Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: 07/02/2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Description: 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.
Thoughts: I was so excited for this book. I put it on my top 10 summer reads, the story sounded amazing, and I loved Kasie West’s first book Pivot Point (my review); so this seemed like the perfect storm. I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the book, I really enjoyed it, but I do think it also had a few issues.
I really loved Caymen as a main character. She was smart, snarky, and very real. But I absolutely hated her name. Seriously, what kind of name is that? When I say I hated her name it’s not just that I personally don’t like the name, it’s that the name is so strange that every time I read it it took me out of the story and then annoyed me. I think it bothers me even more because it just seems so senseless. It might sound petty, but the name seriously took the book down a quarter of a star for me.
Luckily, as I said, I really did like Caymen and I especially liked Caymen with Xander. I thought the poor girl, rich guy set up was a good one and overall the dynamics of their beach town (which I personally know well) and Xander’s family seemed very true to life to me. I can’t say the same about Caymen’s mom. She was just too extreme for me to really buy as a character. Caymen claimed that her mother and her were close, but I didn’t get that from this story. I also thought that how Caymen’s mom treated her as free labor was very unfair.
I liked the pace at which Caymen and Xander’s relationship developed, it was a slow burn romance, which I like, and I also thought that Caymen might not have been able to handle anything more intense. Some of the pacing with the rest of the book bothered me. The story had quick transitions from scene to scene that were days apart, something I’m just not personally a fan of. There was also a lot that happened towards the end of the book that involved some pretty major revelations being squeezed in and quickly resolved.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t a perfect book, I wasn’t disappointed with it and I really did like and connect with the main character. The romance was also great, even if Caymen’s relationship with her mother felt a little off. All that said I still think this makes a pretty great summer read.