Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

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.


  • The humor was fun, especially finding out that Caymen has the same humor as her grandfather.
  • I enjoyed how Skye was involved in this story. (Although I still think she could've had more involvement.)
  • I appreciate that Skye and Henry stayed together for the entire story.
  • The doll shop element was unique. While I have had porcelain dolls ruined for me because of Talking Tina from The Twilight Zone, it definitely makes this book stand out.


  • This pattern of a love triangle. It was incredibly obvious the whole time that she was going to pick Xander, making the need for a love triangle unnecessary.


  • Much of West's style involves telling the reader a lot of information, most notably whenever the readers meet Skye for the first time. The information should've been woven in and presented more creatively instead of listed.
  • Use of parentheses was excessive, detracted from the story, and those should have been properly edited out.
  • There was also an abundance of semi-colon use. Not only that, it didn't seem that the author knows how to properly use semi-colons. Semicolons can be difficult to use; they should only be used by people who know how to use them correctly.
  • Xander wiping his mouth on his sweatshirt is uncharacteristic for a rich boy, and Caymen buying a magazine so thoughtlessly is not characteristic of someone who comes from a family with little money. I speak this from my personal life. Money is tight, and I think twice before even purchasing my food, let alone purchasing a magazine just to read one article. If she really is poor, it would be more in character to just read the article there in the store.
  • "I don't know how I existed without him because his energy feels like my sustaining force in this moment." Cliche, too much reliance on the boy, and why can't girls have their own lives apart from their guys in YA literature?
  • Some gaps in the story. For example, when Caymen's mom went to the Wednesday night thing, this whole part was completely skipped and glossed over.
  • High-tension scenes were really short. When people argue, they usually do so much longer than they did in this novel. This detracted from realism and getting into the story.
  • The chapter lengths. For some reason, a scene would be broken up into multiple chapters, when really it probably would make more sense to combine some of them. This was stylistically distracting, and perhaps not the best choice.
The thing that really saves this novel is that fact that at least it was funny. Also, the unique doll-store thing. Other than that, this book could have used a lot of cleaning up, and loses a lot of quality and potential that it could've had otherwise. Two jellyfish it is.

If you read the novel as well, please leave your thoughts! I would love to hear them.

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