Review & Giveaway: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Posted on Jul 8, 2013 in Contemporary, favorites, Review, YA | 28 comments


thedistancebetweenuskasiewestThe Distance Between Us

by: Kasie West

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.

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Poor Meets Rich.

Not the most unique storyline, is what I had thought to myself when reading this synopsis.  Its been done.  But boy, oh boy, Kasie West knows how to take an old idea and give it NEW LIFE.  

We have Caymen [LOVE the name by the way!] who works in a doll store owned by her mother.  She lives upstairs, and she also knows that she doesn’t exactly WANT to take over the business when its time.  But, for her mother, she will.  Because, that’s Caymen, perfect daughter, and loyal to a fault.  Her BFF Skye is pretty awesome, and she does her best to make Caymen a bit more.. outgoing, one might say.  Skye is gorgeous, always with some guy that Caymen feels is not good enough for her, and her fatal flaw is that she sees the good in EVERYONE.  Is that really so bad?  

Enter Xander, the richest of the rich, arrogant of the arrogant.  For a few minutes I didn’t care for this guy, but then he worked his charms on me!  Xander is everything you would not expect him to be, and then some more.  I loved him, and I loved this whole story line.. which obviously.. you will have to read The Distance Between Us to find out exactly what the rest entails 😉


This Is What Contemporary IS.

Way back when, Estelle had helped me come up with some topics that YA literature was lacking.   Number one on that list, to me, was money problems.  Everyone is always perfectly middle class, or insanely rich.  You next to NEVER see money struggles mentioned in YA.  However, Kasie West changes that in The Distance Between Us.  I was so happy to see this, because it was done realistically.  There is no over the top, suddenly someone is $2,193,000 in debt.  It is real, and it is scary.  I’m not gonna get personal here, but all I will say is I understand.  And I felt for these characters, in a very real way.

In addition to this though, this contemporary novel also explores the significance of knowing what you want to do with your life.  No one is telling you that you must have life all figured out at seventeen, but it is so essential to know what your passion is.  No one wants to get stuck doing something just because they are expected to.  And this concept is explored deeply in The Distance Between Us.  Not only that, but it is done in a really fun way!

Lastly, the romance is grade-A-top-notch.  I LOVED IT.  There is an immediate connection formed between the two main characters. This wasn’t rushed, or forced, I felt it was in fact very much handled with care.  The whole book felt that way to me, like it was well taken care of, and every aspect was done just right.  The ONLY teeny issue I did have is that the end felt a bit rushed to me.  I almost hope there is more of Caymen’s story because well, I loved her and also because I think that there is so much more that can be written about her life.

So glad I purchased Pivot Point last week because Kasie West knows her stuff.  I seriously hope she writes some more contemporaries, and SOON cuz I am dying for her next one already!


 Note: I read this book for the Summer of Stand Alones Reading Challenge!

A #bookishparty Giveaway!

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  1. This one might just be the one that gets me to try some Contemporary YA out…

  2. Sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it. Not my cup of tea though :-)

  3. I loved Pivot Point, so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while!
    Ellie recently posted…Book Review: First Test by Tamora PierceMy Profile

  4. This one has been on my radar for a while now. Your review just makes me so much more excited to read it! I’m glad that Katie knew how to take a topic like rich meets poor and then turn it into so much more. Glad you loved this one!
    Natalie recently posted…Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

  5. This sounds really good! It’s been sort of hard to find contemporary YA that I really enjoy recently, so I’ll definitely give it a try!

