Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between UsTitle: The Distance Between Us

Author: Kasie West

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publication Date: July 2, 2013 (HarperTeen)

Source: Bought

Jacket copy: 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.

2/5 stars – Perfect for summer but not anything outstanding

Oh, The Distance Between Us. It got rave reviews across the board from all my friends and yet it disappointed me so thoroughly. There’s no doubt it earned its praise, but to me, it’s just another fluffy contemporary YA novel with nothing to make it stand out. Never before have I forgotten a hundred pages’ worth of development and events less than two minutes after I put it down.

Though it takes place when Caymen is still in school, the California feel and the sweetness of it all makes it scream SUMMER at the top of its nonexistent lungs. Caymen’s penchant for dry humor is exaggerated to the point of annoyance in the beginning, but once that clears up, we have a clear road to an adorable romance between her and Xander that begins with “career days” and comes to fruition just after Caymen and her best friend Skye TP Xander’s house. Caymen gets proven wrong about her deep-seated prejudices (well, for the most part; she was entirely right about one guy) and everything is tied up with a happily-ever-after that’s a mite too neat but otherwise fine.

Sounds great, right? I thought the same while reading it, but all that disappeared once I put it down. Reading large sections of a book at once and then taking a while to get back to it if I have to put it down isn’t uncommon; it happens enough that I decided to call these sorts of incidences bubblegum books (because I when I get bubblegum, I devour all of it as quickly as I can and then don’t get more for months).

The Distance Between Us goes above and beyond as a bubblegum book because while I read a lot in one sitting and then take days to get back to the book, I remembered very little about it when I picked it up again and thought about it while not reading. That is most definitely not normal with bubblegum books and it’s probably due to the cookie-cutter nature of the novel and its meandering plot that takes forever to get anywhere. It’s cute and all, but so are a lot of other contemporary YA novels. There’s absolutely nothing that makes it memorable except for my annoyance at how yet another jacket copy is pretty bold/open about a twist that isn’t revealed until the last twenty pages.

If you’re looking for something to remind you of warm, sweet summers during the cold winter months, pick up The Distance Between Us and you might be in luck–and it’ll still be good for summer, of course. No time like then for a reread! Most of my friends have loved this and I’m a renowned black sheep, so there’s no way I can say not to consider it at the very least. Actually? Screw it. Go pick it up. This is 100% me and unless you’re my long-lost brain twin, you’ll love it.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

  1. I am kind of disappointed to see that you didn’t enjoy this one as much because it does sound like a nice read. Even reading the summary, you can tell it’s kind of a “fluffy” contemporary novel so I’ll definitely pick it up on a rainy day. Great review! 🙂

    • Thank you! Even though I didn’t care much for it, it’s difficult for me not to recommend it because I know it’s got a lot more to do with me than the book. If it were something like Shadow and Bone, however… 😛

  2. I wanted to love this book, but the ending felt like such a cop-out to me. I guess I’m just not a fan of HHHEAs. I also thought Caymen and Xander worked better as friends than as a couple but I seem to be alone on that. I think I just expected more. Great review!

    • Thank you, Ellis! I definitely see what you mean about them being better as friends than as a couple. They were at their best before the drama about “do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?” stuff walked in the door and started throwing whatever it got its hands on. Their career day/friendship stuff is 1.5 stars of my rating!

    • *baas happily while Christina pats my head* I wanted to like it, but it just blew up in my face something fierce. You may have expected me to dislike it, but I sure didn’t.

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