Published by HarperTeen on July 2nd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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 knew from the moment I read Pivot Point in February that this would be good. Then I saw that cover and it turned into a must-have. Now I have read it, and my first real thought is that I should congratulate Kasie West because she has made her way onto my auto-buy list. I love her writing and her storytelling, and so, for the foreseeable future, I will be pre-ordering any book she comes out with. That’s just how much I loved The Distance Between Us.
Right from the first chapter, I was in love with the main character, Caymen. She is absolutely – freaking – hilarious. She has a sarcastic mind that even beats my own, and her quips and one-liners constantly had me giggling and flailing. It made for some of the best dialogue out there and so many quotable quotes.
“Is that your subtle way of saying you missed me last week?”She is one of my favorite characters ever—and definitely within the contemporary romance genre. Aside from her sarcasm, I loved her loyalty to her mother, and her difficulty to trust Xander. It all felt extremely real and authentic, and that is an absolute must for me in contemporary books. Kasie West makes amazing characters, that’s for sure. And she also didn’t disappoint by putting another awesome friendship in here between Caymen and her best friend, Skye. I loved the two together and it was definitely reminiscent of Addie and Laila (Pivot Point).
“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.” The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Then there’s Xander Spence. Someone, bring me a fan. That boy is just so amazing. He’s like…. what the love interest in This is What Happy Looks Like should have been. He is dreamy and swoon-worthy. I love his little crooked smile, his secret weapon. I love his obvious enjoyment of Caymen’s sarcasm. I love his reluctance about his position – that he can still be down-to-earth at times. But he also needs Caymen. She grounds him.
That’s one thing I loved about their romance—they complimented each other perfectly. They were just what the other needed. But the absolute best part was that this was a slow-building romance that was perfectly natural and never felt cliché or predictable. I’m not a contemporary romance girl (I keep saying that, but I have been reading a lot of them lately) mostly because straight-up romance will bore me with its cliché nature. That’s not the case here. The Distance Between Us is everything I could ask from a contemporary romance. It is top notch. And I just loved it.
While the story does center a lot on the slow-building romance between Caymen and Xander, there’s also more to take away from the story. Caymen is in the position to decide if she wants to delay college and take a gap year to help her mother with her struggling business or if she should choose for herself and make her own life. It was a truly touching tale of loyalty and complemented the romance beautifully.
And to that point, I think one of the things I love most about Kasie West’s writing and storytelling is that she doesn’t only focus on the relationship dynamics between the two main characters. Here she also looks at Caymen and Skye, Caymen and her mother, Xander and his parents, Skye and her boyfriend—and each of them is really interesting with well fleshed out characters. It makes for a well-rounded and authentic world that is hard not to love.