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.
The Distance Between Us has been sitting in my to-read pile since it was released in 2013. I had really enjoyed Kasie West’s paranormal book, Pivot Point, so was excited to see how she tackled a contemporary romance. And while this book wasn’t mind-blowingly good or anything, it was a really cute, fun read that also had some depth to it. I enjoyed the characters – particularly our love interest, Xander – and the setting, and especially the way everyone had to reevaluate a few things. I always like books that feature character growth!
Our main character, Caymen, has been brought up to be pretty judgmental of the “rich folks” who populate her town. Her mom owns a doll shop – which isn’t making much money – and they live in a small apartment above the store. It doesn’t help that, when Caymen’s mom got pregnant with her, she was disowned from her own parents and the [rich] boy who got her pregnant wanted nothing to do with her. This has lead to Caymen having lots of issues with the upper class, and when she first meets Xander – our love interest – she treats him no differently. But of course this wouldn’t be much of a romance if Xander didn’t eventually win her over – and boy, does he do that in spades – and I have to say that their banter and outings and growing relationship totally won ME over. I was pretty much smiling throughout most of this book.
Xander and Caymen set up “career days” in which they explore various potential careers. Because Xander’s family has money, his career days are over the top, extravagant and amazing, while Caymen’s are much more down-to-earth and somewhat horrid because she’s mostly trying to see if Xander will stick to it or quit. I do want to mention that there is a sort-of-not-really love triangle in this book – there’s a guy named Mason who is also interested in Caymen, and she momentarily thinks about dating him – but it’s pretty clear from the get-go who she prefers. I am so not a fan of even a hint of a love triangle, so was glad that there was a pretty obvious choice from the beginning.
Of course, no romance between folks of different classes would be complete without a misunderstanding, and throw in a mysterious problem with Caymen’s mom and you pretty much have the entire story in a nutshell. Like I said, it’s nothing mind-blowing or incredible but there’s still plenty to like in this book’s 300+ pages. I especially found myself charmed by Xander; he has marvelous comebacks for Caymen’s sass and I just really liked the way he went about “wooing” her (for lack of a better term). He also owns up to his mistakes at the end, which I also thought was fantastic. So often books feature male characters who do something and never admit to being wrong, so it was nice to see something different here.
The Distance Between Us has a nice little tone of the importance of not judging based on preconceived notions, which is intertwined with the plot of a poor girl/rich boy romance that really is too adorable for words. I didn’t find the book overly sweet or saccharine, and while not terribly deep, it was still a nice way to spend a couple of hours. If you’re looking for a light and easy contemporary YA romance, definitely give this one a try!