I am a party-pooper. Although a sad one since I am somewhat sad I didn’t enjoy this. There is quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and all my friends who have read it so far have loved it so I feel like a complete buzz kill with my ‘hating’.
On the Fence, quite frankly, sucked. I went in expecting a friends-to-more romance and got something else.
For starters, I did NOT like the main character. I was cringing the whole time I was reading this book and was not the least bit amused. I think what bothered me the most was this whole normal girl vs not normal girl thing going on. I get that teenagers go through a phase where they aren’t sure of themselves, I went through it too but the whole changing yourself to fit in storylines have never worked for me. Perhaps it’s my fault but if I had known this book had a storyline that revolved around the character trying to change herself, I probably wouldn’t have read it.
My problem with this whole thing is that it seems to say that there is a ‘right’ way to be a female but there isn’t! Femininity isn’t defined by whether you are girly or not! I am neither girly nor a tom boy but I am no less female then other girls out there. I think what made this worse was that Charlie seemed to be the only ‘tom boy’ in this book. She was surrounded by girly girls who only seemed to care about make-up. The stereotypes started getting to me and I ended up being so annoyed. Plus I never understood why Charlie felt this need to hide things from her family. Why was she so embarrassed if that’s what she wanted to be? Didn't she understand that her family would love her no matter what? I mean seeing that she is such a 'family' person... I kind of expected more from her.
It didn’t end there though. The romance bothered the living daylights out of me. WHERE WAS THE SWOON I WAS PROMISED? Braden and Charlie’s romance is basically non-existent. It seems like one moment she thinks of him as a brother and the next he isn’t a brother to her. Did she have a crush on him before the book started? I have no idea because it was never said (or I missed it).
When the ‘other’ dude is brought into the picture things become even more awkward with Charlie sticking her head in the sand. She doesn't see that there is a reason why Braden does NOT like the dude while her brothers don’t mind him nearly as much. I never actually sensed sparks between them and while they didn’t lack chemistry, things seemed too rushed in the end. The L word popped out of nowhere. And I do say nowhere. Just because they have known each other forever doesn’t mean that they can pop out the L word and it won’t seem random.
The only redeeming factor for me is Charlie’s family. Her dad is a sweet heart and I cannot imagine how hard things must be for him. Her brothers are also incredible and so fun to read about!
I guess one could also fault the length of the book in this case because it did seem quite short in the end. It’s not a short book by any means but it did seem a little rushed. Things started getting good about 80% into the novel but just as I was starting to like it, I was drowned in a bucket of cheese and that ultimately killed the book for me. I only felt relief when I finished this book.
With all that said though, I do want to read The Distance Between Us because I think it might be more enjoyable for me as a reader and if not that, Pivot Point. I am not ready to give up on the author yet.