Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

I was so impressed with Kasie West's debut earlier this year that I knew I'd have to pick up any subsequent books she wrote.  And since Pivot Point had a distinctly contemporary feel, despite being a science fiction novel about parallel timelines, I knew that this new contemporary novel from her was a must-read.

That cover is gorgeous, right?  I'll admit, I bought a paperback, just so that beautiful cover could grace my shelves.  But it's a little disconcerting, considering the premise of the story because Caymen's the one who should be wearing jeans and tennis shoes, while Xander would be outfitted in his finest threads.  Still, it does make for a pretty cover, so I won't complain too much.  :)

Besides, I still really enjoy the author's writing style, and that's what matters most, right?  She didn't have to create a new world, or a world within a world like she did in Pivot Point, but she still painted quite the vivid picture of the old town shopping center that was home to Caymen's mother's doll shop, as well as their apartment.  And I've always thought porcelain dolls were a little creepy -- my mother liked to collect them when I was younger, though, she gave up the hobby rather quickly, thank goodness -- but imagining the walls lined with doll upon doll based on Caymen's descriptions?  Yeah, that's the stuff of nightmares right there.
“Is that your subtle way of saying you missed me last week?”
“I've missed my hot chocolate. I just think of you as the guy who brings it to me. Sometimes I forget your name and call you hot chocolate guy.”
And that's part of why I loved Caymen's character.  She's got this acerbic wit and sarcastic sense of humor that, well, reminds me of my own.  (People often don't get my jokes either.)  But that's apparently what caught Xander's fancy.  His fascination with Caymen is because she makes him feel normal...often by playfully berating him, but it is what it is.

I like that Xander doesn't outwardly chase Caymen, not while he thinks she has a boyfriend and not until he's sure she feels something for him, too.  Even so, he did try his best to woo her.  All those fancy "career" days.  The morning cup of pre-sipped hot chocolate.  But the witty repartee they had going....that was what sold me on their relationship.  I do love my banter.  ;0)
“You look terrified. Does this scare you?”
“More than anything.”
“Because I didn’t bring my mints.”
“And now the real answer . . .”
“Because I’m afraid that once you catch me, the game’s over.”
This novel induced a riot of laughter from me at times, but it also hit upon some more serious issues for the couple.  Namely, how to bridge that social gap, even though that kind of ended up being a non-issue in the end.  But there were also issues of financial instability, physical health problems, and family secrets.  And it felt like these were all swept under the rug.  None of them were really dealt with.  The Distance Between Us ends on a happy note, as if everything has been magically fixed because, yay, true love conquers all!  I just wish those issues had been explored a little further before that abrupt ending.  I could've used another thirty pages or so of resolution.

Despite a couple of minor complaints, I had a lot of fun reading this novel, and I'm still definitely a huge fan of this author.  This novel was the epitome of adorable, and I definitely recommend that you add this entertaining novel to your summer reading list.  If you're a fan of fun contemporary reads, this book is for you!

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

About the author:

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My debut novel Pivot Point (HarperTeen) came out February 12, 2013, and will be followed by its sequel in 2014. I also have a contemporary The Distance Between Us coming out July 2, 2013, with HarperTeen. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Find Kasie:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. sounds so cute. i loved pivot point. can't wait to read the rest of her books

    great review

  2. I think an extra 30 pages would have been perfect...or had the other characters get introduced earlier in the novel. It was just like: and then this happens, bye. I did think the novel was very cute overall and really liked both Caymen and Xander. And I can't wait for the next book in the Pivot Point series. Great review!

  3. Glad to hear you liked it. This one is a must on my summer reading list.

  4. This sounds like the great summer read I was hoping for :) Caymen's sense of humor is right up my alley and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! What you said about the resolution sounds a bit disappointing (things not being properly dealt with) but I think I'd really like this book anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Great review, Jen! I really want to read this one. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  6. OMG yes! You are the first person I've seen to mention how the cover is backwards! I noticed but forgot to write about it in my review. lol I'm glad you liked this one too. :)

  7. Huh, I hadn't thought about it, but you are so right about the cover, how it should be vice versa. I really do want to read this book, which is unusual for me, b/c I normally don't read that much contemporary YA. But I love banter and sarcasm, so yay!

  8. I love the quotes. This book does sound fun. Great review.

  9. You just made me want to read this even more! It sounds so light and fun, and I'm definitely ready for the laughs <3

    - Kazhy @ My Library in the Making

  10. Gah! I MUST have this for my shelf. Story sounds adorable, and that cover is amazing! It's on my birthday list, so I'm waiting patiently (I'm trying my damnedest to remain patient!) to see if I get it next week... otherwise I'll be getting it myself for sure!! Glad you enjoyed it. :)


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