There was a time when bloggers have been raving about this book. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to buy a copy at first, as there was nothing too extraordinary about the premise of the story. But seeing the ratings and reviews of the bloggers for this book, it convinced me enough to buy a copy. And boy, did I make the right decision!
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be 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 just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness 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. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?
As you can see, The Distance Between Us centers on a theme that’s already prevalent in reality. I’m not new to the situation presented by the story and maybe that’s why I can easily relate to both protagonists and understand their thoughts and feelings. However, despite the familiarity, I’m quite surprised to find myself drawn into the story right at the beginning.
Caymen is raised up by her single mother and allotted most of her time helping her mother at the porcelain-doll shop. This is actually the first time I encounter a story with a doll shop in it. As much as I’m fond of (cute) dolls and admire them from afar, the idea of owning that kind of shop scares me, especially when it involves human-like dolls. Writing this sentence alone already reminds me of the Child’s Play movie series and the short film entitled Alma that I watched just recently in YouTube.
Anyway, moving on, I love Kasie West’s characterization of Caymen. Caymen’s sarcasms are just so natural and witty and these make her stand out more from the rest. I can see that despite being financially unstable, Caymen is being raised well by her mother as seen in her personality and the way she handles certain situations. Yes, she may still be a teenager and experiences what any other teenagers go through, hence her mild rebellion, but she’s still likable. By just reading about her, I know right away that I would want to be her friend. And then comes Xander – the super-rich, tall, handsome guy – who unexpectedly enters Caymen’s life and changes it forever.
At a glance, readers might suspect that Xander would be the usual spoiled, arrogant, and stereotypical kind of guy since he is from a rich family, but Kasie West proves him otherwise. Like Caymen, he turns out to be a likable character and as the story progresses, I come to root for their friendship to bloom into something more. The growing attraction they have for one another is undeniable. Moreover, I like his sportsmanship to accept the challenge Caymen prepares for him during their “career days”. From being that to extending sweet gestures to Caymen, I can definitely say that Xander deserves to be one of the top swoon-worthy guy characters. (Hihi!)
But there’s more to it than that. The Distance Between Us isn’t just about the relationship between two people. Kasie West is able to perfectly address some realistic issues in the story being dealt by the characters. She is able to portray and describe what’s it like to raise a child as a single parent, how Caymen feels without knowing her father, the difference in the surroundings depending on the social class one is involved in, the expectations Xander’s father projects to him as the future heir of their business, and most of all, the separation of the different levels in the social class. One by one, Kasie West slowly resolves the issues and best of all, it is evident that she succeeds in breaking the norm as a way to let readers open their minds and learn to take risks.
Overall, this is one excellent read! It’s quite surprising and unexpected that I read the book in less than three days! It’s been a while since I’ve done that and it’s refreshing. I guess this is one reasonable proof that this book is worth-reading. I love everything about it – all the characters, the narration of the story, the underlying message, and the storyline in general. Even the dialogues are witty and I find it entertaining to read, especially Caymen’s sarcasms. Kasie West definitely knows how and when to use words and play around with it. Plus, who wouldn’t feel giddy reading about Xander and Caymen? In short, I couldn’t put the book down. That’s how much invested I am into the story. And I’m glad I read this book.