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A Reader of Fictions: Review: The Distance Between Us

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us

Author: Kasie West
Pages: 320
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Read: June 29-30, 2013
Source: Gifted - thanks Lenore!

Description from Goodreads:
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.

First Sentence: "My eyes burn a whole in the page."

Kasie West debuted earlier this year, and she's pretty much one of my favorite authors already. She excels at characters and romances. Basically, her books make my heart oh so happy. The Distance Between Us has a little bit in common with Pivot Point, but is largely a departure from the much more serious tone of that series. The Distance Between Us is fluffy good times of the highest order.

To figure out if you would enjoy The Distance Between Us, ask yourself if you like the following things: Pretty in Pink and The Gilmore Girls. If you answered yes to one or both, then you should probably make reading this book a priority. If you haven't seen them, then you should probably rectify that AND THEN read this book. If you don't like either one, well, GOOD DAY SIR.

Caymen, whose name is never explained, which is to me the biggest flaw of the book, is my girl. Seriously, she is acerbic and sarcastic like you would not even believe. I imagine that some readers will be rubbed the wrong way by her attitude, but it was like coming home. People never know if she's serious or joking, because she always says things with a straight face. Also, she cannot resist answering a stupid question with an especially sarcastic response, and, oh, how I love her for it.

Here's where things get quirky. Caymen works in a doll store, owned by her mother. Dolls and More barely pays the bills, and Caymen has been raised to hate the privileged, like the man who left her mother. As such, Caymen is disgusted when this obviously rich guy comes into the store and beckons to her, as he talks on the phone. His outfit alone would probably pay expenses for her and her mom for a month. He also happens to be kind of cute, but, ugh, so stuch up and rich.

Of course, that's not all there is to it, because cute, rich boy (Xander) comes back. The relationship between these two is super sweet, especially because all of their problems coming together are really internal aside from her mom being iffy on her dating a rich boy. However, otherwise, the only obstacle really is Caymen's trust issues, which are pretty mighty. Xander definitely becomes a candidate for best book boyfriends, because he is so considerate, doesn't overreact, and apologizes when he's been out of line. There's a lot of bonding and banter here, and, though they do get serious, it feels real and not like forever love; maybe it will last and maybe it won't.

Social classes and economic disparity are central to The Distance Between Us, which is pretty great. Caymen's poor, like shops at thrift stores because she has to poor. There's an incredibly adorable moment where Caymen takes Xander there because his clothes are too nice for a particular outing. The treatment of some of it's a bit idealized, since most of the discomfort about her economic status comes from her. However, Caymen does have some insulting friends, like the ones that show up in Pretty in Pink. Anyway, I really appreciate that West chose a heroine who's not in the upper or middle classes.

On top of that, West, like in Pivot Point, does a fantastic job building out the supporting cast. There's a healthy female best friendship depicted between Caymen and Skye, who couldn't be more different, but love and support each other endlessly. Skye's boyfriend, Henry, who initially is kind of weird and didn't mesh with Caymen or me, turns out to be a sweetie and hilarious. Xander and Caymen's families both are well built as well. I love that West doesn't skimp out on the supporting cast. I love it so much.

When you find yourself in need of a fluffy, happy-making read, look no further than The Distance Between Us. With well-developed characters, snappy dialogue and abundant humor, Kasie West's novels are must reads for me.

Rating: 4.5/5

Favorite Quote:
"'What rhymes with "fire hydrant"?'
     Mason gets serious and I think he's going to say something like 'Don't be an idiot. Why are you singing about a fire hydrant?' But instead he says, 'I don't know, "wire tyrant"?'
     'What's a wire tyrant'?
     'You know, someone who hoards all the wire. It's a rising epidemic.'"
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Blogger Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

Sounds like a great book. I LOVE the Gilmore Girls. So with that being said, this just got added to my list.
Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

July 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Giselle said...

Bahaha. Dude Gilmore Girls is only my favorite TV series EVER! I have never watched Pretty in Pink though *hides*.

OMG a doll store? Eek! *hides again* lol

I only realized it was the same author as Pivot Point a few days ago. I didn't LOVE that book but it was still a good read.

Sounds perfect for this time of year, too!

July 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Super great, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

July 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

OH REALLY? Then you must read this. I only watched Pretty in Pink in full the day I wrote the review, so no judging. It's not my favorite, but it was entertaining enough. Don't tell Gillian, though.

Creepy, right? I could not deal with that.

Gah, I did love it. :-p

Yup, great summery read!

July 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I LOVE the quote you wrote. It's so hilarious and I LOVE quirky sarcastic characters
GREAT review
I might as well add this to my TBR
Your reader,

July 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

If you like sarcastic characters, you certainly should.

