About the book
The Distance Between Us is a contemporary young adult novel by Kasie West. It was published by Harper Teen on 22nd July and the book is 320 pages long.
Caymen and her mother live above the doll shop that they own. Since she can remember, it has always been just the two of them as her father was never around. Caymen’s mother, Susan, was disowned by her own parents so there were never any grandparents around either. But, Caymen and Susan have been getting on just fine on their own… or so Caymen thought.
Susan has always had strong opinions on the wealthy which unfortunately passed down to Caymen. So, when Xander walks into the doll shop one day and ‘beckons’ Caymen, she thinks she knows exactly who he is and what he’s like. When the gorgeous boy keeps turning up every day with hot chocolate in hand, Caymen dares to dream that this one might just be different but will he prove her wrong and her mother right?
What I thought
After Michelle at www.flutteringbutterflies.com said she liked this book so much, I knew I had to have it. I’m a sucker for a contemporary book and haven’t really read that many recently so I was looking forward to something I was pretty sure I would love.
Protagonist Caymen expresses her feelings about the wealthy from the very beginning of the book. She also states that her father was from a wealthy family who abandoned her and her mother after paying them off. Obviously, she has issues because of this event and so I couldn’t really blame her for her preconceptions. Caymen could be bitter but she isn’t. She makes the most of what she has, even if she hates living above and working in her mother’s doll shop. Dolls are bloody creepy so no wonder Caymen doesn’t enjoy her job. As a character, I absolutely loved Caymen. She was funny and sweet although snarky and sarcastic at the same time. She gave as good as she could get and was so fun to read about.
Then comes Xander aka Alex or Alexander. To begin with I had a bit of a problem with him because of his name. Now, Alexander is a normal name but I hate names being shortened. My fiancé and I have had a big thing over this particular name as an option for our own children because I would refuse to have it shortened to anything. So, because Alexander has two alternatives, this really bugged me. Name aside, I did like him. He comes from a world so completely different to Caymen’s and the banter between the two was fantastic. Caymen has ideas about Xander from the very start whereas he doesn’t judge her at all. He is from a very well off and successful family but he isn’t what Caymen expects him to be at all.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the relationship building between Caymen and Xander. There isn’t any of this instantly falling in love stuff that we get in a lot of young adult books. Instead, the two form a friendship and build from there slowly. At the same time, West gives us a really fun plot about finding yourself and trying new things. Neither Caymen or Xander know what they want to do with their lives and a large part of the book is spent trying to figure that out together. As the characters spend quite a bit of time together, we get to know each of them individually and together which was a great thing. Throughout the book, we get to realise that even though their families have different incomes, Caymen and Xander really aren’t that different in the end.
So, not only is the plot great and the main characters fantastic, but there are other awesome things about this book too. The Distance Between Us is really funny. Caymen has this dry sense of humour which had me laughing out loud at times. Add her sarcasm into that and she’s a definite winner. There are also some great twists in the plot which were quite exciting and they also broke up the romance between Caymen and Xander. Secondary characters were also great and all (especially Caymen’s mum) brought something different to this book.
Overall, I loved this book. Kasie West’s writing is addictive, as is her plot. She writes great characters who are easy to relate to and also who I liked very much. I can’t wait to read more from this author.