Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Check out this book on Goodreads.
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. (Source: Goodreads)
Caymen has been raised to dislike rich people. Her mother was abandoned by Caymen’s rich father and paid off to not mention her pregnancy of the biological father. When charming and sweet Xander comes into her life Caymen’s entire world, and life, come into questioning. Can she really not trust him just because he’s rich? Will his family really hate her because she’s poor? And what exactly is her mother keeping from her?
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not perfect, but it’s exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something quick to read, sweet, and fun. This fit that description perfectly. I read this entire book in one night and enjoyed it so much. This book is witty, charming, and adorable. The plot is one that is all too common in books and film, but has a slight twist, which I liked.
The plot, as I’ve mentioned is common. The struggle of the rich boy and poor girl to come together (think Pretty in Pink, Pride and Prejudice, Boys Over Flowers, and about a million other books and movies). I think it’s a good plot, one people relate to, and enjoy reading/watching, so it definitely makes for an enjoyable read. The thing about the way it was used in this book is that, there wasn’t so much of a struggle. That’s why this book was such a light read. They don’t struggle with their difference in socioeconomic standing at any point in this book. It never really factors into their relationship until the very end, so it just seemed like a waste of a setup for the plot.
I liked the characters. Caymen was witty and funny, something that carries the book and smoothes out some of the more awkward moments of the book. Xander was charming and sweet, which was fantastic and really draws you into the relationship. Some of the other characters, like Henry and Skye, are also sweet and funny, but don’t feature as prominently, or lack development to the degree of Caymen and Xander. Even Caymen and Xander aren’t that well developed. They are pretty standard characters but lack any really unique traits that makes them stand out.
In terms of writing, it’s good. There are some awkward moments where the jokes are complete misses, or the “wit” isn’t so witty, but these aren’t too common. I did find that there was something of a shift in tone that makes the book feel a little inconsistent. The beginning has a bitter tone, which was really groan inducing because it was that standard teen angst bull that you often get. Then once Xander and Caymen affirm their relationship they get that sickly sweet pet name business going, I never enjoy when an author suddenly picks that up out of nowhere, because it seems unnatural and out of character. These portions are smoothed over by the rest of the book, the fun and the wit of it.
I think this is a highly enjoyable read. Not the best book, definitely not my favourite, but still good. Fun, humorous, charming, and sweet. Definitely worth a read when you’re in the mood for something light and sweet. I would recommend this to fans of Jennifer E. Smith who writes pretty similar types of books.