Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Review: The Distance Between Us

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.   Quoted from Goodreads


This book did so many things right, it was adorable. First, and this is going to be a weird beginning, but I love the setting.  Caymen works above a doll shop! And for those of you wondering, no, I'm not all that excited about dolls, but it makes for an excellent background to Caymen's life.  Honestly, the idea of living and working in a doll shop kind of creeps me out, but the idea was so unique, right there, it stood out from so many, less imaginatively set, contemporary YA books.

As for Caymen, she's a delightfully sarcastic character.  This book's a little bit like Pride and Prejudice without being a retelling at all, mostly because Xander's rich, Caymen's poor, and she judges him for that.  To be fair, he doesn't make the best first impression (he beckons her while talking on his cell phone), but he makes up for it later, so no worries.  Still, it's easy to understand Caymen's prejudices because of her background and what happened to her mom.

Caymen's the type of girl you'd like as your best friend.  She's cute and has a distinctive voice, but she's not one of those too perfect people. Xander's also adorable, despite his being ridiculously wealthy. I mean, he wears driving gloves, which I just found hilarious.  It's interesting seeing the contrast between their two lives and the way they connect. Plus, their relationship really builds from their first meeting.  They put thought into helping and understanding one another, so you see why these two are so perfect for each other. 

The plot is simple, cute, and fun. Yes, it's been done before, and yes, it's not astoundingly deep, but it's not supposed to be.  It's just one girl's coming of age/first love story. Still, there were a couple of twist at the end I didn't see coming.  I knew Kacie West was a good writer from her first book, Pivot Point, but this one guarantees that she's more than just a one hit wonder.  

Basically, if you're looking for a fun contemporary romance, this is it. It's possibly my top contemporary romance of this year (at least so far, though there are a few close contenders).  From the adorable cover to the random twist at the end, this book accomplishes what I wish so many other books would.  It's a strong 4 stars for me. I know it's a stand-alone, but I would actually kind of like to see a sequel.

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