|The Distance Between Us|
by Kasie West
"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."
I read through a lot of reviews after reading this book, and I am amazingly shocked that no one has mentioned the similarities between this book and This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. I was kind of distracted for most of the beginning trying to remember who I was reading about - Ellie and Graham (poor girl; rich, famous guy; beach town; girl helps run single mother's store; daddy-abandonment issues; movie star old girlfriend; boy not happy with where his life is going; girl who wants to go to college but can't afford it...), or Caymen and Xander (poor girl; rich, famous guy; beach town; girl helps run single mother's store; daddy-abandonment issues; movie star old girlfriend; boy not happy with where his life is going; girl who wants to go to college but can't afford it...). However, I loved This is What Happy Looks Like , and once I got past the confusion and started to feel these characters, I really liked this one, too. I was disappointed in a few things (one kiss was a little too passionate, and everything wrapped up a little too neatly at the end), but all in all I really liked it. A fun, fluffy read.
Areas of concern: Previously mentioned kiss. I don't remember any cussing or bad language. A mother who got pregnant as a teenager and a father who abandons them.
Booklist - Grades 7-10
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12-17