Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Caymen Meyers helps her mom run her collectible doll shop, and she studies the rich people who frequent their store.  She’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing: spending money.  Caymen’s mind is made up about how the 1% live, so when when handsome Xander Spence comes into her life, she’s not quite sure what to do about it.  He’s charming and seems to get her, but he’s also ridiculously wealthy.  She’s sure his interest in her won’t last, so she decides not to tell her mom–who wouldn’t approve anyway.  But when things get complicated, Caymen learns that not everything is as it seems–including her own family.

There’s no denying that this Cinderella story has massive appeal for teen readers (and adults alike).  It’s glossy, sweet, and hopeful.  It’s what readers looking for a break from the dark worlds of dystopian will gobble up.  While the book certainly won’t break any tropes when it comes to predictability, this is a standout romance title for teens.

Both Caymen and Xander are well-drawn characters, which helps move the plot along at a fast clip.  The two have a natural chemistry and charisma that seems to spark off the page.  The witty banter alone is reason enough to read this in one sitting, the fact that the characters themselves are actually fairly captivating just adds more incentive.  This book is frequently funny and smart, and West’s writing is very, very good.  This is one of those titles readers will be in a rush to finish as well as wanting to savor it.

Readers looking for plenty of romance need look no further.  There’s an abundance of that here, but there’s also some interesting family drama and some fairly surface-level examinations of class and socioeconomic status.  A very engaging read, this is a must-have for fans of contemporary YA romance.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West. Harper Teen: 2013. Library copy read for the 2013 Cybils.

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