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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Distance Between Us

A few months ago I bought my 3th book by Kasie West! The first book I read by her was On the Fence and I was sold to her writing style. I'm really glad that I got to this book and again Kasie West gave me a great book with an amazing plot: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

Together with her mother Caymen knows two things about rich people: they spend their money on useless stuff and their attention span isn't worth a lot. Her mother always warned her about rich people, it was the first lesson she was taught. Ever since that life lesson, Caymen has always felt hate towards them. So when Xander comes into the porcelain doll store, she's convinced he's just the same as every other rich boy. 
But Xander isn't easily scared by Caymen's judgments and sarcasm and keeps returning to her or waiting for her in the front of the store. Caymen doesn't know how to react on this but soon, she finds herself enjoying his company. Just when Caymen is convinced that not all rich boys are the same and Xander is the exception on the rule, it's clear that money is a bigger part of their relationship...

This sounds as a book full of clichés right? And sure, there might be hiding some clichés in it like the fact that there's team "poor" and team "rich". I'm not someone who really minds that and this book also won't suffocate you with clichés because of the characters.

Caymen just brings you humor which lightens the clichés hidden in the book. She's a sweet girl but has her rough sides! She's very sarcastic and will always try to push you away if you're not like her. With this I mean: if you're rich, get out. Her sarcasm also brings a lot of dry humor and I'm someone who really can laugh with dry humor so this was such a big asset to the book and I really appreciated each thing Caymen said but meant sarcastic. 

Every coin has another side and also Caymen has that. She can be very sarcastic but that's because she really wants to hide her true feelings. She doesn't want you to know she might be thinking the whole opposite at that exact moment. Throughout the story her mask of sarcasm will start to fall and the other character will know how she's feeling. 

In the summary of the plot I also said that she hates the rich and also that has a reason. Her mother taught her this exact thing because her father was rich and he isn't around anymore. Caymen only has her mother left and the others of her family? We don't know where they are, and she doesn't either. Yet she explains in the book that she sometimes wished she knew who her dad was. Caymen therefore has a little notebook with things she knows about him or were mentioned by her mother. The bond between her and her mother is therefore very strong but the story will soon begin turning and give more and more cracks in their bond, but more about that later!

Another character worth mentioning is the rich guy: Xander. Sure he was predictable, he looked good apparently, he bit his lips and did those half-smiles we all swoon for but he made sure the readers knew soon enough that he's very soft on the inside. I was really surprised to find out that he hasn't this sarcastic side or something to back off Caymen with. Yet all his defenses were down with her and from the beginning I started wondering why that really was. Throughout the book things will become a lot more clearer with this character and I was a great fan of him because he was such a softy! 

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the friendship that grew between them! All that was caused by Xander of course because he waited outside on her and he payed visits a lot. When they eventually have some problems, it'll be Caymen who starts missing her friend awfully a lot and that's, again, a moment where we can see her mask of sarcasm break! 

Another character I want to mention is Robert, he's the contrary of Xander. The book does have the stereotypes of the poor and the rich. Let me set him as an example of the true rich stereotype. He's rich and he's absolutely horrible! He uses Xander and his fame in the town to get what he wants. He tries everything to make Caymen feel bad and make sure the friendship between Caymen and Xander is doomed. Everything we expect for a stereotype, right? That's what I thought. 

This does show such a great contrast between Xander and Robert and I was happy about that. It just shows the readers that we all live in a world that only knows  and sees the stereotypes and will always jump to conclusions before we have even talked to this person. And that shows us that we should pay more attention to people before we jump to conclusions, because sure there can be someone that's rich but that doesn't mean he's a bad guy. Xander is an amazing guy, he can't change the fact that he's rich. Between the lines, books really learn us more than we thought they would, or that's at least how I see it! 

Okay, secondly the plot! As I already mentioned clichés and stereotypes will be hiding in the story, nevertheless I did enjoy the book because of a certain mystery that started to create itself. Caymen and her mom always have had a very strong bond and the store is having some issues (which again, shows the clichés of the poor). They both try their hardest to make things less painful for the both of them and help out when needed. There are new initiatives such as making parties for birthdays and so on. The story shows us that Caymen is the strongest of the two, or so we expect. She runs the business, tells her mom to stop when she treats the kids too much by giving them dolls clothes for free and so on. 

Yet her mom is acting a little weird and this will cause cracks in their bond. There's a man that comes a lot and calls a lot and Caymen, as well as the reader, will start asking themselves who the guy is and what he's doing here. On top of that her mother is more and more absent, she's more and more tired. Of course we all form our own theories and jump to conclusions such as oh the guy is her new lover, he's her dad, she is sick or pregnant and so on but eventually we'll be very surprised! For everyone who hates clichés, hidden between the lines or not, the mystery will make up for that.

But this is not the only thing, Caymen's family mystery starts to unravel itself too. She'll get more and more clues to who is who, and what they mean to her and that's all because of her bond with Xander. Although he's not the one knowing it was going to happen, he sure has a part into it. And that's when everything starts going south and you know the end is nearing. The end is something I'm not going to talk about at all, I'm only  going to say that it was surprising, not predictable to my opinion and that I was really happy with it!

Moving along! There's just one more thing that I really want to say and that's the following: career days. Sounds weird right, and no it has nothing to do with the careers of the Hunger Games! In fact it's just literally what it means: a day for a career. Xander doesn't know what he wants to be in the future and Caymen says she'll work for her mom's store but deep down, she doesn't want to be stuck in it. She doesn't let Xander see that or hear those words leave her mouth but he sure knows. That's how they started with career days. Each of them would plan a day with a certain career and together they'd do it for the day. If it was nice, it might be what they want to be. If it's horrible, they know they can rule that possibility out. I really enjoyed the career days, although I wished there were more in the story, it was still something refreshing. I haven't read a book that contained this so that means I was just very excited by this new aspect. Have you read a book before that had something like this? Let me know!

Jumping to my conclusion I think it's safe to say that Kasie West did it again, she gave me a smooth story line that's easy to understand and very easy to read but has everything to be such a good book! She learns us that stereotypes are just stereotypes and you need to look closer to a person and she learns us that strong bonds are still in the world. Above that the characters were just amazingly sarcastic (which I absolutely adored!) and also very funny but it was all mixed with some mystery around her mother and the new guy as well as new mysteries around Caymen's family! Well done, again, Kasie West!

"A lot of people don't get my humor. My mom calls it dry humor. I think that means "not funny", but also means I'm the only one who ever knows it's a joke."

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