Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: Review

The Distance Between UsTitle: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

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. (Goodreads summary.)

When it comes to contemporary romance it can be a little hit and miss with me, it takes something special to really make me love it. I am not a huge fan of the cringe-inducing romance, all that talk of loving someone down to your very soul just makes me want to gag. So I need a romance that's still swoon worthy but not over the top, it needs to feel real. So I went into The Distance Between Us with a little trepidation and hope that all the amazing reviews I had seen were right.

Caymen has grown up being warned about the rich families of the beach town she lives in. Her own father came from a rich family and abandoned her mother as soon as she got pregnant, his family paid her off and made her sign papers agreeing that she would never go after child support. Since then her mother has worked hard every day to make the doll shop she bought with the money work, but it's a daily struggle. Caymen has watched her mother struggle and harbours a resentment for the rich people in town who seem to have it so easy. When Xander walks into her shop one day she takes one look at him and knows he's just another rich guy who thinks he's better than everyone else. But Xander takes an interest in Caymen and, even though she doesn't want him to, keeps showing up day after day to spend time with her. Inevitably, over time she begins to realise that she is enjoying his company and the time she spends with him.

I'm just going to say it, this book was so damn cute it had me smiling the whole time I was reading it. When Xander walked into her shop and beckoned her over with his hand I was raging right along with Caymen. Who does that? Rude people, that's who. So, instantly I was as against Xander as she was. But, just like Caymen, I quickly came to realise that there was a lot more to Xander than meets the eye. Okay, fine, I fell hard for that beautiful, hilarious, entirely fictional character. I wanted to reach into the book and steal him like some creepy stalker girl.

Reading this book has made me want to read every Kasie West book I own, she's a fantastic writer. She writes brilliant characters, it reminded me of the wonderful My Life Next Door and how well Huntley Fitzpatrick wrote all of the characters. There is not one character in this book that isn't developed, who doesn't have an individual voice and personality, even the most minor of characters. I fell in love with this book, with Xander, with Caymen, with the story and the banter and everything! Caymen's best friend Skye was a favourite secondary character of mine, she was really funny and I liked her personality a lot and how she worked off of Caymen.

The romance and scenes between Xander and Caymen are very well done, they never seem over the top or over done. You feel the growing feelings, the chemistry and the build up that's happening between them. West plays it absolutely perfectly and it feels completely authentic. It doesn't play out like a lot of the instalove stories we see and for once there isn't a pointless love triangle. It's just two people falling for each other with a tiny bit of drama added in. The humour in the book was perfect for me, Xander and Caymen have such great banter. The dry sense of humour of Caymen works so well for me and I loved the sarcasm and just everything.

The end was very abrupt to me, it felt a little rushed nearer the end where as the rest of the book goes at a nice easy pace. I'm not sure what I was expecting at the end, maybe I just wanted it wrapped up really nicely with a bow on top for good measure. I'm not completely sure, but the end I got just wasn't completely satisfying to me. That might be on purpose though because it leaves it open for a follow up book but, I don't think it's necessary, this book was perfect all on it's own.


5/5 Butterflies 

An utterly perfect contemporary romance. Kasie West knows how to write characters, not one character in this feels underdeveloped or pointless. The banter between the characters had me laughing out loud. I read this in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. The conclusion wasn't as nicely wrapped up as I would have liked, but it was still a satisfying enough end to the book. I would love to have more of these characters but this book was perfect all on its own. Now excuse me, I need to go read my eARC of On The Fence immediately! 

37 comments:

  1. I have very few words I can use to express my joy and overwhelming happiness to know you loved this book too, but I have sounds like oooo, ahh, aww and yay! I fell for Xander too, he was so swoony and honest, down to earth and perfect, I need that guy in my life, and I agree, the ending was a little, well too perfect, I like some imperfections in my last few pages. Oh, the happiness, the lovely happiness I feel knowing you liked this, but I am so full of rage at you having a copy of On The Fence, oh my god I neeeeeeeeeeed that book like, right now. Right now. Right at this moment being right now. I don't want to wait :(

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    1. I know, I was nervous to read it, but so happy that I ended up absolutely loving it! He was such a great male lead, definitely loved him. I am sorry!!! I will be getting to it very soon, I will let you know if it's anywhere near as good as the first.

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  2. I'm not really a fan of contemporary or romance but your review is making me re-think the judging this book by the cover thing. I'm going to take your word for it and read it, cause now it sounds awesome.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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    1. I hope you end up really liking it then, I'm nervous now ;) Well, I'm not always the biggest fan of contemporary romance so this was a lovely surprise.

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  3. Wow, 5 stars, and you're not even the biggest fan of Contemporary romance books, this book must be amazing!!

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    1. I know, it was a nice surprise that I ended up loving this one so much.

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  4. I really enjoyed this one, too, and all of Kasie West's books that I've read so far. I really connected with Cayman and her snarky voice, and loved Xander. It's been almost a year since I've read this, but I do remember feeling like the ending was super rushed and was a bit unsatisfactory compared to the rest of the book. Great review!

