Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West Review

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
320 Pages
Source: ARC Tour
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


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. -(from Goodreads) 


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

My Thoughts:  You know, I read Pivot Point by Kasie West and absolutely fell in love with it. I thought it was brilliant and am having an actual fit for the next book to be released. When I saw The Distance Between Us with that super-pretty cover, I thought YAY I CAN HANDLE THE WAIT A LITTLE BETTER BECAUSE KASIE WEST IS GIVING US A LITTLE SOMETHING IN THE MEANTIME!! (That's total sincerity for my excitement.) And I actually devoured The Distance Between Us in just a couple of hours, so I think I can safely say that I'm a fan of Kasie West, particularly since she's done both contemporary and non-contemporary and I've really liked both. 

The first thing you need to know is this
Cayman Meyers is the POOR girl.
Cayman works with her mom in the doll store that they own. Yes, porcelain dolls, which is creepy as heck. They live above the store in a super-tiny apartment. Cayman doesn't know her father - she only knows that he is a rich lawyer living in New York. She has grown up knowing that her mother doesn't like rich people at all, and she's sort of carried that feeling over into her own life. Not on purpose, really - it's just that she hasn't ever taken the time to really meet any rich people or get to know any. She knows that her mother wouldn't approve and it wouldn't be worth the crap her mom would put her through, to be honest. 

But one day, Xander Spence walks in. He OOZES money, just drips it. He has the perfect haircut, the perfect clothes and shoes, and his name is Xander for cryin-out-loud. Rich guy, hmph

But he's really nice and he's awfully cute. So, there's that. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
Xander Spence is RICH. Like, really stinkin rich. 
Yes, he is well-dressed. Yes, he is well-mannered. Yes, he has a super-shiny, really nice car or two. But he's also actually down-to-earth and he seems to be as much of a regular guy as possible, given that he's one of the richest guys around. 

Caymen finds out that he has a connection to one of her favorite customers - one that she didn't realize was rich, actually, and suddenly her world is COMPLETELY SHAKEN. See, this guy keeps showing up to her tiny little store. TO SEE HER. Why on earth would a rich guy like Xander Spence want to see someone like Caymen? 

They start spending some time together - he really likes the fact that she has almost no clue who he really is and how rich he really is - and he really loves her wit and snark and exceptional sarcasm. They both share a desire to not be like their parents, so they build a friendship/relationship beginning with that tiny bud of information. And from there, it grows, despite the fact that these two people couldn't possibly be more different. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
The blurb on the back of the book compares this story to 
PRETTY IN PINK.  
You guys, I'm such a big fan of John Hughes and his movies and his stories and everything, everything, everything. So when I was reading the back of the book - before I even started the book - I got a little nervous. Those are mighty big shoes to fill, in my opinion. So I started the story a little guarded, and with good reason. But I see the comparison to Pretty in Pink and I think I approve. Caymen and Xander aren't the characters from the movie, of course, but there is a pretty big undercurrent of similarity and I really enjoyed that. A lot. Like, enough that I want to go watch the movie now...so whoever made that comparison was pretty right-on. 

ALSO: I will always, always love the rich/poor, wrong side of the tracks/right side of the tracks stories. Always. Fist pumps for forbidden love! 

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is a great little story, in my opinion, that left me with a happy feeling and I was thrilled that I read it. Not only was it just a JOY to look at that pretty cover, but it was a quick read, a happy read, and I think it is great for the summertime (even though the story takes place during the school year). 

Caymen Meyers is a fun character. She's got this wonderful dry humor about her that I just love. I love it because I have it too, you see, so it was nice to read someone that is a little bit like me. I had no trouble at all when she was being snarky becuase I GOT IT. Everytime she said something that was super-close to being obnoxious, I was right there with her and laughing, actually. I think that in real life where some people might have a little bit of trouble connecting to a person like her, she and I would get along really well - which is what was great about her relationship with Xander Spence. He "got" her too, believe it or not. Oftentimes we think of the very rich as stuffy and difficult, but this guy had a sense of humor that ended up very much like Caymen's, and this made for a pleasant and enjoyable story. 

Caymen's mother also "got" her sense of humor, but I don't think she completely appreciated it. Her mother was a little tough for me to love, I think. As I was reading, I could appreciate her sacrifices and efforts to make ends meet in their tiny little corner of the world, but I had a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that she made it more difficult for Caymen by filling her head with thoughts about "rich" people that were just so unnecessary and unkind. There were other actions by Caymen's mother that I didn't really love either, so at the end of the story, I just had to accept that she and I were not going to mesh very well (yes, I know she isn't real).

Xander Spence! Hooray for the guy that broke the stereotype for rich people in Caymen's eyes! Were it not for Xander coming into the store when he did, she may have grown up to be much like her mother, and her life would have turned out to be a little lot different. While Caymen tried to be rude to him, Xander gave as good as he got, and that warmed her up to him right away. From there, watching the two of them build a relationship was just tons of fun. Period. 

