December 26, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

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.
This book has a few things going for it. It's witty, light, and puts you in a good mood. But other than that, there's not much you can say for it.

First of all, it's completely unrealistic. It was upsetting, because the idea was definitely unique as far as little details go. But those little details were too unrealistic to be praised. First of all, Caymen and her mother live above a doll shop they own. There's no way a doll shop would keep them in business, or give them enough money to support themselves. This issue is somewhat addressed when there's a mention of bills needing to be paid, but nothing ever comes of that. They've apparently had the doll shop for years, and it has supported them up until then? Other than the fact that it was a tad unrealistic, I liked the idea. It added a bit of flare to the story.

Second issue: the plot. It was the regular cliche, girl meets rich guy/guy meets rich girl and they fall in love. I don't even mind this cliche all that much, but I think it works for movies much better. And the way it was presented in this novel was just not appealing. Other than the fact that Caymen was quite sarcastic and great at comebacks, which made for some entertaining conversation, there was nothing interesting. It was just bland.

The plot twist near the end was surprising, but even that seemed improbably. If Caymen's mom was in such a bad state financially, wouldn't she go get help from her parents? Even if they were in a disagreement about some things?

Speaking of family, the whole idea of Caymen wanting to know her father and learn more about him was brought up fairly often, but each time it fell flat. It was a lost plot point going nowhere, but I would have liked to see something about it brought up.

After going over the book's events in my head, I've realized that there were many plot points that either consisted of conflict that was solved shortly afterwards or nothing at all. Caymen and Xander were originally brought together by the fact that neither of them wanted to take over the family business once they were old enough, and that brought along the idea of finding their perfect careers through each other and figuring things out together. But towards the middle of the novel this sort of drops off into nothing and the plot isn't threaded throughout the entire story.

The writing wasn't anything exceptional, either. Kasie West does seem to have a thing for dialogue, but the descriptions were weak. The one thing this book seemed to be lacking was substance. A lot of substance.

Overall, if fluffy contemporary is your thing, go for it. You'll probably love this book. But otherwise, leave this one on the shelf.

2 comments:

  1. This is why reading book reviews is a good idea, helps you not to waste time when you have a million books on your to-read list! Thanks for the review

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  2. I've had this book sitting in my shelf ever since it came out, but due to your review, I think I might pick it up. I've been reading a lot of paranormal, fantasy or dystopian, I think it's time to pick up a light contemporary read. Though, I 'm not a fan of cliches, I'm interested how Kasie executed her plot. Great review!

    Holly @ Absorbing the Content

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