Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Review: The Distance Betweeen Us by Kasie West
Release date: July 2nd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.

The cover: SO PRETTY and romantic and lensflarey and I want her dress and her shoes. Plus excellent font choice.

The story: I was SO HAPPY when I won a copy of this from the author, for two reasons. 1) I loved West's first book, Pivot Point (which, um, I will TOTALLY write a review for one of these days). And 2) the blurb describes it as Pretty in Pink meets Pride and Prejudice. In other words, it is thing I love crossed with thing I love even more, and luckily, in this case, that equation added up to something I also love!

Reading the back cover, I was initially a little worried that Caymen would bug me. She really hates rich people. All of them. Which is understandable, because a lot of the time, rich people are snobby, and her rich father got her mother pregnant and abandoned her. Now Caymen and her mom run a porcelain doll shop that is barely staying afloat, and Caymen and her single mother have got a whole lot of understandable resentment. The fact that Caymen's disgust towards rich people was somewhat justified, and that Caymen was awesomely sarcastic, really made me love when I so easily could not have.

But then Xander Spence enters the store. And the rest is history.

The plot is really cute and readable, and there's BIG SHOCK near the end that I totally didn't see coming, but most of the strength of this novel lies in its characters, specifically Caymen and Xander. Caymen has such a dry sense of humor that most of the time, people literally have no idea that she's joking. I fell completely in love with her somewhere around page two. We are sisters in snark. We are snarkmates. It was particularly funny to see her baffle the humorless people around her, and to see her pull reluctant laughs and smiles out of the serious Xander.

Xander is a TOTAL sweetheart. He's flawed and real and, obviously, really hot. Which I have no problem with. He's rich and entitled and takes a lot for granted, but he knows that, and he's trying to work on it. He is, basically, Blane McDonough, but less dweeby. Who is cute, of course, but dweeby.

So yes. Andie Caymen and Blane Xander meet up, and it's destined from the start not to work out. She lives in a tiny apartment above the doll store, and all she does is work, work, work. He's the son of a billionaire and drives a sportscar (while wearing driving gloves). BUT HE'S SWEET. And he has this amazing wonder-smile, and the two of them have this awesome, competitive rapport going on, and soon Caymen starts to melt. But can they really work, when Caymen has no means for a future at all and Xander has everything? Even though Xander seems to think they're in the same boat? I DON'T KNOW. YOU'LL HAVE TO READ TO FIND OUT.

(Also obviously you should all watch Pretty in Pink because duh. ALSO DID YOU KNOW the original ending of Pretty in Pink was different? That Molly Ringwald ended up with.... the person she doesn't ACTUALLY end up with? And test audiences HATED IT SO MUCH that they had to re-shoot the ending? FOOD FOR THOUGHT.)

Caymen deals with a lot of things in this book: how much of her future she owes to her mother, the injustices of the world, how really truly poor she is, first love. The works. She and Xander both feel trapped in their worlds, in the roles their parents have planned for them, and neither really knows what they want to do in life.

My only slight quibble would be a lack of depth in the rest of Caymen's world (her school and her classmates are virtually nonexistent), though I adored Skye, her best friend. Their relationship was just pure, loving friendship, and it was lovely to read about. The two characters complimented each other nicely. Also Sky's boyfriend is hilariously dim but well-meaning. And Caymen's mother was another character with a lot of development, and the mother-daughter relationship was a big focus in the plot. Which I always approve of.

Basically, READ THIS BOOK, people. I read it in one day because I just couldn't stop, and I was kind of devastated when it ended. I mean, first of all, ALL THE FEELS come rushing in at the end, and then it's over and you're all sad because Caymen won't be deadpanning to me anymore, and I miss that. *goes back to reread book*

All right, one last secret-weapon smile of Blane's Xander's for the road:

You're welcome.


  1. Will I be missing things if I really don't remember Pretty in Pink? DON'T HATE ME.

    1. NOT AT ALL. It's not a rewrite of Pretty in Pink, nor is it trying to be. I just love the parallels, because I LOVE Pretty in Pink! It's its own book.

  2. You have me SO excited about this for numerous reasons. A) Already was excited. B) we bonded over our love of Chandler. C) I met Kasie West and we discussed this book in massive flailing amounts.

    Basically I hate you for reading this before me.

  3. Ooh I'm so stoked to read this! I haven't read Pivot Point yet (please don't hurt me), but I've heard such good things about West and The Distance Between Us looks completely adorable. I'm a big fan of the cover, too. I can't say exactly what makes me love it so much, but something always makes me pause when I look at it. Ha, I already got all the feels from your review, so imagine what will happen when I actually read the book!

  4. Wow! I had the same fear just reading the synopsis that maybe I wouldn't like Caymen but you've convinced me to continue on and give this book a try. Although I've also never seen Pretty in Pink (I should probably get to that...) Great review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  5. First Blane is a total dweeb, and awesome one, but still one. Also, are you telling me that Molly ended up with my favorite person in Pretty in Pink and then they changed it? Where is the justice in the world? Poor poor Ducky and his awesome dance moves.

    Okay, moving on to the book. It sounds amazing! Like amazing x 1,000. I need to get my hands on this book with the sister of snark in it! People never get that I'm joking either, so I think lead girl and I would totally get each other!

    Thanks once again for an awesome review and for making me want to go watch Pretty In Pink....

  6. So basically I am desperate to get my hands on this book. Pivot Point DID THINGS to my heart and I still haven't totally recovered. I love the sounds of this one, like we already talked about. Caymen sounds AWESOME, and I'm pre-disposed to LOVE the name Xander. Awesome review, Gillian. You told me juuuuust enough to make me want to count down the days until I can get this one!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  7. I'm really, really looking forward to this one! This is a summer of contemporaries for me, and this one sounds particularly wonderful. I'm loving the P&P vibe I'm getting from it!

  8. I'm so excited that this came out today! I've been eyeing it since forever.


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