by Kasie West
To be published by HarperTeen
on July 2, 2013
Source: borrowed an ARC through Around the World ARC Tours. Please see my complete FTC disclosure on right sidebar.
Connect with the author: website : Twitter.
Summary (from Goodreads:) 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.
My take: When I see a book pitched as Pretty in Pink meets Pride and Prejudice, by the author of Pivot Point ... how can I resist?
The Distance Between Us was a charming, funny book and I could definitely see the parallels with those two much-loved stories of spirited girls in love with rich guys.
Caymen Meyers works at her mother's doll shop, which I thought was hilarious. And creepy. I loved that the book also takes advantage of every opportunity to explore women's weird relationships with dolls. Caymen meets cute with Xander and soon realizes that he's rich. Not just garden variety rich, but private plane rich, tycoon rich, never-have-to-work-your-whole-life rich. Caymen likes Xander, but she soon realizes she can't fit into his world, and isn't sure she even wants to.
Often in rich boy/poor girl romances, the guy says that he likes the girl because she's so "refreshing" and "not like the girls he's used to." This usually annoys me because A) the refreshing thing about the girl is usually that she's just normal and B) it seems completely condescending. But in The Distance Between Us, Caymen really did seem off-beat and different. She has a caustic sense of humor and doesn't hesitate to use it on Xander, which throws him completely off-balance. The book is laugh-out-loud funny at times, and the dynamic between the two of them was really sweet and endearing.
The only thing I didn't love about the book was the ending. I did love the fact that some real problems were thrown at the characters -- the difference in Caymen and Xander's lifestyles and expectations, the fact that the doll shop is in serious financial difficulty, and some mysterious secret involving Caymen's mother. All that gave the book more depth and weight and allowed the characters a chance to grow. But then the ending just magically and conveniently waved a magic wand and…. poof! You can read the ending and my thoughts about it under spoiler protection here.
But that small complaint aside, I really do recommend The Distance Between Us It's fun, it's funny, it's romantic, it's a standalone -- it's an enjoyable summer read that will really put a smile on your face.