Title: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published: July 2nd, 2013 by HarperTeen
Age group: Young adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Grade rate: A
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.
Lately I’d been starting books to only get disinterested by them after a few pages. When I saw Hannah’s review of this book, I knew I had to try it (*waves at Hannah*). I love The Distance Between Us! Such an easy book to read, I devoured it in no time; it was just what the doctor ordered :)
The plot of The Distance Between Us is simple for a contemporary romance, although there is a twist at the end as I suspected. Now thinking back on the reason that I loved it so, I guess it has to do with a combination of amazing characters, and splendid writing. I like that there was no instant romance nor was there a marked love triangle. As I said, the writing is superb, as is the characterization.
Caymen is a big believer in irony. Her thoughts and comments are so snarky, testy and critical of everything and everyone, at least at first impression. She is prejudiced against the ‘rich’ because she has been raised that way by her mom (I knew there had to be more to that story). Caymen is pretty, smart, responsible, loyal, and outwardly perfect. However, she’s missing the experiences of having an active social life, and doing things that she love instead of feeling pressure to do the things her mother wants. Deep down it seems that she has a pessimistic (or realistic?) personality and is always expecting the worst from everyone.
Xander is mostly awesome. I am a firm believer that there is someone for everyone, in The Distance Between Us, Xander is Caymen’s someone. Even though Xander is rich, by not fault of his own, mind you; he is down to earth and was able to see under Caymen’s façade and get under her skin. He seems to have everything, money, looks, and the best of everything; but he’s reveling against a future that seems to be planned for him. I think that the ‘game’ he designed to keep seeing Caymen was a stroke of genius.
I felt bad for Caymen’s mom because she left an experience from her past taint her views of people. I think she grew to be very distrustful, strict, and unbending and tried to infuse these views and feelings to her daughter. This woman can sure hold a grudge!
This is one of the books that I wish had a sequel or at least a companion book. Why? Because I felt that there were a lot unanswered questions here. I would love to see what happens next. How does Caymen’s relationship with her grandparents develops? What happens next with Xander and Caymen? Do they get to go to college? How about the doll store and Caymen’s mom? See… I need more! I think Kasie West will quickly become one of my favorite new authors.
About the cover: I love this cover, the colors, the play of dark and light the couple standing there; holding hands and the font (see how D.I.S.T.A.N.C.E is spelled out to create, well, more distance between the letters).