Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West

Author: Kasie West
Publication date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
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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.


Review:

First line: My eyes burn a whole in the page.

Kasie West, you have earned yourself another fan! I book binged on The Distance Between Us. I binged so much, it really came back to bite me in the butt the next morning. 

First, let's talk about the cover. There actually isn't much for me to say except that I love it. I want her dress. I want his car. I want HIM. I don't see the main character, Caymen, actually wearing that though. Do I care? Nope. 

Caymen works in her mother's doll shop, which makes the story stand out right there. I have read plenty of books where the character has to work in a family shop, but never have they been dolls. Caymen was somebody who I wished I could be. She said all the sarcastic one liners that I think of later or just never voice. She was absolutely snarktastic in a good way and I loved that. Because if you had to work in a failing doll store with so-called snooty wealthy people, you need a sarcasm outlet for it.

No one truly appreciated her sarcasm except for maybe Xander.
Most importantly, I connected with Caymen. Even though I only think the things she says, I knew how she was feeling when it came to humankind although she mostly had a problem with the rich while I just don't like anybody and I totally amen'd her when it came to how creepy dolls are or when she refused to drink *high fives* or just simply her narration about her life. I related to her voice and couldn't stop smiling at her wit.

"No, I'm fine with boringness, thank you." In fact, I've settled into my monotonous life pretty well, only feeling the urge to rip my hair out about once a week now.

I did have a shaky time with her and her mother though. Caymen has never been a fan of the rich since her mother got knocked up by a rich guy and was paid by his parents to go away and to not contact them. While her mother got disowned by her own parents as well and left to run a rapidly sinking doll shop, the rich father went off to be a lawyer. That hurts, I get it. But Caymen only mentions how her mother doesn't like the rich. We never actually see it though. Caymen remarks on their well-off customers or has a well-balanced snarky attitude as she waits on them and her mother corrects her. She doesn't encourage it whatsoever. Am I missing something here? I'm not annoyed with this supposedly bitter mother because she's doing what a mother should be doing, encouraging her daughter to be well-behaved and nice especially to the people shopping in your store. But why is Caymen so paranoid about her mother meeting her rich sort of boyfriend when her mother hasn't given her one hint that she would be disappointed in her? 

"Why do I get the feeling you didn't want me to meet your mom back there?"
I thought it had escaped his notice. Apparently not. "Because I didn't."
"Well, that would explain the feeling."

Which leads to Xander. 


Sure, he may come off a little pompous in the beginning by "beckoning" her, but I knew that he was truly a good guy from the start. He was definitely one of the best, realistic love interests I've read this year, that's for sure. Sweet, charming, unashamed of their growing relationship/friendship, respectful, eager to meet the mother, BRINGER OF HOT CHOCOLATE...the guy is a keeper, folks. I loved seeing their relationship grow. She was witty and sarcastic, he was smitten and basically everything else. They connected through his belief that they were very much alike, both trapped in futures they didn't want to have. Neither of them care for their lives, but Xander won me over because he constantly encouraged her to break free of the dolls' chains. While Caymen seemed to be in sweet turmoil since Xander entered her life because they were so not right for each other whatever, Caymen, he still balanced her life out by being him.

"It's not just grave digging, Xander. It's about this whole place. Living a quiet life surrounded by peaceful death."
"You are morbid."

My only real issue was the ending. Of course, I can't really say why. But Kasie West made me a bit disgruntled at the fact that everything was wrapped up too neatly. Oh, this thing happens and now this thing just magically is made better? Then this is quickly explained and this subplot is miraculously fixed? So that's it? We're all good? Well. Okay then. 

I wouldn't trade my reading experience of this book for anything else because I absolutely enjoyed it. I book binged way later than I should have and happily slept with thoughts of Xander and even Caymen's snark and woke up with sad realization that I finished the book. So thankfully, the ending didn't ruin the whole story for me, but I wished that it was somehow handled better. 

Verdict: A super enjoyable read that makes me anxiously await West's other books and AH, ADORBS ALL AROUND.

Note: As an ARC, these quotes may have changed. 

Also, don't forget you have one more week to enter in my blogoversary giveaway!

32 comments:

  1. I am so glad to see your praising review of this book Sunny, because I recently brought a copy and now I'm totally excited about diving right in. I'm a contemporary girl at heart, but lately some books haven't been hitting the spot, but I think the Distance between us defintiely will! Gorgeous review! :)

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    1. Good, I'm so happy you bought it! I know exactly what you mean with contemporary. Thank you!

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  2. I loved Caymen's snark. lol It always makes for an interesting read. I'm such a huge fan of Kasie West after this book and Pivot Point. Can't wait for her future work!

