The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published By: Harper Teen
Published On: July 2, 2013
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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.
While helping out in her mother’s doll store, Caymen meets the handsome and charming Xander Spence. However, there is one big problem – he’s rich. After her mother’s many warnings, Caymen knows to avoid the rich boys with their short attention span and lack of loyalty. Despite knowing her mother would definitely not approve, Caymen can’t help but fall for Xander and his charm.
I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this. I had heard some great things but, if I’m being honest, I didn’t have the highest of expectations. I was expecting a light and fluffy read that I would enjoy but probably not love. I was right about enjoying it, but it was so much better than I had anticipated. It was so much more than just a light and fluffy read.
This was quite a unique, fun take on the typical contemporary story. It wasn’t your average contemporary story about a girl who falls in love with a boy the first time he every does something nice for her. Caymen was a difficult girl to please and I absolutely loved that about this novel.
It was also very unique in terms of the unusual, but great, doll store setting. I really liked this setting, as it is something you don’t usually see. Dolls are usually associated with creepy horror scenarios so to have this somewhat creepy setting in a contemporary novel was really great. I loved the descriptions of the doll store and I loved what the store represented to Caymen and her mother.
I absolutely loved the characters. Caymen was a great main character, and unlike the majority of main characters in YA contemporary novels. She was snarky and sarcastic, with a witty answer for everything. She was so enjoyable to read about and I totally want her to be my best friend. I also loved Xander. He was charming and funny but also sweet, thoughtful and caring. I even enjoyed the more minor characters as well.
An important part of this story is the contrast between rich and poor and I found it very interesting to see the differences draw between the two. As it plays such an important role in the story, the differences between Xander, and his rich lifestyle, and Caymen, and her not-so-rich lifestyle, had a particular focus. I found it very interesting to see differences that I had never even thought about and to see the way some of the characters reacted to the differences in lifestyles. I think Kasie West did a great job of emphasising the divide between the two lifestyles.
The one thing I didn’t like about this book was the very abrupt ending. I was reading this on my kindle and when I pressed the button for the next page, I thought there was something wrong with my kindle as it claimed that the book was finished. I loved everything up until this point but the ending was such a disappointment for me, purely because of how abrupt it was. Even just a short epilogue would have made the ending much better.
Overall, I really loved this book. It was a unique, fun take on the typical contemporary with some really great characters and an important underlying topic. However, the abrupt ending was a bit of a disappointment and I ended up enjoying the book a little less because of that. Despite that, I would still definitely recommend this book and will be reading more from Kasie West.