Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Genres: YA, Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


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.


Wonderfully relaxing, The Distance Between Us is the kind of book you would want to read after a hard day, or on a weekend. While keeping her developing relationship with wealthy Xander Spence a secret from her mother, who despises the rich, Caymen discovers that her mother is also keeping a few devastating secrets from her. Enter her best friend's boyfriend, Henry, his friend Mason, as well as some of Xander's upperclass friends, and things get a whole lot more complicated.

This is an exceptionally well-written romance novel for young adults. The magic of this story definitely lies in the brilliantly crafted characters and their witty, highly realistic interaction.  Caymen is a lively, likable main character with a smart, often sarcastic mouth and a quick, quirky sense of humor. At first I thought Caymen to be a bit too interested in every boy that is more or less good looking. The appearance of Xander changes that however.

In the beginning Xander comes across as a placid, even slightly weak, rich boy. His strengths are revealed when he has to cope with a demanding father and way more responsibility than a seventeen-year-old should have. I truly respected Xander when he handled Caymen's indecisiveness with extremely good grace. 

Although The Distance Between Us is a romance, the romantic interludes do not dominate the story. While the age old conflict between rich and poor, as well as the issue of class, is addressed in this book, all the characters show remarkable growth and development.

Having thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Caymen and Xander, I want to recommend it to all who love a clean, relaxing romance with an astounding amount of depth.

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I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel). I also have two more contemporaries, ON THE FENCE coming out July 1, 2014, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

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