The 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. (Goodreads)
Caymen Meyers lives in posh resort area where, according to her, there are two types of people: those who are extremely wealthy and used to being catered to, and those who wait on them. Caymen falls into the latter group, working regular shifts at her mom’s struggling antique doll shop.
Xander strolls in one day to pick up a doll for his grandmother and Caymen is immediately turned off because, cute and charming as he is (he even laughs at her jokes!), she knows to be wary of the other side. Her mom has spent years warning her about the super rich and how they only care about money. Mom’s life reads like an after school special: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl gets pregnant, boy leaves. All she has to show for it now is Caymen and their struggling business.
Xander doesn’t seem bothered by any of it though. He keeps coming around, looking for reasons to visit Caymen, finding ways to get her to walk to school with him in the morning. They develop a fun, flirtatious friendship, but Caymen struggles to trust him, all the while wondering about his real intentions, and hiding from her mom the truth about who she spends her time with.
Holy cow, this book is adorable.
First off, Caymen is hilarious in like, an awkward sort of way. She has this really dry sense of humor and she had me giggling from the first pages. Then there’s Xander. He is so sweet. He clearly has a thing for Caymen (and she’s clueless). He doesn’t care about money or about how they may be different. In fact, he sees their similarities. And that boy is determined to get the girl.
My biggest issue is not really big at all. I had a hard time with Caymen’s mom. She was not very open-minded or forthcoming about herself and some major things going on in their lives. Caymen’s mother is really fixated on the class differences between the uber rich and people like her, and to me, it felt a little too over the top. Too Pretty in Pink. Now, because Caymen and Xander were so likable I was willing to look past it, but that element and her mom’s dogmatic views felt a little forced. On top of that, the issue of Caymen’s father (who is he? They have zero contact) is raised several times, but is never really resolved or delved into deep enough.
I was so sad when this book ended. It was the perfect, beachy summer read that made me feel good with the turn of every page.
Crush Intensity: 4.5/5
Where’d I Get It: The library