When I first read the summary for Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us, I knew to expect formula. Poor girl meets rich boy. I mean, how many different versions of Cinderella and Pride and Prejudice have we’ve read and seen? But there’s a reason why there continue to be books and movies made with that formula, and that’s because audiences and readers love it. And I have to say I’m one of them. It’s always refreshing when someone can put a spin on a classic tale with either interesting characters or a new backdrop. So I always look forward to seeing what will make this particular story stand out. In the case for The Distance Between Us, it’s the main character’s witty sarcasm and the banter between the romantic leads that give this book all of its charm.
Caymen is poor, but lives in a rich town where she helps her mother run a porcelain doll shop. Caymen finds the dolls creepy, but she knows her mom loves them and is willing to help her out in way that she can, even if it means sacrificing a social life and possibly even college. Caymen takes things in stride, or she tries to, with her very dry humor and sarcasm. It’s that wittiness that catches Xander’s attention one day. Running an errand for his mother, he stops by the doll shop to purchase a gift for his grandmother. Xander is rich, polished and a bit arrogant as he “beckons” Caymen to help him pick a doll. But as the two begin talking and eventually hanging out together, they find that they’re a little more alike than they initially thought, and the chemistry between them begins to sizzle.
Frankly, The Distance Between Us would have hardly any appeal if these two characters had no chemistry. Luckily, they do, making it fun to read about them and their little “career day” missions for each other. Caymen and Xander’s banter was funny, especially some of Caymen’s burning one liners. It was sweet seeing their relationship develop, making it my favorite thing about this novel.
It was during some of the more serious, dramatic moments that some of it felt off. Those moments didn’t come across as smoothly as I thought they could be. They felt a little phony, and I was glad when Caymen disrupted the seriousness with a funny line. The supporting characters could’ve been developed more, but then again, I understand that with the pacing of the novel, we didn’t want to take too much away from Caymen and Xander. Also, the book is pretty predictable, as you may already expect, but I did find myself surprised at one twist, so major props there.
If you’re looking for a light, summer read, I recommend The Distance Between Us. While not completely original, it’s hard not to enjoy this charming romance.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is now available wherever books are sold. Support The Young Folks and purchase the book at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
Publisher: Harper Teen (July 2, 2013)
Length: 320 pages (Paperback)
Source: ARC (Provided by Publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Completed: July 2013