Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West book review by Sharon

Author: Kasie West
Release Date: July 2nd 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Rating; 4.5 stars
Buy at: Barnes and Noble, Amazon

"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."


On a first glance, the Distance Between Us is the your typical summer chick lit read. Only a YA one (adults are allowed to enjoy too). 
Really when I first saw the book I thought it would be Boy meets Girl and summer love. In many ways it is. The formulated part of the genre is executed exactly that way - down to how the MC and the boy don't get along immediately 

But you see, this one book this particular book is very different to me. Why? 

Because….well, I prepared a list! 

1. The doll shop- yes, Caymen and her mother own a doll shop- those porcelain 'freakish-that-totally-give-me-nightmares' dolls. 

2. Caymen and her mother are really poor and you're not only told of that fact but shown as well. e.g: the fact that most of the dolls boxes are empty, when her mother buys juice Caymen is really surprised, and their meals do not consist of meat

3. Susan, aka Caymen's mom, so yeah, I kind of saw the big revelation about her in the end coming. That woman gave birth to a child out of wedlock, got cut off her family and she hates rich people. But you know what? She's a selfish little twat, she goes after her passion (by having a doll shop), she raises her daughter in the kind of stressing poor environment, she's irresponsible and actually expects her teenage daughter to help her in the shop and inherit it from her afterwards without thinking that her daughter might have other dreams. I'm sorry but that pure selfishness and even though I presented it more or less in an exaggerated way that doesn't change the bottom line. I didn't love Caymen's mom, but I did like her a little because she raised a wonderful daughter and she was very realistic. 

4. Xander- he's the rich boy, the one that helps Caymen see that even though many of the stereotypes she had on rich people are true rich people are still human and can still be very charming, lovely and fun to be with. You see he had his faults and I wanted to punch him a few times, he acted like a spoiled little brat sometimes in a way he was ignorant to the fact that some people just live differently. He also bordered on stalker with meeting her every morning before she went to school. But since Caymen didn't mind it, I didn't either. 

5. Skye- Caymen's best friend. She was a good friend and one rarely seen in most YA books, actually I encountered such a good BF only twice before one on the Kate Daniels series (yes, Ellis it's directed to you) and the second on Going La La (by Alexandra Potter- a lovely summer read) but I haven't read that much contemporary or chick-lit so maybe I'm the one at fault. Also her boyfriend was a good boy and they fitted each other. 

6. The friendship- the friendship between Caymen and Xander with their little rituals and how they got to know each other better was really great (in many ways I liked them better that way)

7. The relationship- there wasn't much of it but for a standalone the romance still developed at a decent enough pace as well as slowly enough. There was immediate attraction but not insta-love. Also, the time Xander was courting Caymen he did that gently, he was going all macho with a violent attitude, and the little occasional touch was really sweet. 

8. This leads me to the most important part- Caymen. I LOVE YOU CAYMEN! Caymen easily makes it to the list of my Beloved Female Characters of All Times right there with Anne (from persuasion) and Kate Daniels. She's rational, she loves science, she's mature, funny and sarcastic and I just loved her from the first sentence. She was human in her reactions and actions. She had to balance between helping her mother and living her own life and she did that well (with Xander's help). She was funny and I related to her a lot- in many ways she reminded me of myself. Why? Because her rational and analitic side is very much like me, as well as her funny childish side that decided to pull a prank on Xander. I related to her more than I thought I would. You see from an early age I knew what I wanted to do and I what I wanted to be and Caymen supposedly didn't know- and I thought she and I would have a problem on that point, but she did know and she was only denying it for a while for the sake of her mom. Caymen needed to accept the fact that she doesn't want in on the family business BUT she doesn't want that business to stop (Xander had the same problem more or less), and I relate to that cause my family has a business too one which I grew up in and I love dearly but I'm not sure how I fit in and right now the path I choose doesn't put me in for at least the next several years. I could relate to Caymen on that part.

9. I really loved the "career days" the Caymen and Xander did to each other- you want to know more? READ THIS BOOK

10. Yes, in a way things were more or less tied up very neatly at the end, but not so neatly to my taste and I felt that this was just the part where we needed to part with Caymen, her story continues off the pages and I hope it's happy one (or I'll kill you Xander)

So all in all, I really loved this book, it was a fast, fun fantastic read that kept me smiling most of the part and even the drama ilma was written without too much drama and tears and I appreciated that a lot (I don't like it when the drama is too dramatic, which is why me and Shakespeare never got along too well).

It is not 5 starts cause as I mentioned I still had issues, and they made hot chocolate with water, which is a big no no!


p.s.1 this review is also posted here

p.s.2  to see how to make good hot chocolate visit here :D 

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