The Distance Between Us


Title: The Distance Between Us

Author: Kasie West

Series: N/A

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: July 2nd 2013


Four Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“So Caymen…”
“So, Xander…”
“Like the islands.”
“Your name. Caymen. Like the Cayman Islands. Is that your mom’s favourite place to visit or something?”
“No, it’s her third favourite place. I have an older brother named Paris and an older sister named Sydney.”

In her town there are only two types of people, the rich and the poor, and Caymen is one of the poor. Ever since her mother got pregnant at seventeen, abandoned by Caymen’s father and disowned by her parents, it’s just been the two of them. Together they run a doll shop and live in a small apartment above the shop that’s barely big enough for the both of them, but they make it work. Despite the store catering mainly to the rich Caymen sees them as arrogant, willing to throw money at any problem until it goes away.

Xander is one of those people. From the second he walks into the shop and beckons Caymen she has him pegged as an arrogant rich boy who wants for nothing. Yet, while Xander is rich he isn’t arrogant. Later when he comes back to the shop to collect a doll his grandmother ordered he tries to make a better impression on Caymen.

She starts off holding him at arm’s length, thinking her dry humour will scare him away and if not her disinterest will, but Xander keeps coming back and soon he is walking her to school and taking her on ‘career days’.

“I wonder why some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do with their lives and others – mostly me – have no idea.”

In spite of their very different upbringings Xander and Caymen do have one thing in common; neither of them are sure what they want to do with their lives and so both are being roped into the family business. Caymen feels she should take over the burden of the doll store, and Xander’s father has been pressuring him to run the chain of hotels is family owns. Instead Xander comes up with the idea of career days. Each of them picking a possible career to try out for a few hours, and together they’ll try to find out what it is they want to do; be it photographer or grave digger.

But there are obstacles to the relationship growing between them. Caymen has been spending time with Mason, a boy who also comes from a poor background and so the two are on equal footing that she doesn’t feel she can reach with Xander. Then there’s her mother, who is hiding something from Caymen which could drastically affect their lives.

…The Characters

“A lot of people don’t get my humour. My mom calls it dry humour. I think that means ‘not funny,’ but it also means I’m the only one who ever knows it’s a joke.”

Caymen has a very dry sense of humour, and most times people have to ask her if she’s being serious or joking, but I loved the little quips she shot back to both her mother and Xander. Although she is not sure what she wants to do Caymen loves science and was thinking about taking that up in university but she also knows she can’t leave her mother to manage to doll shop on her own. Already Caymen has given up so much to help her mother but she doesn’t complain.

“A week ago someone warned me not to buy the blueberry muffins at Eddie’s, but I didn’t listen and bought them anyway. Now at odd hours I get these insatiable cravings.”

Xander has had everything he could ever want growing up, but despite Caymen’s first impressions he’s not at all arrogant. He likes Caymen but he doesn’t pressure her when it comes to their relationship or even when it comes to her introducing him to her mother. Like Caymen Xander doesn’t know what he wants to do; there is a lot he is good at but he hasn’t settled on one thing so he finds himself pulled into the family business somewhat against his will.

Although there are more differences than similarities between them both Caymen and Xander fit together really well. They bonded over their roles in the family businesses and then over their shared career days. While Caymen is bothered at times by Xander’s money Xander is never bothered by the fact that her family is poor. However in spite of all the obstacles Caymen sees in their way she can’t quite let Xander go, even when there is another boy interested in her who suits her more and who her mother would like much more than Xander.

“You look terrified. Does this scare you?”
“More than anything.”

The relationship between Caymen and her mum is a major part of this story. For Caymen’s whole life it has just been the two of them; and after what happened to her mother she is determined to stop Caymen making her mistakes with a rich boy who will run at the first sign of trouble. The two are close, sharing everything, but during this story they start keeping secrets from one another; Caymen hiding Xander and her mother hiding something much more life-altering. But still it’s obvious all Caymen’s mother wants to do is protect her daughter and keep her safe, and all Caymen’s wants is to do is help make sure her mother’s store succeeds.

I really enjoyed the first Kasie West book I read and I enjoyed this one as well. I did notice some similarities between Caymen and Xander, and Lily and her mysterious pen pal; not in the sense that they were the same character’s but more that this book has a writing style I’ve come to recognize as Kasie West’s. I think I prefer P.S. I Like You but I have more of Kasie West’s books to read before I decide my ultimate favourite of hers.

What did you think of The Distance Between Us? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

