Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us (Kasie West)

The Distance Between UsTitle: The Distance Between Us
Series: standalone
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Told: First Person (Caymen), Present Tense
Content Rating: Teen (sarcasm, kissing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
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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.

*          *          *

Three Words: Snark. Prejudice. Fun.

Cover: I love the warm color scheme, and the title fonts show the fun, laid-back nature of the story.

Writing: Quick and easy with short chapters and a fun, consistent voice.

Setting: A small beach town where there are two types of people: the rich, and those who sell to them. There wasn't much to the town, but we travel to some interesting and unusual spots (graveyard, anyone?), and meet some interesting and unusual people.

Story: After purchasing a present in her mother's doll shop, rich boy Xander takes an interest in poor, snarky Caymen, and she has to fight her attraction to him as he basically whisks her off her feet. But what is the real motive behind his interest in her? It's billed as Pretty In Pink meets Pride and Prejudice, and while I've never seen Pretty In Pink, the Pride and Prejudice angle is spot-on - I felt this connection long before I read the billing. It's a very simple story that felt like not much of anything happened and yet I was thoroughly engrossed - another testament to the magnificent talent that is Ms. West. I was surprised that it felt a little heavier than I normally expect from a light contemporary romance like this, but overall everything about it was just right.

Characters: Caymen was sarcastic, insecure, prejudiced, and heavily self-absorbed even as she struggled to help her mother with their failing store. These may not sound like very pretty traits in a viewpoint character, but her life wasn't very pretty so you really couldn't blame her for how she reacted to it. Almost her entire life was spent doing something and being somewhere she didn't enjoy, and before Xander came along she didn't really have an escape from it. But as the story progressed she learned to be more adventurous and have fun, and her rough edges eventually smoothed out a bit. Xander was sweet and playful, but also rich and pushy - he grew up privileged and couldn't imagine another way of living. When he wanted to do something he found a way to do it, and couldn't understand when others couldn't. But he proved good for Caymen in many ways, helping her break out of the life she'd caged herself into and showing her she was allowed to have dreams of her own.

Relationships: Caymen and Xander's relationship was one wrought with misunderstandings and, on her end, heavy prejudice. Caymen's mother had bred into her a disdain for the rich, so she fought tooth and nail against her attraction to Xander, even as he proved time and again to be a sweet, lovable guy. Luckily, love will out.

Conclusion: I expected excellent writing and a fun, easy story, and Ms. West did not disappoint. I plan to read anything and everything written by her, and cannot recommend this book highly enough if you need a good light romance!

Scribble Rating
4.5 of 5 Scribbles


  1. Awwww, it's Kanye's book! I really wanna read this one. It sounds so awesome! And did you say "graveyards"? I'm a huge fan of graveyards. So that just ups my need for this one! Great review!

  2. THis sounds like what I need to read after serious espionage and drug trafficking stories. Than you. I put it on my to read list.
    Thanks for the review.