Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between UsThe Distance Between Us
by Kasie West
Published: 02 July 2013
HarperTeen, Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Library

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Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s 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 Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty 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. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Rating: ★★★★½

This. This book. Oh my, I could snuggle with it forever. Or more accurately, I would like to grab Caymen and Xander and smush them together forever. The Distance Between Us will make you smile for a whole day (or a few days) after finishing it. Before this, I’ve read one other book by Kasie West, Pivot Point, and really enjoyed it, especially the romance. So when i found out she had a YA contemporary romance, I simply had to read it despite not being a big fan of contemporary novels. That might be changing though, with the numerous amazing contemporary novels I’ve read recently.

The Distance Between Us is told from the point of view of Caymen, the protagonist, and her perspective was such a joy to read from. She has perfected the art of sarcasm and dry humor and is definitely the sort of person I would love to be friends with. Not only was Caymen a fun character, she was also an amazing daughter. Throughout the book, I kept feeling like I was such a crappy daughter as compared to her. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I rarely see YA novels focused on mother-daughter relationships and Kasie West definitely pulled off a realistic and touching bond between Caymen and her Mom in this novel.

I know, it sounds as if Caymen is almost too perfect from my description of her. But wait, she’s got her flaws too. Caymen had the tendency to jump to conclusions and make rash assumptions but these imperfections actually complemented her character because they fit her personality so well. Caymen was not the only well-rounded one in the book, of course. All of the other major characters were too. Those who were kind had the tendency to get pushed around and those who were rich (it’s pretty obvious who I’m speaking of here) had the natural bad habits of those who have gotten used to having almost everything materialistically. I’m not implying that the wealthy characters had bad attitudes; I mean their flaws are just those that can’t really be helped as they are a result of how said characters were raised – hence the awesomely life-like personas.

He took the ridiculousness, the fire hydrant, from my song and made me realize it could be something more, something different.
– p. 220

graydividerWhat I loved best about The Distance Between Us was its simplicity. In contemporaries, I really love it when authors can create a great story without needing to include huge, dramatic events. I mean, come on, real life is (unfortunately) not as eventful as life in a fictional world. Caymen and Xander’s relationship, too, reflected this simplicity. Little walks to school, their weekly ‘Career Days’ and pre-sipped hot chocolate – all these little things will make readers swoon without going overboard with the romance. Moreover, it was wonderful that their connection can still develop steadily without needing to spend every single waking hour with each other.

With a mostly non-complicated storyline, The Distance Between Us is the sort of book where you can simply sit back, relax and let Kasie West manipulate your feelings while the plot smoothly unravels. I found myself flipping the pages at an insane speed and before I realized it, I’ve finished the book and was bursting at the seams with feels of the cute and fluffy variety. Feeling like you need a quick, fluffy but still spectacular read? The Distance Between Us is definitely one I would recommend for that. After reading this novel, Kasie West can throw me any story that includes romance and I would definitely read it happily and enthusiastically.


6 thoughts on “Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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