July 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Audra said...

omg, this made me howl:

'What's a wire tyrant'?
'You know, someone who hoards all the wire. It's a rising epidemic.'

I love wry, snarky banter. YUM!

July 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YES! You know what's even better about that? Neither of the people talking are the MCs. Even the supporting cast has great banter. It's fantasticness.

July 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

AHHHH! I AM NOT READING THIS BECAUSE I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK AND I WANT TO KNOW NOTHING. OMG it's out today? hmm a trip to the bookstore is definitely needed then. Although, I don't even know why I am bothering to get excited my city freaking sucks and nowhere actually has books on their release day. You have to wait like a week to get the book that you want. Which is annoying and has led me to want to boycott Chapters, but that never lasts long because I'm like a crack addict with the books.

July 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Yep, just checked and not 1 Chapters has this book in my city. Way to suck ass stupid bookstore. *rages*

July 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

The worst part is is that they are just giving business to Kindle. Just handing it over on a silver platter. I mean I want the book TODAY and since I can't go to the bookstore and get a pretty finished copy the only option to get it TODAY is to buy it for my Kindle. Because I have no patience. NONE.

Ok I am leaving now.

July 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Gilmore Girls? What? Gosh, I haven't read Pivot Point either and her second book is already due to be out?? I must get on this. Great review. :)

July 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger fakesteph said...

I am so so so so glad you liked this one. I've been seeing mixed reviews, but I LOOOOVOED Pivot Point and am extra excited for The Distance Between Us. Hopefully it shows up on my doorstep today. :)

July 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked West's first book so I'm super relieved that you liked this one too. Woooot!

July 2, 2013 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Christina Reads YA said...

"If you haven't seen them, then you should probably rectify that AND THEN read this book."

:D Oops. But I did see a few Gilmore Girl episodes, and I liked them so...

"Caymen, whose name is never explained, which is to me the biggest flaw of the book, is my girl."

If that's the biggest flaw, then this book must be fucking awesome.
Also, from your description of her, she sounds exactly like my best friends. I've always been envious of poker faces like that...

"Anyway, I really appreciate that West chose a heroine who's not in the upper or middle classes."

Yes, this is another type of diversity that is desperately needed in YA... and YES to awesome supporting casts and a HEALTHY female friendship.


July 2, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

Are there people out there that don't like Pretty in Pink or The Gilmore Girls? Is that even possible?

So excited for this one!! I wish she would have explained her name, but whatever, it looks cute and fun and that's all I need!

July 3, 2013 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup! West just burst onto the scene and I hope she keeps writing all the books. Love, love, love!

July 3, 2013 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh really? The only review I've seen is Gillian's and she loved it. Haha. I mean, it's a fluff read, so I think a lot of people rate down for that. But it's a GOOD fluff read, so...I don't know.

July 3, 2013 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Me tooooooo.

July 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, then you'll probably be okay.

Well, I am pretty annoyed of all the weird names that go unexplained, like there are Caymens walking around everywhere.


July 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ummm, probably, sadly, but I do not know them. Well, I'm not sure if my dad would like them, but I bet Gilmore Girls would charm him.

I think you'll love it for sure!

July 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great review, and yay giveaway!

I just realised that you must have had no idea who I was when I tweeted to you, haha. I'm the creeper who checks out your blog often but always forgets to comment (not this time, though).

Keep going because I really love your style (especially Cover Snark brightens up my Thursdays!) :)

July 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

BAHAHAHAHAHA. That is all.

July 3, 2013 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, oh lurkers. So sneaky and surprising.


July 3, 2013 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I loved this book too!! It was very real and that is a big thing for me when reading contemporary. I adored Xander. He was fabulous. Caymen's mom drove me a little nuts, but not too bad. This is one of those books that I need to get a finished copy of. I already have passed on my ARC because I wanted to spread the love and awesomeness of this book!! Great review!

July 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

This one looks cute but not review as really made me want to read it until yours. Thanks for another great review, Christina. I love sarcastic characters!

July 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Alexia Boesen said...

Like I told you,I JUST found out that Pivot Point was finally shipped. And now I see that you are giving away The Distance Between Us. I'm giddy with excitement!

July 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ugh I am dying to read this book

July 8, 2013 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'm one of those people who hasn't seen either Gilmore Girls or Pretty in Pink - but I hope to rectify that! And to also read this book. :) I quite enjoyed Pivot Point and am eager to see a new side of West's writing through this novel. Like you mentioned, I also think it's awesome that this book features a non-upper- or middle-class citizen, even if she still is white. Wonderful review, Christina! I can't wait to read this one.

July 9, 2013 at 9:08 PM  

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