I first would like to thank Jaime & Erin (Fiction Fare) for hosting a readalong for this book. I’ve had it in my kindle for the past 2 months and it kept being pushed back as more titles were published. Thanks for the push, girls.
SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME READING THIS WILL GIVE ME 5 HAPPY HOURS!!
Anyway, Kasie West is awesome. Her first book Pivot Point was one of the surprises of 2013 for me. I thought it was very clever, has great boys in it (still don’t know who to swoon over more!!) and it ended with me wanting more, which for me is an indication for a good book!
Split Second (PP #2) comes out in a few months. Can’t wait!
And then she published The Distance Between Us.
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.
I’m not sure that everyone wants to be rich, butI know everyone would like to have the means to acquire what they need and some of what they want. That’s understandable and I’m putting myself in that category.
Caymen Meyers is a seventeen year old girl, working in her mother’s porcelain doll shop. They are barely making ends meet, and the shop is struggling. The few regular customers won’t save it, and the situation is more dire than Caymen thought initially.
Enters Xander Spence. Literally. He walks into the store one day to pick up a doll for his grandmother (a regular), and acts like one would expect the entitled to act.
“What do you mean you want me to pick?” Mr Rich says into the phone. “Didn’t Grammy tell you which one she wanted?” He lets out a long sigh. “Fine. I’ll take care of it.” He pockets his phone and beckons me over. Yes. Beckons. It’s the only word I can use to describe the motion. He hadn’t even glanced my way but held up his hand and moved two fingers in his direction. His other hand rubs his chin while he studies the dolls in front of him.
See? And that’s the moment I kinda fell for him. Screwed up, right?
Here starts kind of a game between Caymen and Xander. Caymen is a cynical, sarcastic person. She probably uses it to protect herself emotionally, but I’m so not getting into the psychological aspects of cynicism. She’s also hilarious. I love it when an author knows how to use quick wit in a book and with a teen it works fantastic.
Having been burnt herself by a rich boy (Caymen’s father), her mother warned Caymen from an early age that rich guys only want a plaything and will use her for their entertainment before casting her away. This brainwashy attitude did affect Caymen to some degree since she is guarding herself around Xander.
Xander realizes that she doesn’t want a future in the doll shop, just as Caymen realizes the same about him and the family business, and they start a tradition of career days where they introduce the other to different types of professions. While at it, they’re getting close and fall for each other (as much as Caymen denies her own feelings.)
I absolutely loved how West developed their characters throughout the story. With each page turn you learn a little something more about each of them which completes a puzzle of their personality, feelings and wants. And they are both such great, strong characters.
Caymen is resourceful, smart and beautiful, and her love for her mother and sense of responsibility towards her and their small home might result in her putting off college and her own life.
It’s so much easier not to have to depend on anyone else.
But she’s vulnerable and hesitant in trusting Xander and his affection.
He laughs a little. “You live above a porcelain-doll store; your best friend lives in a cemetery. You’ve pretty much grown up surrounded by creepy things. Is there anything you’re afraid of?”
Xander is passionate about many different things, which makes him think the family business might not be for him, and he resents his father for molding him in his image and preparing him for when it’s time to take over the reins.
And the last quote I wanted to add I won’t. I’ll save the sweet and won’t spoil.
I just have to say, it’s beautiful, fantastically written, well developed, has a swoony boy (added to my book boyfriend list) and a sharp young heroine.
About Kasie West
I love to write–too much. It’s a sickness really. My debut novel, PIVOT POINT, is out now with HarperTeen. (And will be followed by its sequel, Split Second on February 11, 2014.)
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, my contemporary YA novel, will be published July 2, 2013 (HarperTeen).
My agent is the talented, funny, and sometimes crazy, Michelle Wolfson.