a summer of soul-searching and growth in West's (Split Second) fourth book for teens. Raised with plenty of male influences three brothers, her next door neighbor Braden, and a widowed police officer father Charlie is a star athlete and well-protected from the outside world, especially when it comes to dating. Recently, Charlie has been crushing on Braden, and she's also getting attention for her looks at her new job at a clothing store. In short, Charlie's sense of identity is in upheaval, her intense workouts aren't sufficient relief, and her constant nightmares about her mother's fatal car accident are stirring up repressed memories. Nightly, Charlie and Braden find solace in sneaking out to talk to each other (Braden's father is drinking a lot), but Charlie fears that he will never see her as anything more than just a buddy. West builds enjoyable tension and absorbing chemistry between Charlie and Braden, and her depiction of growing up surrounded by brothers is thoroughly enjoyable. Ages 13 up.