Summer 2016 Review Train: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

review trainI have the pleasure of participating in the Summer 2016 Review Train hosted by Brittany @ Space Between the Spines. From May 30th through June 8th, you can follow the Review Train where bloggers are reviewing some awesome books as a way to kick-off the summer season. There’s also a giveaway at the end, so be sure to visit everyone. Scroll down for a complete list of dates and stops. For my pick, I decided to read and review Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us as contemporary reads and summer are two things that go lovely together. Check out my review below. Next up on the Review Train is Ashley @ [Insert Title Here] with her review of Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I absolutely loved this book, so I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on it tomorrow!
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Series: N/A
Pages: 312
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: July 2nd 2013 

      “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.

swirl (2)

      “Somehow the guy had managed to climb out of the box full of people I had already labeled off-limits with a permanent marker and he’d become different. And now, much to my irratation, I feel some form of loyalty to Xander Spence.
      I had to change this immediately.”

Contemporary novels are not the first genre I reach for, but every once in a while I get the urge to pick one up. Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us is a perfect summery read, full of cute moments between the two leads and a secondary storyline that pulls at your heartstrings. Caymen Meyers and her mother are barely staying afloat financially. She knows that in order for her mother’s doll shop to survive, she’ll have to make sacrifices. Caymen has learned not to desire much out of life. As a child of a single mother, who’s given everything to provide for her daughter, Caymen knows only one way to pay her back. She’s accepted that any dreams she might have for her future must be put on hold in order to help her mother, but when Xander enters her life, Caymen begins to reconsider everything.

As a product of her mother’s own resentment, Caymen knows the best way to deal with the rich is to bite your tongue and resist the urge to roll your eyes, something she’s often unsuccessful at. When Xander walks into her mother’s shop, everything about him screams privileged. Against her better judment, she begins to spend time with him, but the more she does, the more she feels her defensive walls collapsing. Xander isn’t sure what he wants out of life, but he knows running his family’s business is the last thing he wants. It was easy to get to know Caymen as the novel is told from her point of view, but I did feel that Xander’s character needed more development. We mostly see him interacting with Caymen, but much of who his character is relies on the idea that he is constantly at odds with his father. Aside from one meaningful interaction between the two, our knowledge of this relationship is limited to Xander’s perspective, which in the end proves incomplete.

Although Caymen and Xander’s relationship is the focus of this novel, I found Caymen’s relationship with her mother the most interesting. A lot of who Cayman is is a direct effect of her mother’s past. Her curiosity about her father puts her at odds with her mother, who is unwilling to talk about him. While the family aspect of the novel was my favorite part, I did have a little problem with the pacing of the novel. Several storylines unfold at once near the end of the novel, which made everything unnecessarily complicated. I would have liked certain revelations revealed earlier in the novel just so I could give the right kind of attention to each. Overall, The Distance Between Us is a cute contemporary read for those looking for a sweet romance.

Rating: 3/5


Summer 2016 Review Train Dates and Stops:

May 30th – Genni at Ready, Set, Read is reviewing The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
May 31st – Lauren at Always Me is reviewing Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
June 1st – Laura at Blue Eye Books is reviewing The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
June 2nd – Sam at Tsundoku Books is reviewing Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
June 3rd – Czai at The Blacksheep Project is reviewing Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
June 4th – Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense is reviewing The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
June 5th – Ashley at [Insert Title Here] is reviewing Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
June 6th – Sinead at Less Reality, More Books is reviewing The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
June 7th – Ashley at What’s She Reading? is reviewing Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
June 8th – Brittany at Space Between the Spines is reviewing Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins + GIVEAWAY!

20 thoughts on “Summer 2016 Review Train: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

  1. I have this book in my library and it looks so tempting but I have never picked it up for a read. Now I can do a book talk based on your review. I’m in the throws of the end of the school year messes so can’t participate in any more challenges until I say goodbye to the 2015/16 school year but this one sounds like a worthy challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it interesting that Ashley’s blog name is “Insert Title Here.” Bad joke, Lonna! This challenge is awesome. I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to get on this train on time.

    I’m not sure I would like this pacing either–with everything so back-ended. The Distance Between Us sounds like it’s enjoyable with an adorable couple to tug at the heart string. Though, it sounds like it could have been even more enjoyable had it focus on the other characters more equally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds kind of interesting. Although it is kind of disappointing when one of the lead characters feels like they need more fleshing out. I’m not normally into contemporary either, so I don’t know if I would pick it up? But I do like the sound of all the relationship with her and her mom.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just like you, I need to be in the mood before I read a contemporary! I am really hesitant to read this just because I didn’t like her other book, The Fill in Boyfriend, when I read it last year. Maybe I’ll give the author another shot! Great review, Alicia. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read the Fill-In Boyfriend and thought it was good, but not great. If you’re interested in checking out another of her books, I’d actually recommend On the Fence. I don’t have a review up for it yet, but of the three Kasie West book’s I’ve read, it was my favorite.


  5. I’m glad you were able to give this a read and be my guinea pig. =P I’ve seen that a lot of people have picked up Distance Between Us, especially if they liked Matson’s work, which has a similar, summery feel. I wasn’t sure whether or not to skip this one, to be honest, so your review was definitely helpful.

    I’m sorry the pacing of the novel was off – that can really ruin a reading experience, but at least in your situation, it seemed like it didn’t completely ruin the novel. I wonder how different the book would have been/read if there had been dual POVs, with both Caymen and Xander? Surely that would’ve helped to give the reader a better understanding of Xander,but dual narratives can be hard to write, too. =/

    At least it wasn’t a total loss of a read. Thanks for such an honest review! ^-^

    And, of course, thank you for being a part of the Review Train. <333


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve actually read her other book On the Fence since finishing this one and kind of wish I had picked it instead for the Review Train because I liked it a lot more. I keep being recommended Matson, so I’m definitely going to check her out sometime this summer. I think I would have like this one more with dual perspectives, Xander was an okay love-interest, but he really didn’t standout to me. Thank you for hosting this amazing challenge, I’m happy to be a part of it!


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