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    1. I know, the ending wasn't what I was expecting but I loved the rest of the book so much that I kind of let it slide. Caymen was such a great character, I really loved her and Xander was one of the best male leads I have seen.

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  5. I feel the same way, I loved the book and the character development but couldn't help feeling like the ending was just out of place to the rest of the book. Like you said, it might be so there can be a follow up novel, I doubt it though.

    Great review :)
    P.s I've tagged you in The Book Blogger Test survey :)

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    1. Oooh yay! I think you're the second person to tag me in that so I am very excited :) I doubt there will be a follow up, which just makes the ending even more disappointing. I just wish it hadn't felt so rushed, then this book would have been perfect to me.

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    2. haha I thought you must have been tagged before but I thought I still would just in case :).

      You know what did it for me? how it turned out that she was what she hated all along (if you know what I mean) I would have been happy if that never happened, at all hah.

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    3. I'm excited to finally get the time to do it, am working everyday this week but hopefully can get it done Monday. Yeah, that got to me too. Just the whole end felt a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the book.

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    4. I know its hard to find the time to do the post, I tend to do them at night time when my partners at work and my daughters asleep, take your time with it though, no rush :)

      Glad someone else found that out of place like me, thought I was the only one who thought the story would have been better without it. Still, very good book though :)

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  6. YAY! So happy to see this review. I really love Kasie West's work, everything I have read by her I have loved so far and I have yet to read this one so it is reassuring to see others like it as well. I can't wait to read this one.

    Great review!! :D

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    1. I have her other books and am very excited to get to them now, she writes really brilliant characters. I hope I love all the others as much as you did :)

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  7. Glad you loved this one. I also can't stand over-the-top romances, so happy to hear this one doesn't have that.

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    1. It doesn't and it was just really perfect for me :)

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  8. Yay! I'm glad you loved this. I love Kasie West's books so freaking much and The Distance Between Us. I think my favorite part was the banter and Caymen's humor. I loved it so much, I literally laughed out loud because it's so much like my own.

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    1. Mine too, I love the dry, sarcastic humour because it's very similar to mine! I am very excited to try the authors other books now after reading this one. She's a talented writer and I really like how she writes her characters.

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  9. This was probably only the 3rd contemporary I'd read but it totally made me want more. Like you, I read it in one go because I couldn't put it down. This is also what made me finally read Pivot Point, which is just as amazing. I can't wait to read On The Fence and I'm super jealous you get to read it right now!

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    1. I am so happy to hear that you loved Pivot Point too! I have the first two books of that series so I am definitely going to get to them as soon as I can! I am very excited to finally find the time to get to On the Fence.

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  10. I absolutely adore Kasie West's writing. The Distance Between Us is incredibly cute. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

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    1. Thank you! I am looking forward to reading her other books now.

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  11. I am also not a contemporary junkie, but this book totally kicked me off my box! I love this to bits <33 Humor, sarcasm, fluffy romance and adorable characters are for the win here!

    "I wanted to reach into the book and steal him" SAME!!! Hey, Mr. Hot Chocolate! ;)

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    1. I know, I need a guy in my life who will bring me hot chocolate every morning <3

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  12. I'm super glad you enjoyed this one, Charnell! I read it earlier this year after I saw Amanda at Book Badger was constantly raving about it - I loved the story as well. I loved hearing your thoughts on this book - thank you for the fantastic review! :)

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    1. Amanda is the reasons I read this one too, she recommended a great one and I was so happy I loved it so much :)

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  13. Contemporary Romance is a hit and miss for me too, so it's great to see that you loved this one. I have read some, but they are few and far between my fantasy genre craze.

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    1. I am really picky with them so I am so glad I loved this one so much :)

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  14. I don't like those with "cringe-inducing romance" either. I love reading contemporary books, but whenever there are scenes like those that would happen, I roll my eyes and it tends to ruin the book for me. Not entirely, though - but I probably would remember that. I'm hoping to read this very soon! I've heard a lot of great things about Kasie West's works. Well-developed romance and an amazing chemistry? I'm sold.

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    1. I hope you love it, one of the best contemporary romances I have read in the longest time! Has completely sold me on the author, will definitely be reading more of her books.

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  15. I loved this one too and Kasie West is now an auto-buy author for me. Yes, the banter, Caymen's sarcasm, and Xander…*sigh*. Just love him. So glad you enjoyed this one and reading your review makes me want to reread it! ~Pam

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    1. I know, I can't wait to get to more of her books! Her writing is amazing :)

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  16. YAY I'm so glad you loved it! I really was just so cute. I had so much fun reading it and i LOVED the banter between Caymen and Xander. I really need to read On the Fence now too!

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    1. I am very excited to get to it, I hope it's just as amazing :)

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  17. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary romance either, but this book stole my heart. I loved the characters. This author has yet to let me down. I can't wait to try her new novel coming out, On The Fence!

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    1. I have that and am very excited to read it, I really hope I love it as much as this one! :)

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