Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

This is such a lovely contemporary YA! :)




Author: Kasie West
Title: The Distance Between Us
Release date: 2nd of July 2013
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: HarperTeen
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 312 in Paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

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.

Review:

Rating this book is the case where I give 5 stars, which otherwise would have received less, just because the heroine and hero were just on a level of their own above others and exactly what I love to see in my main couple in YA. Furthermore, this book was amazingly super mega fun, sweet and enjoyable – more so than too many such stories I’ve read lately – it completely restored my faith in contemporary YA with actual great and beyond likable characters with distinct personalities and visible progress and development in relationships.

Let’s talk about the cons first: The ending was rushed and lacked a proper and satisfying conclusion. I felt there was a lot missing and several topics I hoped would have more focus or any at all were barely mentioned or brushed aside without further explanations or outcomes. For example, I would have liked to know more about the mess with Caymen’s mom – I felt she wasn’t explored nearly enough for me to understand her decisions and reasoning.

The dialogue and one-liners were pure gold and there was some epic stuff there. I worship Caymen’s dry sarcastic humor, because it actually made me smile. Her comebacks and musings (callings things as they are) were spot on and perfectly funny. The banter with Xander was in a category of its own. They has such smooth and witty conversations, which were all supported by diverse and wacky settings (graveyard anyone?) and actions. There are too many YA books that describe without actually telling anything (too little substantial dialogue) or have the book stand on the complicated mythology, hotness of the main characters, insta love, other overused tropes to tell the story. What I loved about this book is that the characters came alive and develop through the dialogue, which was colorful, enjoyable and fun to read and told me more about the nature of the characters then any “he was the hottest guy she had ever seen” or “she was beautiful, but she herself though she was plain and no guy would find her attractive.”

I didn’t feel as if this was another Cinderella story of a rich guy and poor girl. It was much more, because it was just so effortlessly written, being cliché while totally doing its own thing.

Characters:

Caymen – where have you been all my YA book reading life? She was exactly the heroine I like to read about: quirky, sarcastic, opinionated but slightly insecure, intelligent, sweet and caring underneath all that snarkyness, fun and not afraid to explore the unknown. Of course, she has her fair share of negative traits (eg. prejudice against rich people, assuming without actual evidence, not TALKING enough or at all when needing to sort out important issues), but they just enhance the good ones or make her less “perfect” in my eyes and more real. All in all, Caymen is a wonderful heroine and I hope against hope to see more such characters. What an absolute shame that YA books are usually trilogies or have even more parts, but THIS book happens to be a standalone and I can enjoy Caymen’s smart mouth only once. Shame shame shame. Weep weep weep.

Xander – Such an amazing sweetheart! Come to think of it, he was the perfect guy: polite, humorous, generous, sensitive, interesting, attractive, rich, etc, etc, but I wasn’t bored by him or found him ridiculous to be reality. He felt like any other ordinary guy, except he, of course, wasn’t. He gave such a relaxed and smooth impression that I felt at ease with his character from the first scene with Caymen. And quite soon after that, I became totally smitten with him.

Overall:

A book with faults, but despite everything the characters, relationships, humor and dialogue took this to a class of its own. I recommend it, strongly!



5 stars!

LIIS


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