April 27, 2015

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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I started writing this review still with internal debate happening in my mind even more furiously. A part of me wanted so badly for this book to be added to the ever-after list but another part kept reminding me some little flaws existed within the book.
The book was gripping from the very beginning!
It started really well with very good casual introduction scene that successfully portrayed both characterizations of the character and preamble of soon-to-be main issue. I always loved a book with such opening! The kind that was delivered through a casual daily scene easily yet succeeded to engross readers further into the book.

Ohmygoodness, I loveeeeeeed Ms. West for introducing us to character Caymen. She’s probably, heck, she IS my best favorite heroine. I could so relate to her. All the sarcasm that came out of her mouth and those that she kept as inner thoughts were adorable. Well, maybe it’s kind of weird to put ‘sarcasm’ and ‘adorable’ on the same sentence but I just had no idea how to put it out. Caymen was a loyal master of sarcasm. She made witty sarcasms every day which actually the kinds that did not mostly sound bitter. Hers sounded funny and smart and made me think that Caymen was a bright girl. Unlike most people who threw out their sarcasms because of the feeling that they constantly being failed by universe, it seemed like sarcasm was always part of Caymen. She carried this side of her as a habit and a bit like entertainment. It was like a trademark of her. I had no idea how many times I laughed because of Caymen and her notable sarcasm. I found that the character Caymen almost had no flaws. Despite the sarcasm that seemingly stuck with her, Caymen was actually pretty mature at dealing with her family issues for someone her age. Her realization of having less than most people was heartbreaking. I shed my first tears for the book there. Then she decided to take few years off before starting college next year to help her mom. And it was not under her mom’s consent. It was her own decision.

When Caymen met Xander for the first time, she bravely threw her witty sarcasm on him that day. I loved to think that this might be one of the main reasons he fell for her. Well, it surely was, if I was a boy and met someone like Caymen. I had two perspective of seeing their love building up. First from Caymen’s angle where I’d say their love started steady and filled by push-and-pull thread before getting on the now. The second one was from Xander’s angle where I’d say their love was insta-love and the one that happened just because they happened to be at the same time in the same place. No offense, I loved Xander. He’s cool, charming, understanding, and a laid-back rich boy. At another chance, I might just fall in love so hard with him. But here, I didn’t feel any exciting feeling at his presence on the book. I mean, I was cool with him but that’s all. He didn’t sweep me off my feet. Even though Ms. West wrote their every moment together bundled tightly with chemistry veil, I had this constant doubt whether Xander’s feeling for Caymen was genuine. I’m not saying that Xander was up to no good, but I just felt that if Xander met some other girls that afternoon in the first place, he would feel just the same to them. Xander was that rich boy with all positive vibes radiating from him. This was disturbing for me because maybe, just maybe, that he loved Caymen because he was a rich boy with kind heart rather than he loved Caymen because OF her. Hopefully it’s just me because I so want Caymen to get her sweet happy ending.
There were a lot of loveable things on the book. I liked all the side-characters on this book because Ms. West put them out there in a way that made them easy to like, especially Skye, Caymen’s best friend with her eccentric boyfriend. I also loved the idea of ‘career day’ that was used as the gradual process of Caymen and Xander being closer. It was kind of cute!
But then here comes my biggest issue with this book that made me go debating-internally mode…
I read Ms. West’s book before. Pivot Point. While I enjoyed the book so much, I had an issue with it that actually ‘rhymed’ with The Distance between Us. Ms. West has a beautiful writing style. It’s fun, adorable, cute, and enjoyable. She starts a story in a gripping manner, hooking up every reader’s hearts during the process, but when it comes to the story wrap-up she seems a bit rush, thus, creating an abrupt ending with a ‘left-unfinished’ and ‘much-more-unexplored’ vibes. I experienced it during Pivot Point. And now again in this book.
It’s really unfortunate and made me go roaring in frustration because I was hoping a more wrapping end. Yes it is an HEA and I am so darn happy for Caymen to get every issue unraveled and solved but it seems off that I’m scared it’s a ‘labile’ HEA. The issue of Caymen’s mom, Susan, was something big and had lasted for years. It was supposedly resolved in a more ‘serious’ way. It was so off, a bit like in a rush, and unreal.
The Distance between Us is a very enjoyable light read. I laughed (a lot), my eyes stung several times, and cried a bit while reading this. If only this book was wrapped up in a better way, I was willing to overlook my own doubt issue with Xander and give this book a solid five stars.
But it’s not… so, I planned to go with 3.5 stars.
But then Caymen’s awesomeness flashed in my mind…
So I settled with 4 stars, in the end :)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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