Friday, April 25, 2014

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Genre: Contemporary, romance.
Rating: ***
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 311
Caymen Meyers has spent her life helping rich old woman pick out porcelain dolls in her mother's shop. Personally, she hates the things, with their unblinking eyes and falsely cheerful smiles. But with the shop struggling to stay afloat, she doesn't dare leave, even for college. Then Xander Spence walks in oozing money from every pore. What starts as a simple search to find a doll for his grandmother turns into a relationship. One Caymen's not sure she's ready for.
Her mother would rather see her date a shaggy haired guitar player like her best friend. Not a rich boy, like Caymen's dad, who never stuck around in the first place. But Xander isn't cocky about his wealth, despite Cayman's best efforts to prove otherwise. He's constantly on the lookout for excuses to drop by with a cup of hot chocolate. He likes her even after her gruff attempts to push him away. Caymen must get over her prejudice and her own self loathing to realize the distance between them isn't as big a gap as she thinks.
Caymen is a delightfully grumpy, sarcastic character. Her realistic, conflicted emotions and dry, snarky voice are never unlikable. You wouldn't want to be her friend in real life but you can see where she's coming from. However, some readers may be put off by her prickly personality. Her clever one-liners spice up the otherwise dull dialogue. Chapters are kept short, usually around seven pages, which makes for a highly readable page-turner. The book feels shorter than it actually is. Boring transition scenes are skipped over, but so are a few that could provide more action and character development. The characters, though quirky and interesting, are not deeply memorable.
What I liked best is the way this book bridges the gap between the fluffy and the gritty. Though the story centers around the distance between poverty and wealth, it's a romance first and foremost. The Distance Between Us is a fun, quick read with a snarky and distinctive protagonist. 

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