Monday, August 26, 2013

The Distance Between Us ~ Kasie West review

The Distance Between Us
Harper Teen
July 2, 2013
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Caymen Meyers spends most of her life in the building that houses her mother's porcelain doll shop. Either downstairs in the actual shop working or upstairs in their apartment. It's lead to a slightly different life for the seventeen-year-old.

from the publisher's synopsis:
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.

The relationship is one -- even as a friendship -- that Caymen knows her mother wouldn't approve of. Her mother may make her money from people with money, but she does not like people; something of which she's never failed to remind Caymen.

But when Xander seems about ready to convince Caymen taht being rich might not be his downfall after all, she finds out money was more a part of things than she knew.

The Distance Between Us is a really cute contemporary romance. Caymen is a great main character who has not only an original set-up in living above a shop selling porcelain dolls, but she's also original in her character. I love her sense of humor
"A lot of people don't get my sense of humor. My mom calls it dry humor. I think that means, 'no funny,' but it also means I'm the only one who ever knows it's a joke." [pg 3]
and that it's actually present throughout the book and works. We don't just get one or two lines in the beginning or Caymen stating that she has a dry sense of humor, she really does. It makes for some fantastically awkward moments as well as some really funny ones. It also makes her different in a way that actually is different. (As opposed to all of the 'different' characters that are so similar they're becoming their own norm.)

In the beginning, there were times that Caymen was a bit reminiscent of Addie from West's earlier novel Pivot Point but that evaporated as the novel progressed. They may have had a similar voice or it may only have been two teenage girls from the same author. The stories did not feel similar.

The interactions between Caymen and Xander were great, right from the beginning. West has them interact in a very believable way. Assumptions and preconceived notions are all present. They don't immediately become different people, characters. Nor are they illogically combative. It's all very real seeming.

That reality is part of what creates the chemistry and has the reader rooting for things to work out, for the differences to be ironed out.

Towards the end there were a few, relatively, minor things that I would have liked to see resolved or explained just a little more. They weren't crucial to the main story but it still felt like those things were left hanging and unresolved.

Rating: 7/10

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