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Estelle: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: a review.The Distance Between Us by Kasie West ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: money problems, small business, family secrets, romance
Format read: ARC paperback from Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit (Thanks!)

Summary: Caymen works at her mother’s doll store and is used to the clientele. Rich, snobby, you know the drill. When Xander walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandfather, Caymen knows he is just like every other Mr. Moneybags. But an unlikely friendship blossoms anyway when they realize they have a little bit more in common than they originally thought. Meanwhile, Caymen’s mom is keeping secrets, her best friend has a new musician boyfriend, and she’s a little tired of always putting the store before everything.

With such a pretty cover like this one (the lighting! the font! that dress!), I was really hoping this book would be a winner.

Friends, I really liked The Distance Between Us.

Caymen is such a snappy, sarcastic character and I absolutely loved that. She was quick, she had the dryest sense of humor, and I just loved her personality. Even if it was a cover up for her true feelings sometimes. Insecurities about the money problems her and her mom are having, their not-so-busy porcelain doll store, and the fact that she’s not sure she can make the college thing actually happen (even if she is a science genius).

When she meets Xander, her sarcasm is aimed at him with full force and I loved their banter, and how naturally their friendship started. Caymen’s bothered because the boy has money (he’s the “prince” of a hotel chain that he is set to take over) but he’s also a lot like her: not so sure if he wants to follow through with his family’s expectations of him. (Him with the hotels, her with the doll store.) So they embark on these cute/funny outings to figure out their true futures.

The distance in the title surely pertains to Xander and Caymen, but, what I liked the most, is this also has a lot to do with Caymen and her mother. Even though they live and work together in a small space, there is so much they are not telling the other one. Caymen is scared her mom won’t accept Xander (because her dad was well-off and just left them) and her mom, well, might not be all that honest with the status of their business. For two people who are so close, the reader is definitely rooting for them to just trust each other and talk.

Even though Caymen makes a ton of sacrifices (socially, mostly) because of all the hours she put into her job, it was really nice to see a hard working main character. Even if her mom’s dolls creeped her out, she more than kept her end of the bargain and I thought it was totally commendable. West also introduces some great side characters (particularly Skye, Caymen’s best friend and Xander’s grandma, Mrs. Dalton) and a few ohh-ahh twists. I enjoyed the story so much that I actually didn’t mind how seamlessly it all ended; Caymen’s character growth felt pretty spot-on for me.

Romance, family, worries about the future, and getting over preconceived judgements? West has the whole enchilada in The Distance Between Us. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of her work. Rather Be Reading Buy It Icon

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June 18, 2014 - 12:00 am

Rather Be Reading: On the Fence by Kasie West - […] the Fence by Kasie West (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: The Distance Between Us Publication Date: July 1, 2014 Publisher: Harper Teen Pages: 320 Target Audience: Young Adult […]

July 21, 2013 - 9:41 pm

Alexa Y. - I am so, so glad to hear that you enjoyed this book! It sounded a bit too cute and fluffy to me at first, but as the reviews started pouring in, I felt like I should read this book. It does have some typical elements – like the rich versus poor relationship – but I like how it sounds like other things were added into the mix too. Plus, I think it’s quirky/creepy that they own a porcelain doll shop! Can’t wait to read this one.

July 16, 2013 - 3:06 pm

Alisa Selene - This sounds really good!

July 16, 2013 - 8:25 am

Amy @ bookgoonie - Love fun, playful banter.

July 15, 2013 - 5:25 pm

Jen - Eeep this book sounds so cute! I love books about finding one’s future, or relationships between mother/daughter. It looks like The Distance Between Us talks about just that! I also love character growth, and Caymen experiences some, so yay! I’ll have to check this one out soon since you enjoyed it so much, lovely review, Estelle! <3

July 15, 2013 - 3:36 pm

ashley - I love and adore West’s writing so I’m glad to know this is a good one, too!

July 15, 2013 - 2:41 pm

elena - their cute/funny outings were the BEST. i need some boy to help me find my passion in life. preferably on his private jet. whatever. totally agree on the mother relationship! i know we’re TOLD a lot they’re close but i actually wished there was more interaction to SHOW that they are?

July 15, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Seriously, this book was just what I needed. I love that dress, too! And the shoes!! Those are my kind of shoes, right there.

July 15, 2013 - 1:24 pm

Rachel - Ok, so for a while I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this one, but I MOST DEFINITELY do. This book sounds super relevant to my life, which is something I always love, and the characters sound awesome and interesting.

July 15, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader - There’s no denying that this cover had me at ‘hello’. I’m so happy to hear that the story encased within sounds just as lovely as the beautiful cover art. I love the fact that Caymen sounds witty, sarcastic and brash, as that was certainly my own defence mechanism when I was growing up – It’s always a nice bonus when you can relate to the protagonist yourself 🙂 I think it’ll be interesting to watch as Caymen and Xander both conquer their initial impressions and prejudice of one another and I love the issue you touched upon regarding Caymen’s relationship with her mother. Family dynamics are always important to me within a novel and I had not heard about this aspect of the novel until reading your review. Although I’ve yet to read anything penned by Kasie West thus far (Pivot Point is still sitting unread on my TBR bookshelf) I have really high hopes for this one and can’t wait to read it! 😀

July 15, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Cassie - YES, YES, YES. I agree with every word you wrote here. I adored this book and really do hope there’s more from Caymen!

July 15, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - You have totally just convinced me into buying this one very soon! I know a lot of people loved it, but I didn’t think that this book would be something I’d be into, but after reading your review, I know I’ll be reading this one pretty sharpish. I was sold at snarky main character, haha. 🙂

July 15, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - YES!!!! I loved this one so much. It was SUCH a fun, summer-y, fun read and I absolutely loved that cover. There is so much about this story that I loved, commenting on it all would be ridiculously long, but I’m so glad you loved it too. ALSO, on the back of the ARC when it mentions that this book is similar to the movie Pretty In Pink – YES IT WAS! I loved that and it stayed on my mind SO MUCH that I ended up having to watch the movie a few days later because it was driving me crazy. I can’t remember if you’ve read Pivot Point by this author, but I really loved that one too and I’m very eagerly awaiting its release.

July 15, 2013 - 12:13 pm

Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake. - I really liked this one too! It was so refreshing to see a main character who wasn’t middle-class by any stretch of the imagination, and who worked because she HAD to for her family, not just because she was bored or for “entertainment” money. I also really liked that Caymen was interested in science and was sarcastic and witty. I think we’d have gotten along great in real life. I thought the relationship between Xander and Caymen developed slowly & naturally, and also really liked the family stuff.

July 15, 2013 - 11:54 am

Sara (of The Page Sage) - Caymen sounds really relatable and I love that she has a dry sense of humor. Also, I love books with “ooh-ahh” twists. Really want to read this now!

July 15, 2013 - 11:19 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I’m really excited to read this one! I loved Pivot Point, the romance being my favorite part, so I was excited to see that Kasie West had a straight up contemp. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t read it already but I’m so glad to hear all the good reviews coming back so far! 🙂

July 15, 2013 - 10:31 am

Christianna - I’m loving all the things you have to say about this one! I like that it sounds like it deal with family relationships as much as it deals with the romantic one. Plus you’ve got to love a snarky main character! What a fun review!

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