Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West | Review

The Distance Between Us playfully explores judgmentalism, acceptance, and self-worth in a complicated coming-of-age romance.

Caymen Meyers works at her mom's doll shop.  Her hometown is small, but it's rife with the have- and have-not- types.  Raised by her single mother who used hush money from her rich father's parents to start the doll shop after being a teenage mom disowned by her own family, Caymen has grown up mistrusting the rich because of her mom's experiences.

She takes on more than she should, planning to put her future on hold until she can get the doll shop in better financial shape for her mother before she embarks on her own life.  And, she is delectably sarcastic, making it a sheer pleasure to read the dialogue in this book.

The story proceeds down a path of her love life - an angle she's yet to explore.  Does she choose the hot, tattooed lead singer of the Crusty Toads (of whom her mom approves) or the adorable, playful heir to a hotel fortune (about whom she lies consistently to her mother)?

It's just quirky enough to keep you on your toes, with enough twists and dips to make you doubt Caymen's every move.  I found Caymen to be quite relatable, even though I've never lived in a tiny apartment above a doll store with my mother.  She was real, refreshing, and made decisions using both her brain and her heart, which I think is a good way to make decisions, personally.  The boys could have been stereotypical, but West gave them just enough quirks and faults to make them deeper-than-average for a book of this genre.

Parents: There is a bit of language.  Not a ton.  Nothing beyond kissing, albeit passionate most of the time.  As mentioned above, a lot of haves vs. have-nots, and there is a lot of familial drama.  Her mom is sick throughout most of the book, but she doesn't pick up on it until someone spells it out for her, but she does handle it well.