The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – Contemporary YA Full of Snark, Secrets and ‘Gilmore Girls’ Vibes

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Publication Date:
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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA, Romance
Rating: ★★★★ ½

For as long as she can remember it’s just been Caymen and her mother with a doll shop thrown in the mix. All she knows about her father is that he’s wealthy, and her mother had a bad experience with him and his lot. This is why Caymen has been raised with an aversion to the wealthy. Then, into her mother’s shop walks Xander Spence. Confident, handsome and so not who Caymen should be flirting with let along talking to, Xander’s unexpected presence in Caymen’s life may just be the chance encounter of a lifetime. But with secrets hanging on Caymen’s life, is Xander the typical rich boy she shouldn't befriend or is he the boy she needs?

This is the second Kasie West novel I read, and oh my stars, it’s my favorite of the two. Of course, as I have a handful left to read (a prospect which leaves me looking something like the heart-eye emoji!) plus a July preorder to anticipate, this is a ranking that could change. For now, as between ‘Distance’ and On the Fence, this underrated contemporary is a piece of happy fluff that keeps its place on my shelf.

The story is a wonderfully familiar one, but is somehow unique with its sarcastic (not overly, but enough) heroine who’s got sass. Something sure to make readers who admire feisty, headstrong heroines cheer her on. Caymen’s strength can, unfortunately, also be her weakness. The thing that’s most been engrained in her is also the thing that keeps her closed off to the possibility of a happy ending that may not be so far from her reach. Then there’s Xander.

I’ll confess, I’m quite fond of him not because of his Logan-Echolls-wealthy-boy-vibes (not that this hurts), but rather because he goes against the “bad boy” stereo type trope. Or that’s my impression of him. His friendship with Caymen is among my favorite in this genre, and feels organic despite its proclivity (as all books often do) to (perhaps) rush its timeline towards an ending that while “complete” is sure to leave you wishing for so much more.

For those of us who adore Gilmore Girls, you may also relish knowing The Distance Between Us sneaks in familiar vibes to the popular show. A theme that, naturally, I don’t object to in the least. From the mother-daughter bond to the aversion to all things related to the glitz of the wealthy, I picked up several delightful similarities! There’s also a plot twist that in some sense pays nod to the show, but talking about it would be a SPOILER ALERT! So I’ll refrain from saying more.

In case my thoughts don’t convey this, in conclusion, I loved this story. It’s fresh, cute and swoony, which is all I ever want form my contemporary fiction. Inside these pages is one of my “happy place” reads. A story that’s as charming on the inside as I wanted it to be and then some. This may be only the second novel I’ve read from Kasie, but it will not be the last. It’s a gem from first page (and snarky Caymen!) to its final word.♥

Synopsis: 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

Coming Next from Kasie West: In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. 

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --
She wins!
In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love. - Goodreads, July 2017


Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book.

Review text is © Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), 


  1. Yay! You finally read it! :D This one and On the Fence I think are my favorite contemporaries from her, although I loved P.S. I Like You too. I'm looking forward to her next one quite a bit.

    1. I DID, Tressa! And I'm so glad. Thus far, this is my favorite (between this and On the Fence), but I am excited about 'P.S.' as well as her other books. Cannot wait to read them all! :)


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