The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen, HarperCollins on July 2, 2013
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed From A Friend
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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.

There’s nothing like meeting the man of your dreams…. at a doll store.

Caymen Meyers lives above and works in a porcelain-doll store owned by her mother, tucked away in quiet, wealthy town. In RL we all know that anyone that lives and works with creepy dolls would be possessed or psychotic, but this is fiction so Caymen is a smart, down-to-earth, functional young lady. She has an extremely dry and sarcastic sense of humor. I connected with that trait and found Caymen to be an immensely entertaining character.  Caymen has never known her father and her and her mother have been struggling to make ends meet. Their seriously niche business isn’t bringing in enough to pay the bills every month but it’s definitely bringing in the boys.

 

creepy ass dolls
Creepy-ass dolls. I could have gone scarier but didn’t for my sake.

 

Cue the Meet-Cute.

The story starts out with a handsome rich guy named Xander Spence wandering into Dolls and More with his ear glued to his cell phone.  I found this to be humorous and Caymen did as well. I mean sure, it might sound sexist, but put a guy in the middle of a doll store by himself and it looks funny. Tangents aside, this is where the magic begins.

After their unique first meeting, what unfolds between Caymen and Xander is warm and sweet like Godiva chocolate melted down for hot cocoa….plus marsh mellows. I really, really, really enjoyed the time spent in the novel between Caymen and Xander getting to know each other. It brought back the kind of butterflies that you only get when you’re in high-school and are in the delicious purgatory of ”not sure if you’re just friends or something more.”  The romantic tension that builds between these two from supposedly different worlds was spot on. The author gives us enough back story to make the reader care about the two main characters but I wish it would have went a little deeper on Xander’s side. I will admit that there were a couple of times that I found Caymen’s thought process on the annoying side but thankfully the author resolves those issues in the story.

I have a peeve about character names that sound pretentious or weird for the sake of wanting to be ”original”. I thought I was going to have that issue with this book but to my relief, I didn’t. I warmed up to the characters immediately and we get a story behind Xander’s name that makes it all better. I do not recall hearing what Caymen’s namesake was but I just rolled with it because the author addresses Caymen’s name with some jokes and funny dialogue.

I was able to get a clear image of the town the story was set in and all the places the characters spent time in. This book was like watching a Nicholas Sparks movie….but better….and not as sad. I would recommend this book to any fan of contemporary romance done in a very easy-going way. Witty dialogue,  great build up, and a really sweet connection left me wanting more from Caymen and Xander’s story after the novel ended.

This book was a nice pallet cleanser as my friend Kristen would say. It’s light, smart, and sweet. A great in-between if you are in a reading rut or have been reading heavier books. This book explores the stereotypical thoughts we may have about people that are different than us-people that come from a different social class- thus exploring the distance between not just Caymen and Xander, but Caymen and her family as well. I could definitely see myself reading this book again just for the fun of it.

 

I hope this isn’t what Caymen has to come home to after a night out with her friends…

Hi, Caymen. Mamma has me now.
Hi, Caymen. Mamma has me now.
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