Review Detail4.2 4
Kasie West debuted earlier this year, and she's pretty much one of my favorite authors already. She excels at characters and romances. Basically, her books make my heart oh so happy. The Distance Between Us has a little bit in common with Pivot Point, but is largely a departure from the much more serious tone of that series. The Distance Between Us is fluffy good times of the highest order.
To figure out if you would enjoy The Distance Between Us, ask yourself if you like the following things: Pretty in Pink and The Gilmore Girls. If you answered yes to one or both, then you should probably make reading this book a priority. If you haven't seen them, then you should probably rectify that AND THEN read this book. If you don't like either one, well, GOOD DAY SIR.
Caymen, whose name is never explained, which is to me the biggest flaw of the book, is my girl. Seriously, she is acerbic and sarcastic like you would not even believe. I imagine that some readers will be rubbed the wrong way by her attitude, but it was like coming home. People never know if she's serious or joking, because she always says things with a straight face. Also, she cannot resist answering a stupid question with an especially sarcastic response, and, oh, how I love her for it.
Here's where things get quirky. Caymen works in a doll store, owned by her mother. Dolls and More barely pays the bills, and Caymen has been raised to hate the privileged, like the man who left her mother. As such, Caymen is disgusted when this obviously rich guy comes into the store and beckons to her, as he talks on the phone. His outfit alone would probably pay expenses for her and her mom for a month. He also happens to be kind of cute, but, ugh, so stuch up and rich.
Of course, that's not all there is to it, because cute, rich boy (Xander) comes back. The relationship between these two is super sweet, especially because all of their problems coming together are really internal aside from her mom being iffy on her dating a rich boy. However, otherwise, the only obstacle really is Caymen's trust issues, which are pretty mighty. Xander definitely becomes a candidate for best book boyfriends, because he is so considerate, doesn't overreact, and apologizes when he's been out of line. There's a lot of bonding and banter here, and, though they do get serious, it feels real and not like forever love; maybe it will last and maybe it won't.
Social classes and economic disparity are central to The Distance Between Us, which is pretty great. Caymen's poor, like shops at thrift stores because she has to poor. There's an incredibly adorable moment where Caymen takes Xander there because his clothes are too nice for a particular outing. The treatment of some of it's a bit idealized, since most of the discomfort about her economic status comes from her. However, Caymen does have some insulting friends, like the ones that show up in Pretty in Pink. Anyway, I really appreciate that West chose a heroine who's not in the upper or middle classes.
On top of that, West, like in Pivot Point, does a fantastic job building out the supporting cast. There's a healthy female best friendship depicted between Caymen and Skye, who couldn't be more different, but love and support each other endlessly. Skye's boyfriend, Henry, who initially is kind of weird and didn't mesh with Caymen or me, turns out to be a sweetie and hilarious. Xander and Caymen's families both are well built as well. I love that West doesn't skimp out on the supporting cast. I love it so much.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Seriously, what kind of name is Caymen? You can't just not explain why a character has a weird name like that.
The Final Verdict:
When you find yourself in need of a fluffy, happy-making read, look no further than The Distance Between Us. With well-developed characters, snappy dialogue and abundant humor, Kasie West's novels are must reads for me.