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this book! I agree with you though, about the ending. It felt like everything got wrapped up to quickly! I did love the book overall though! I loved how sarcastic Caymen was! And Xander was great! I'm looking forward to her next contemporary book, On The Fence! It sounds like it will be really good! :)

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    1. Oh my, I am absolutely giddy about her next book.

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  4. Yay, I'm so glad you loved this one, too, Sunny! :D I loved Xander, the bringer of hot chocolate, and Caymen was just the perfect amount of snarky. =) It is totally adorbs, though I agree, the ending was a little too neatly done. I am a forever fan of Kasie West's, and I hope you'll continue to give her books a try!

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    1. I will, I will! She's now on my list of authors who I will pick up one of their books instantly!

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  5. I have a copy of this and I so want to meet Xander! I love nice tiddy wrap ups so this is actually a plus for me! I loved Pivot Point by Kasie West, too, so I can't wait to make time and read this. Wonderful review, Sunny! :)

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    1. Oh, then you will LOVE this, Rachel! Because not only do I think you'll love Xander and since you already like Kasie West, the tidy wrap up will be the icing on the cake for you! Thank you :)

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  6. I loved Pivot Point, so I've wanted to read this for awhile. Of course I haven't yet. Grrr. But I'm planning on it soon so I'm happy to see you liked it so much!

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  7. This sounds so lovely! I'll be reading it soon- glad to know it's so adorable :) I've heard good things about this author and can't wait to catch up with her books.

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  8. "I book binged on The Distance Between Us. I binged so much, it really came back to bite me in the butt the next morning." Bahaha! I read and liked Pivot Point and knew this one would be a winner but I still have yet to start it-shame on me! God, you have made this one sound so amazing I want to pick this up right NOW!

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    1. Shame! Yay, I hope you get it in your hands asap because I know I waited too long to do so!

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  9. I'm glad you had a better experience with this book than I did! Caymen's voice didn't work for me-I thought the sarcasm felt unnatural and forced-but I can understand why others liked it. And your censored quote about relating to her because you don't like anyone made me laugh out loud. I didn't keep reading long enough to really meet Xander, but you make him sound great. Hopefully you will enjoy West's other books just as much. :)

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    1. Aw, that's too bad, but I understand as well. I wondered if some people wouldn't like her sarcasm. At first, I didn't buy into it much, but I quickly connected. Thank you!

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  10. Yes yes yes to everything! I had a lot of fun with this too, but also felt the same way about the ending. I kind of felt like it was a little too rushed. Other than that though, I really enjoyed this book! The characters were fantastic, and the humour just worked for me. So glad you liked this book, Sunny! Lovely review. :)

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    1. So glad you liked it as well! Thank you :)

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed this one too! I thought it was so cute and am excited for more books from Kasie West. I loved Cayman's sarcasm/dry humor, and I agree that the ending felt a bit wrapped-up-with-a-boy, but I still really liked it. :) Great review!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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  12. I'm one of the very few people for which this one didn't fully work. I agree with your thoughts on the ending, but Caymen's constant comparison to the rich grated on me. I also had a really hard time with her relationship with her mom. Still this had some really good moments and I loved Xander. Speaking of the cover, I feel like they're portrayed oppositely. I'm not sure that Caymen would ever wear that dress or those shoes, and Xander would be more dressed up. It looks like she's the wealthy one and he's the regular guy, at least from their legs. But maybe she got that dress at goodwill ;). In any case, isn't it the BEST when you find a book that you just want to binge read until it's over? YAY for that.

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    1. I can definitely see how it can go the other way. Yes! Absolutely agree! I really liked the cover, but I think they displayed them wrong. It is! Thank you :)

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  13. Hah, I was just reading a lukewarm review of this book elsewhere but now you've made me hopeful again. ;) And coming off the heals of the weird names meme, HOW ABOUT CAYMEN?

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Gotta love different opinions, right? I KNOW, UGH. Awful.

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  14. I totally and completely agree with you here! I definitely wanted to be Caymen and wanted to be WITH Xander (despite their admittedly strange names). I do think the ending was a little quick to be so well wrapped, but after such a great story with such likeable characters, I was willing to forgive. So cute though! SO CUTE!

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    1. IF ONLY. Well, yes, except the strange names. I do not want to be thought of as a hairy man my whole life, thank you very much. Me too! ADORBS.

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  15. I really enjoyed this book too! And that cover, gorgeous! I'm completely with you in not seeing Caymen wear thta sort of dress. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it was supposed to represent the ball? (Was it called a ball? I read it a long time ago so I can't remember). Her voice was fantastic and I loved how quick she was. I would've thought of all those great one liners after the fact, as usual.

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    1. I'm actually not sure what it was called. I think a ball. Maybe it represents the vintage dress, I'm not sure. I'm with you there!

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