35 thoughts on “The Distance Between Us

  1. I’m so glad you loved this book! It’s one of my favorite YA romance novels. How about when she says that he beckoned her? I loved that part of the book. Ha! I laughed so hard when I read it. This is an awesome review, Beth! I’m so glad you liked this book. And how about that shocker of an ending? I never saw it coming. I would try On the Fence next. It’s my favorite Kasie West book, probably tied with P.S. I Like You. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely beginning to see why people are raving about Kasie West, she’s quickly becoming one of my favourite YA contemporary authors.
      Oh that was hilarious, and then when she acted out how he looked to her as well. The part that made me laugh the most was when she TP’d his house and his mother than asked what she was doing with toilet paper. She said something like Xander called her with a toilet emergency so she rushed over. That was so funny!
      Thanks so much Jill, I’m really glad you liked my review. Oh no neither did I but I loved the kind of depth it gave to her mother’s past a little as well.
      I’ve actually already finished On the Fence, and will be posting my review tonight 🙂 it hasn’t beat P.S. I Like You but it’s probably tied with The Distance Between Us at the moment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad to hear that, Beth! She’s my absolute favorite YA author. I recommend her to anyone who will listen. 🙂 I forgot about when she did that with the toilet paper. Ha! That part was so funny. I never saw that level of depth coming with the mom’s past. It was an excellent surprise. That’s why I love Kasie West so much. 🤗 I devoured P.S. I Like You. I’m so bummed I’m all out of her books until the next one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well it was thanks to you I actually ended up picking one of her books up rather than leaving them on my to-read list for god knows how long so you could say you kind of recommended her to me as well!
        Yeah that part was hilarious, I was reading it on the train and literally laughed out loud a little (I don’t think anyone noticed because on the train in London you don’t make eye contact with people or really look up from your laps!)
        No neither did I but it was just such a great addition to the story and also to her mum’s past as well.
        Yeah her next book isn’t out until February, but it sounds amazing so I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m so glad you started reading her books because of me. Her books deserve to be read. I love them. 🙂 Oh, right. I’ve heard about the not making eye contact on the train rule. 🙂 February is way too long. I’m the same way with Colleen Hoover books.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh definitely, it was your review of P.S. I Like You that I picked up that book and it was because I loved that book I picked up her rest. I’m glad I did because yeah they are amazing!
        It’s something every Londoner just instinctively knows!
        Yeah it’s always that way with favourite authors isn’t it! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh I haven’t read any Kasie West yet as you know but I think I might actually start with this one first rather than PS I Like You – I feel like just reading the blurb and your review, it might be something I enjoy a lot. I love seeing when “worlds clash” like they kind of do in this book, what with Xander being super rich and Caymen being… not. Great review, Beth! Glad to see that you’ve enjoyed this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d definitely recommend picking up some of her books then, they’re very typical YA stories but still really good reads.
      This one would definitely fit the whole ‘world clash’ theme; and it was interesting to see how Cayman saw Xander, and later saw their relationship as well, given their differences in status.
      Thanks Reg, yeah overall I really enjoyed this book. 🙂


    1. I wouldn’t say it was a book I’d normally pick up either but I couldn’t resist. Kasie West is one of the best YA contemporary authors whose work I have read so far and I hope you really enjoy this book.
      And I’m glad my review could convince you to give it a go as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one! It was my first, and so far, only Kasie West’s book, but I did enjoy it a lot. I guess when a writer is kind of a specialist in YA contemporary, you can start seeing some kind of pattern and similarities between the characters and the stories. Though I hope that all of her books still are different and enjoyable. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really did, so far I am loving all of Kasie West’s books I’ve read so far and I’m excited to get started on the rest of them! 😀
      Oh yeah despite the similarities the two were really different stories, I guess like you said when a writer specialises in one genre it’s easy to pick up on the things you see in all their books. I think you’ll still really enjoy the rest of her books when you get around to them, and thanks Marie! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want to give Kasie West a shot. I’ve grown a little weary of this type of YA book, but in the end I’m a sucker for a fun love story with likable characters. I think this review helped tip the scales in favor of picking either this or PS I Like You up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’ll admit this book, like most of YA contemporaries like it, had a very standard formula, but it was still a really enjoyable read, and if you do like fun love stories and likeable characters I’d recommend Kasie West.
      Ohh that’s good to hear, glad my review could help! Also I’d recommend maybe starting out with P.S. I Like You, just because at the moment that’s my favourite Kasie West book! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did really enjoy The Distance Between Us, though yeah like you it’s not my favourite. I’m currently working my way through all the books she has released and I’m really enjoying them all as well. Thanks, I’m glad you liked my review! 😀


  5. This was the first book of her’s that I put on my TBR way back when after a day spent in the bookstore browsing and reading that synopsis. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about it which might be a reason I never picked it up. After reading your review though it sounds like the type contemporary I usually love. And lately, I’ve been hearing such fantastic things about this author, which we’ve previously talked about. I’m going to have to try to pick up at least a few of her books before this year is over! From the way you described Caymen she sounds like a character I would really like. I always love characters with a dry sense of humor 😊. Great review, Beth!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’ve only seen amazing, glowing reviews for Kasie West’s book, and after reading some of them I can see why. I think if you go in expecting something deeper than a typical, fluffy, YA contemporary romance you’ll be disappointed but if this is the kind of contemporary you usually love then you’ll love this book!
      Yeah since P.S. I Like You was released I’ve seen so much more about her, but I’m glad because it’s kind of what convinced me to pick up the rest of her books!
      Cayman is just an amazing character, her sense of humour really made me laugh at times but I can be very sarcastic at times so that could be why!
      Thanks Melissa! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely love the deeper contemporaries but I’m all for fluff as well. It’s like that balance between serious books and lighter ones we talked about before. Always good to throw in a mixture! 😊

        I’ve seen the same! It’s whats making me want to pick up her books. I’m probably going to order this one and P.S. I Like You after I read the ToG books. I have a feeling I’ll need a few reads like this after those 😂. There’s so many books I want to get to before the end of the year.

        I can be the same so I have a feeling I’m going to love her character!

        You’re welcome! ♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes when I pick up deeper books I do need some fluffy ones to balance then out. After I finished The Song of Achilles I read a few contemporary books, and yeah after I finished Empire of Storms it was more contemporaries. Trust me after you finish you’ll need these books!
        I really hope you enjoy them both, of the three Kasie West books I’ve read so far P.S. I Like You is my favourite with The Distance Between Us being a close second.

        Liked by 1 person

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