The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Summary from 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.
The Distance Between Us is a very enjoyable read. The protagonist, Caymen, has plenty of snark and wit, so she really stands out against other female leads in YA contemporary.
There is never very much action going on, yet I never felt like the pace was too slow. I devoured this one in a single sitting. Every scene has charm and gives you insight on the characters, so I was never once bored.
Caymen and Xander were perfectly awkward and sweet. Sometimes they completely misunderstand each other, which is a little frustrating. They start off as friends and then work towards something more, which I liked because I don’t think the book would have had the same effect on me as it did if they just jumped into a relationship.
Skye, Caymen’s best friend, always livened up the plot. She and Caymen have a believable and normal friendship. I wouldn’t mind reading a book featuring her and maybe even Henry. Skye balanced out the book and kept it from being all about Caymen seeing Xander. Even Caymen and her mom have an interesting dynamic going on that gave the book more dimension and focus.
Caymen and the others were all very relatable. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life, yet she know she wants nothing to do with the doll shop. (Really, who can blame her? There is no way I could ever live in a place that had that many creepy eyes always watching me.) Xander doesn’t know what he wants out of his future either, so they really bond over finding out each others’ likes and dislikes.
So I know the major conflict here is money, yet that plot point felt odd and fell flat. Caymen tells us her mom despises the rich, but we are hardly ever shown that. The one and only time her mom truly speaks up about the subject seemed stilted. Up until that point I figured Caymen’s belief that her mom couldn’t stand the wealthy was all in her head, an excuse to keep her distance from some people. There were just so many mixed signals going on there. I decided to just let it go and not dwell on it too much.
The other thing about the book that bothered me a little was the ending. The whole time I was thinking, “Woah, what? What just happened? No. No. Whaaaa?” Once I got beyond that phase I could see how this resolution explained some things, but also opened up a new can of worms. I just accepted it and moved on.
The Distance Between Us is very lovely and a book I will read again, especially for the sarcasm.