Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (Whitney Finalist 2013)

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Library Copy
This book would be rated: PG

In Caymen's town on the California coast, there are two kinds of people: regular people, and rich people. Caymen is one of the regular people. She lives in a tiny apartment above her mother's doll shop, which caters to the rich people. As a result, she's had quite the opportunity to develop her "love to hate  them" attitude. All of this changes when Xander, the scion of a Hiltonesque family walks into her store to pick up a doll for his grandma. At first Caymen can't believe he likes her, then she thinks she's selling out for liking him back, and then events of the novel reveal that she has an even more complicated relationship toward wealth than she originally thought.

While the characters in The Distance Between Us are fine (I especially liked her best friend's boyfriend), I felt like the central conflict of the novel was a little flat. It felt heavy-handed to have the whole story built around a Cinderella narrative (culminating in a surprise at a ball!). The conclusion of the story redeemed it somewhat, but also complicated it in a way I'm not sure I liked, but overall, I would have liked to see a little more depth from the plot.

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