There is a ton of stuff that happens, though, while they are building their relationship - some really great dates, some big misunderstandings - not gonna spoil anything, but some of it is a bit cliche and predictable (particularly since the book mentions the similarity to Pretty in Pink). Does this bother me? Heck no! I absolutely love that movie and I really liked this story, even down to the obnoxious secondary characters (and lovable ones). 

I recommend The Distance Between Us by Kasie West to fans of YA Contemporary Romance, fans of John Hughes and Pretty In Pink, and fans of those gosh-darn awesome rich/poor forbidden love stories with HEA endings. This one is fun, you guys. It's a quick read and it's nice and swoony. 

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The Distance Between Us will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary Romance
Romance: Slowly-developing. No Triangle. 

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
is currently available for purchase.

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Is THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US on your to-read list? 
Do you love the movie Pretty In Pink?
They're similar! Says so in the blurb on the ARC!

Talk to me!! 

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19 comments:

  1. I just read this this weekend AND wrote my review this morning. Really liked this book a lot. You're right. It's the perfect summer read. It balances serious with fun and cute romance which I liked a lot. I thought Caymen was a great main character!

    Glad we agree! xo

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    1. YAY!! It was such a fun book. I FLEW thru it. I loved Caymen so much with all of her sass, which wasn't rude but fun. And Xander was so swoony. This is 2/2 for Kasie West! Can't wait for her next one cause Pivot Point left me wanting MORE.

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  2. Awesome. I'm on the hunt for this book on my bookstore jaunt tonight. Thanks for the lovely review. I am a big fan of Pretty in Pink, though I have hoped for a Ducky HEA. :)

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    1. I know! I love Ducky too! But I think if you love Pretty in Pink you'll really love this one. It's so much fun. I expected to like it, but I was so excited by HOW MUCH I did. So great. It's re-readable and fun and summer-y.

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  3. I'm seriously excited to read this book! I wasn't too sure how I felt about it before, but I can never resist a pretty cover and a story about the rich/poor type of romance. I love that you enjoyed this one!

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    1. It's fun, Alexa! The rich/poor storyline is what MAKES this book - kind of like Perfect Chemistry but more like Pretty in Pink, the movie. I absolutely enjoyed it to pieces. Perfect summer read.

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  4. Alright! A non-fluff contemporary!?! I was debating about this one but I think you swung me! I love your reviews, as always :)

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    1. This one is so fun because it's a quick, mindless read that just takes you someplace for a little while. It's sweetly swoony. I liked it.

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  5. This one does sound good! Would you believe I actually haven't seen Pretty in Pink? I almost had the opportunity to once but it didn't work out...I really need to get on that! Maybe reading the book will make me want to watch the movie even more. I'm not really sure about how I feel about rich/poor relationships since I feel like I haven't come across those too much in books/films. I can totally see why they're appealing, however, and am sure I'll love how it is here. I'm also a West fangirl after Pivot Point (although I think it's more of a contemp with slight supernatural elements than anything else, actually), so I'm excited to read her second work. Wonderful review, Asheley!

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  6. Everyone get's all freaked out about the Doll Shop thing! Funny:) Yes, I love the rich/ poor, affluent and wealthy/ wrong side of the tracks storyline too. Growing up with the MASTER of all things TEEN, Mr. John Hughes, how could I not?? This was a cute book. I liked Caymen and all her snark too.

    Still wish their had been a Duckie Dale in this book though :)

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    1. When I was younger, my grandmother had a big doll that stood up and I felt like her eyes would follow me across the room. She had a room in her house that was for her dolls and we called it the doll room. Weirdly, it was one of the extra bedrooms and at holidays, nobody wanted to be the one left with that room. It was horrifying, all of those doll eyes. So creepy!

      I actually DID go back and watch Pretty In Pink the other night. Well, you knew that, I think. But yes, this was a super cute book. I missed a Duckie character in it too, but maybe if there'd have been on, the similarities would've been too many?

      I LOVED Xander. Great character and super swoony.

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  7. Loved this one. Made my summer day at the beach, I laughed like an idiot in front of everyone.

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    1. Yep! This one was so much fun! I'm so glad I read it - super quick with a pretty cover and a fun story. Sometimes we just need contemps exactly like this one.

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  8. I just really had so much fun reading this book, and I was almost caught me off guard by how much I enjoyed it! There were a few things about the ending that I didn't love but I still found this little gem totally refreshing with it's sarcasm and well-developed friendship turned romance. This is a book I'd LOVE to see turned into a movie, too!

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  9. I loved this book. I have read Kasie West's books (except On The Fence) and The Distance Between Us so far is my favorite. :)

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  10. I just read this book last night and I'm legit in love!!! Her sense of humor!!! And Xander!!! <3 haha

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  11. I've been looking forward to this book for a while now, and I just can't get over how pretty the cover is (even if it's the cliche headless backlit people trope).

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  12. Where does the book take place?

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  13. Where does the book take place?

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