I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Also by this author: Pivot Point, Split Second, On the Fence, The Fill-In Boyfriend, , P.S. I Like You
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-07-02
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Money can't buy a good first impression.Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom's porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he's tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she's smart enough to know his interest won't last. Because if there's one thing she's learned from her mother's warnings, it's that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander's loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn't a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she'd ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?
You know how you read one genre by an author but aren’t too sure on how they would do in another genre? The first two books of my Kasie West marathon were Pivot Point and Split Second which I loved but which were in the paranormal, science fiction and speculative fiction genre, I am not too sure how to class. I had no clue if The Distance Between Us, West’s first contemporary young adult book, would be just as good as her Pivot Point books. It’s not like I had a lot of apprehension, I just wasn’t sure how it would translate. Friends, The Distance Between Us is swoonworthy and sweet and such a satisfying read. The more that I think about it, the more that this book totally merits a Pretty In Pink comparison. Only, there’s a distinct lack of Ducky. This aside, I really, really loved her first contemporary book.
Caymen works in her mother’s doll store. It’s actually kind of creepy, but Caymen handles the situation with grace and a healthy dose of sarcasm. The town that Caymen lives in is a tourist town near the beach, and so there’s a lot of rich people in the town. Caymen’s mom has taught her from a young age to not trust rich people because when she was pregnant with Caymen, Caymen’s father abandoned her mother and her mother’s parents pretty much cut her off. So, Caymen has a lot of prejudice towards rich people which I can get behind. Anyways, while working at the doll store, a young man comes in, beckons Caymen, and kind of leaves her with a bad impression, although she trades sarcastic barbs with him. That young man? Xander Spence, heir to this huge hotel chain. He’s basically a Hilton, y’all, minus the crazy partying. Anyways, he begins to show up at the doll store every morning with a muffin and a hot chocolate for Caymen and the two walk to the school where she goes for a half day before leaving for work. Despite their different social classes, Xander and Caymen have more in common than you would think. And so, The Distance Between Us is all about how the young couple bridges the social class gap and much, much more. Basically it’s about swoons, plain and simple.
Friends, although my parents are together and I have siblings and I do not live above a doll store, I found I could really relate to Caymen. I shared a lot of her sentiments about rich people, I mean, I also grew up poor and kind of resenting it. I loved that Caymen did not really have any idea of what she wanted to do after college because she felt like she was bound to the store and did not have options. I loved that she was leaning towards doing something with science, eventually, when she lets herself dream. I loved that she was devoted to her mom and a hard worker. I loved that she always kind of felt alone, but would do things to stretch her boundaries and challenge herself, like going to a concert and dating Xander. I also loved her friendship with Skye, who is this girl who is like kind of punk and has this really confident vibe. Caymen is also hilarious and sarcastic and essentially awesome.
GUYS! I have found that Kasie West is a master of romance and relationships and writing. At least that is the highly scientific conclusion I have come to as a result of reading all her books in like 3 days. So, okay, this book is also compared to Pride And Prejudice in the blurb and that is right on in that Caymen does not like Xander at first and has all these preconceived notions of him. He’s not really like Mr. Darcy though, except that he’s rich. He really liked Caymen a lot and tries to get to know her. YOU GUYS! They get to know each other through these things called ‘Career Days’ where as a result of a conversation about not knowing what they want to do with their lives they meet up with each other and test out potential careers. These dates are hilarious and funny and yes, I totally laughed out loud. And there’s total chemistry there. AND there’s like another guy at one point, Mason, who Caymen’s mom likes cause he has one of those Chinese character tattoos of the word ‘acceptance.’ But, he doesn’t count. Just, Xander and Caymen are EVERYTHING. And there might just be some kissing and some big declarations is all.
I really liked that West takes on a tricky theme with The Distance Between Us and that’s the theme of privilege. Yet, she doesn’t turn it into one of those shouty types of books. Instead, we learn that yes, Xander and Caymen have drastically different lives and truly when you have money you do have a lot more options than someone who is broke as a joke. I liked that Xander wasn’t made out to be a bad guy or anything because of his funds. I also really liked Xander’s grandmother, she’s awesome and kind of disproves the whole rich jerk thing. It was interesting to see Caymen’s reactions to upper class people as a result of her upbringing and her mother’s opinions. I wasn’t quite expecting this book to delve where it did, and ultimately I am pleased with the experience.
If you’re looking for a book to warm you up during this freezing cold winter, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West will do the trick. For real, there’s feels and swoons and secrets and great characters. This book made me feel all gushy and warm inside in a totally non-gross way.