The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published: July 2, 2013 by HarperTeen
Source: Purchased from my local bookstore
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]
I love a good contemporary YA that fills the pages with a strong voice to carry the story along. I love them even more when there's a romance that buds from a forbidden territory, that should be off limits, yet is followed through with anyway. The Distance Between Us holds a lot of what I enjoy in this contemporary genre, and it definitely delivered in my reasons for flipping page after page, not wanting to put it down.
Caymen lives with her mom, who raised her alone her whole life, above the doll store that Caymen's mom owns. It's not what Caymen wants to do for the rest of her life, but she helps out in the store more often than not, realizing that it's tough to make it in this world as a single mom, struggling to stay afloat.
There's a definition in their town between those with money, and those without. One day a very good looking guy, one who obviously has money, comes into the doll store. Caymen is expected to wait on him and instantly you know these two have a sparkling chemistry. The dance between these two was so much fun to read. Xander is self assured, a little on the arrogant side but in a playful way, and definitely has a heart worth getting to know. Caymen has her reservations about him though, after all it's guys like him that her mother has always told her to stay away from.
The two of them form an unlikely friendship, but it's Caymen who isn't very forthcoming with her mom about it. While Xander is introducing Caymen to his world, she attempts to keep her's a bit more private. The struggles Caymen endures stems from her father that left her before she was born, and the secrets that her mother are keeping from her. She is also carrying the burden of knowing the store could be pulled out from under them at any moment, along with their home and everything her mom has worked hard to keep alive.
Caymen's sarcastic voice really stood out to me, and it was an element of the story that I enjoyed so much. I can understand this humor, because I tend to have a bit of it myself. It's a little on the dry side, and some may mistake it for being rude (or not so funny), but to me I found it to be refreshing and hilarious at just the right moments.
If you're looking for a contemporary YA that will carry you along a quiet story, but evolve into a rich story, then I highly recommend The Distance Between Us. It's got a lot of heart at its roots that make you connect with the story when you don't even realize it.