Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
4/5 stars
HarperTeen, 2013
312 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Library

After adoring Pivot Point, I was thrilled to discover that not only did West have another book coming out, but that it was going to be in my favorite genre: contemporary. How could I resist?

Caymen has grown up always knowing that she is separate from the rich people in her town. She lives with her single mother above their doll shop and she sees the financial struggles they endure. So when Xander Spence walks in and beckons her, she's ready to give him his grandmother's doll and get him out of there. But somehow he gets under her skin

Almost immediately I found myself caught up in West's addictive writing. I don't know what her secret is but I just click with it. Then, sadly, life got in the way and I had to put the book aside for a full day (see work, Taylor Swift concert, etc.) When I picked it back up, I found myself less enthused but I don't think it was necessarily the distance between us (haha) so much as some of the plot points that were increasingly emphasized.

Or rather one particular plot point, being Caymen's insecurity over how rich Xander is. This keeps hitting the reader over the head as the book progresses and I don't feel like it was dealt in a real and meaningful way. It was just the same observation repeated ad nauseam and Caymen unable to handle their socioeconomic difference. Another storyline that bothered me was involving Caymen's mother-a lot of information about her is thrown at us toward the end and I disliked how nothing was resolved. It is merely introduced-this is actually a case where I would have liked the book to be longer to more fully explore these issues.

So while those two elements bothered me and kept me from rating this higher, there were still a lot of things I liked. For one, Caymen is hilarious, maybe a bit rough around the edges with her sharp words but I clicked with her. For another, Xander reminded me very strongly of Dexter from Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby; this is not a compliment I give lightly but his sweet adoration of Caymen even when he found her bewildering struck a chord with me. One of my book weaknesses is reading about rich people so I also loved the peek into Xander's privilege like his own recording studio and jet.  While Caymen and Xander are definitely the main characters, it was also fun to meet her best friend Skye, her boyfriend Henry, another possible love interest for Mason (don't worry, it's not a love triangle) and Xander's grandmother were some of the other standout characters. Also as I mentioned above, the writing was just my taste.

Overall: Though I didn't think the ending really resolved anything, I am still very happy I read this book and it was just what I need to perk myself up! Trying to squeeze in one last contemporary before the end of summer? Make it this one :)

Cover: Love the cover-her dress is super covet worthy and I can't even see all of it!

Other Opinions: I almost feel like I didn't need to write this review because my blogging friends have already been so prolific about it. Sometimes I struggle just to find three other opinions but here I went with seven because there were just so many good ones!
A Reader of Fictions
I Want to Read That
Into the Hall of Books
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
Katie's Book Blog
Rather Be Reading
The Flyleaf Review

18 comments:

  1. One thing about reading a book all in one fell swoop is that the reader tends to get caught up in the story. By putting it down, it allows us to think about things...which isn't always a good thing. This one's definitely on my list, though. So many good reviews!

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    1. I was so sad as I really enjoy West's writing usually but my mood just made it impossible to love it unreservedly.

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  2. I really enjoyed this one! I can't wait for the next installment of Pivot Point!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I'm looking forward to the sequel to Pivot Point too-though I don't think it's strictly necessary for the way the story ended.

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  3. I didn't make the connection that this is the same author as Pivot Point until you just pointed it out. I've been hearing great things about it, and I'm in a contemporary kind of mood lately, so I'll have to check this one out! :)

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    1. The covers look so dissimilar that I wouldn't have put them together either except for other posts I've seen.

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  4. All these positive reviews are making me so excited for this book. I love good contemporaries. And it is Kasie West, after all. After Pivot Point, she can't disappoint me. Too bad about the ending, I like my endings perfectly tied up.

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    1. I hope I love her next book more. Though this one had its good moments, I ended up being a bit sad about how some things played out.

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  5. I'm really looking forward to this one. It's always great when all the characters in a book are well rounded and interesting it makes the read more realistic! Thanks for the great review, I'll definitely keep this on my radar.

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. I hope you love it too-it certainly has been popular!

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  6. Oh man! I'm waiting this book from TBD! You're review has been really helpful! Thanks so much! I think I'm going to really like this book!!

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    1. I hope you love it (and that it has arrived by now!)

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  7. SOOOOO glad to hear this one was good! We enjoyed PIVOT POINT too, so we have high hopes and are really looking forward to reading a "true" contemp by West. It does sound very Dessen-esque, hehe.

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    1. Would love to read your thoughts about it and see if you agree on the Dessen comparison.

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  8. I'm totally with you on the ending! I felt like only the romance between Caymen and Xander was resolved--nothing else. In particular, the way things went with Caymen, her mother and her grandparents was waaaay too "and now we're all happy and no one ever had to worry about money ever again." I mean, I guess it went with the light tone of the novel, but not, in my opinion, the quality of the rest of the novel.

    On the cover--I, too, love it, but I was disappointed that THE DRESS that Caymen finds and wears in the novel doesn't resemble the one on the cover. I'm a stickler for cover accuracy, so this kinda bugged.

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    1. I wanted a lot more resolution and respect shown toward the money angle. Normally the cover inconsistency would bother me but I love the dress we see so much that I don't really mind.

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  9. I thought this book was a entertaining one, but I disliked the thrown together ending of it as well. I liked Caymen and her attitude, and I loved the "dates" she and Xander set up for one another, but it still felt sort of lacking on the whole. Beautiful cover though and nice similarities to one of my fave 80's movies, Pretty in Pink:)

    And thanks for linking to my review:)

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    1. The ending just felt so rushed! These characters deserved more.

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Thank you for commenting-I love to read your thoughts! Feel free to leave a link to your latest post so I can stop by!

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