  6. This book has been on my TBR list for a while, and I’m glad you did this review, because now I want to read it even more!
    Ashley Bodette recently posted…It’s Monday! What are YOU reading? #3My Profile

  7. I only skimmed this because i’m currently reading it RIGHT NOW and you know I don’t read reviews before I read the book and write my own!! We gchatted about it a bit though so you know my thoughts so far. :)

  8. Awww, yay, I’m so glad you loved this one so much! I really enjoyed Pivot Point, and how realistic her characters were, so I’m glad to hear that continues with here in this book — especially with the addition of addressing a pretty difficult subject, too. I’m eager to read it!
    Steph recently posted…Book Review: Pivot Point by Kasie WestMy Profile

  9. So if I wasn’t already overly excited about this book- your review just sealed the deal. I’m glad you say the romance is done right too. I am not a particular fan of insta-love. I want my romance to feel realistic! Great review Cassie!
    Jessica@Lovin’ Los Libros recently posted…Blog Tour: Just Breathe by Rachel Brookes {Review+Character Interview}My Profile

    • YAY! So glad to hear that! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  10. I’ve been keeping an eye out for this one and am really excited to read it!! I love when romance is done right and this one sounds great. I also have to admit that when I first heard about this book, I just fell in love with the cover.

    Also! Will be reading pivot point this weekend! =)
    Wendy recently posted…Summer Lovin’ Readathon Day 7My Profile

  11. I’m dying to read this one! I really loved Pivot Point when I read it earlier this year, and it sounds like I’m going to love The Distance Between Us even more!

  12. I am so happy to hear that you loved this one because it looks sooo good. It has one of my favorite book covers of the year. Truth be told, the cover is what actually attracted me to this book in the first place (confession: I am often guilty of judging books by their cover! haha). Can’t wait to read it :)

  13. I absolutely loved West’s Pivot Point so I’m glad to see that her other novel is doing so well! Definitely have to check this one out! I love that this book has a focus on financial situations and issues because it’s so common these days and it really doesn’t make an appearance as much as it should in books, especially YA.

  14. This book sounds so good! I usually don’t read contemporaries but lately I’ve been craving a good one and this one seems great! I really like the cover too. :) I’m glad to hear that the situations with money are more realistic. I do agree, a lot of books the characters seem to be just fine or they are drowning in money.
    Krystianna recently posted…What makes a good book?My Profile

  15. I liked how romance was put into Pivot Point, so I’m guessing that since this is contemporary, it’ll be twice the awesome. Reading contemp is usually a challenge for me, but your review really made me want to check it out! :)
    Lexi recently posted…Once Upon A ReadathonMy Profile

  16. This review makes me want to read the book!!!!!!!!! I hope I can get my hands on a copy!!!!!!!

    • I hope so too!

  17. I loved Kasie West’s Pivot Point! Even though it wasn’t what I hoped it was, Kasie still managed to make me fall in love with her book. I’m excited to read this, too! Especially on the romance part since I already got a taste of it in Pivot Point and I really liked it :)
    Haraiah recently posted…Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra DrizaMy Profile

  18. I loved this book. So awesome and you’re right when you say that this is what contemporary is. Also, Kasie West needs to write MOAR books.
    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Best Book to Movie AdaptationsMy Profile

  19. I am so glad I caved at B&N last weekend and bought this! It sounds like a great contemporary read, and the points you’ve mentioned in your review all resonated with me SO MUCH. I must read this soon!
    Alexa Y. recently posted…Circle of Magic – Tamora Pierce (Series Review)My Profile

  20. Handled with care is a great way to put it. This book totally surprised me. I was hoping for the best but you just never know and I loved so much about it. I hope the author decides to do a follow up or something after the praise I’ve been reading!

    Estelle @ Rather Be Reading recently posted…Estelle: Piece of My Heart by Lynn Maddalena MennaMy Profile

  21. I completely agree about the ending. It was my biggest issue, because it felt both rushed and unnecessary (Caymen’s mom’s thing) to me. The twist was so fun, though, and I really, really adored this book for the romance and the career stuff and CAYMEN. For real, she is my girl. I loved her and her sense of humor. This book is very sequel-appropriate. *hint Kasie West hint*
    Judith recently posted…A to Z Book SurveyMy Profile

  22. I LOVE, LOVE LOOOVE this book – It’s is awesome and I can’t help but agree with you about the struggle with money and I think that’s why I liked the Novel. I could relate to it on so many levels. I think this was an outstanding Novel. I can’t wait to read her other ones!
    Johannah recently posted…Green paintMy Profile


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